As the dominant predator on North America’s grasslands, coyotes have a large influence on biodiversity. Colonial ground squirrels and livestock carrion are often abundant on grasslands worldwide and have the potential to influence the coyote’s consumption of alternative prey, including species at risk. We analysed seasonal and spatial variation in coyote diet, and detected seasonal prey switching between prairie dogs and deer, and high levels of cattle consumption during most of the year. The potential for agricultural practices to unintentionally support predator populations is of particular importance in grassland ecosystems, which typically include a large proportion of land used for livestock. Read full paper. Photo by Dr Stefano Liccioli from Parks Canada.
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