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dc.contributor.authorMorin, Dana Janineen_US
dc.date.accessioned2015-07-30T08:00:08Z
dc.date.available2015-07-30T08:00:08Z
dc.date.issued2015-07-29en_US
dc.identifier.othervt_gsexam:6007en_US
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/10919/54942
dc.description.abstractCoyote (Canis latrans) range expansion in the Central Appalachian Mountains has stimulated interest in ecology of this predator and potential impacts to prey populations. This is particularly true in the Ridge and Valley Region in western Virginia where white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) populations are restricted by low nutritional carrying capacity and are subject to two other predators, bobcats (Lynx rufus) and American black bears (Ursus americanus), in addition to an active hunter community. I address two primary objectives of the Virginia Appalachian Coyote Study: to investigate 1) spatial ecology and 2) population dynamics of coyote populations in Bath and Rockingham counties. I deployed 21 GPS satellite collars on 19 coyotes over 32 months. I estimated home range size (mean = 13.46 km2, range = 1.23 km2 - 38.24 km2) across months using biased-random bridges and second-order habitat selection at four scales using eigenanalysis of selection ratios. I developed a metric to classify social status of individuals as either resident or transient based on stability of home range centers over time. I found evidence for class substructure for selection of territories where adult residents had a higher probability of mortality in high productivity/high risk habitats, compared to subadults and transients that were restricted to less productive habitats. I collected scat samples over five scat surveys across 2.5 years and extracted fecal DNA to identify individual coyotes in a mark-recapture framework. I estimated coyote densities in Bath (5.53 – 9.04 coyotes/100 km2) and Rockingham Counties (2.41 – 8.53 coyotes/100 km2) using a spatial capture-recapture model. Six-month apparent survival was lower in Bath County (ΦBath = 0.442, 0.259 – 0.643; ΦRockingham = 0.863, 0.269 – 0.991). The Bath County population demonstrated persistence despite high mortality and the Rockingham population demonstrated boundedness with recruitment inverse of changes in density. Findings at both sites suggest density-dependence, and tests of territoriality, presence of transients, and territory turnover demonstrate a capacity for immediate local immigration in response to high mortality in Bath County. I suggest that landscape-level habitat management may be a viable strategy to reduce potential conflicts with coyotes in the region.en_US
dc.format.mediumETDen_US
dc.publisherVirginia Techen_US
dc.rightsThis Item is protected by copyright and/or related rights. Some uses of this Item may be deemed fair and permitted by law even without permission from the rights holder(s), or the rights holder(s) may have licensed the work for use under certain conditions. For other uses you need to obtain permission from the rights holder(s).en_US
dc.subjectCanis latransen_US
dc.subjectclass structureen_US
dc.subjectcompensatory immigrationen_US
dc.subjectcoyoteen_US
dc.subjectdemographyen_US
dc.subjectdensity dependenceen_US
dc.subjecthabitat selectionen_US
dc.subjectmortalityen_US
dc.subjectnoninvasive geneticsen_US
dc.subjectoptimal foraging theoryen_US
dc.subjectspatial capture-recaptureen_US
dc.subjectterritorialityen_US
dc.subjecttransientsen_US
dc.titleSpatial ecology and demography of eastern coyotes (Canis latrans) in western Virginiaen_US
dc.typeDissertationen_US
dc.contributor.departmentFisheries and Wildlife Scienceen_US
dc.description.degreePh. D.en_US
thesis.degree.namePh. D.en_US
thesis.degree.leveldoctoralen_US
thesis.degree.grantorVirginia Polytechnic Institute and State Universityen_US
thesis.degree.disciplineFisheries and Wildlife Scienceen_US
dc.contributor.committeechairKelly, Marcella J.en_US
dc.contributor.committeechairWaits, Lisette Paulyneen_US
dc.contributor.committeememberParkhurst, James A.en_US
dc.contributor.committeememberKarpanty, Sarah M.en_US
dc.contributor.committeememberSteffen, David Earlen_US
dc.contributor.committeememberNichols, James D.en_US


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