Spatial dynamics of sympatric canids: Modeling the impact of coyotes on red wolf recovery
Abbreviated Journal Title
Canis latrans; Canis rufus; competition; reintroduction; sympatry; simulation model; MOUNTAIN-NATIONAL-PARK; VULPES-VULPES; HOME-RANGE; COMPETITION; COEFFICIENTS; POPULATION FLUCTUATIONS; INTRAGUILD PREDATION; FOOD-HABITS; SWIFT FOXES; CENSUS-DATA; WOLVES; Ecology
Interspecific competition can have a substantial impact on sympatric carnivore populations and may threaten reintroduction attempts of threatened or endangered species. Coyotes (Canis latrans) are the primary threat to recovery of red wolves (C. rufus) in the wild, through hybridization and loss of the red wolf genotype and habitat occupancy that reduces space available for wolf occupation. We built a stochastic simulation model (using data collected from a recovering red wolf population in northeastern North Carolina as well as from the literature) to examine spatial dynamics of sympatric red wolves and coyotes (independent of habitat influences) and to elucidate the potential role of coyotes on wolf recovery and reintroduction success. Survival of juvenile and adult wolves had the greatest impact on wolf population size and likelihood of extinction. Introducing coyotes to the model had a substantial negative impact on wolf numbers, and the model was highly sensitive to the estimates of the competitive impact of coyotes on red wolves, through declines in wolf productivity. We simulated coyote management from either removal (lower coyote survival) or surgical sterilization (lower coyote reproductive rates) and found that both management strategies increased viability of red wolf populations, especially during initial colonization. Our results suggest that coyotes can inhibit red wolf reintroduction success through competitive interactions, but that management of coyote populations can improve the probability of successful wolf recovery. Additional information on spatial dynamics and dietary overlap between coyotes and wolves in the recovery area is needed to further elucidate the current and potential competitive impact of coyotes on red wolf populations. (c) 2008 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
"Spatial dynamics of sympatric canids: Modeling the impact of coyotes on red wolf recovery" (2008). Faculty Bibliography 2000s. 910.