Affordable Access

deepdyve-link
Publisher Website

Responses of sympatric canids to human development revealed through citizen science.

Authors
  • Kellner, Kenneth F1
  • Hill, Jacob E1
  • Gantchoff, Mariela G1
  • Kramer, David W2
  • Bailey, Amanda M2
  • Belant, Jerrold L1
  • 1 Camp Fire Program in Wildlife Conservation State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry Syracuse New York USA.
  • 2 New York State Department of Environmental Conservation Albany New York USA.
Type
Published Article
Journal
Ecology and Evolution
Publisher
Wiley (John Wiley & Sons)
Publication Date
Aug 01, 2020
Volume
10
Issue
16
Pages
8705–8714
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1002/ece3.6567
PMID: 32884652
Source
Medline
Keywords
Language
English
License
Unknown

Abstract

Measuring wildlife responses to anthropogenic activities often requires long-term, large-scale datasets that are difficult to collect. This is particularly true for rare or cryptic species, which includes many mammalian carnivores. Citizen science, in which members of the public participate in scientific work, can facilitate collection of large datasets while increasing public awareness of wildlife research and conservation. Hunters provide unique benefits for citizen science given their knowledge and interest in outdoor activities. We examined how anthropogenic changes to land cover impacted relative abundance of two sympatric canids, coyote (Canis latrans), and red fox (Vulpes vulpes) at a large spatial scale. In order to assess how land cover affected canids at this scale, we used citizen science data from bow hunter sighting logs collected throughout New York State, USA, during 2004-2017. We found that the two species had contrasting responses to development, with red foxes positively correlated and coyotes negatively correlated with the percentage of low-density development. Red foxes also responded positively to agriculture, but less so when agricultural habitat was fragmented. Agriculture provides food and denning resources for red foxes, whereas coyotes may select forested areas for denning. Though coyotes and red foxes compete in areas of sympatry, we did not find a relationship between species abundance, likely a consequence of the coarse spatial resolution used. Red foxes may be able to coexist with coyotes by altering their diets and habitat use, or by maintaining territories in small areas between coyote territories. Our study shows the value of citizen science, and particularly hunters, in collection of long-term data across large areas (i.e., the entire state of New York) that otherwise would unlikely be obtained. © 2020 The Authors. Ecology and Evolution published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

Report this publication

Statistics

Seen <100 times