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Interspecific Relationships of Coyotes, Bobcats, and Red Foxes in Western Maine

John T. Major and James A. Sherburne
The Journal of Wildlife Management
Vol. 51, No. 3 (Jul., 1987), pp. 606-616
Published by: Wiley on behalf of the Wildlife Society
DOI: 10.2307/3801278
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3801278
Page Count: 11
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Interspecific Relationships of Coyotes, Bobcats, and Red Foxes in Western Maine
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Abstract

Interspecific relationships among coyotes (Canis latrans), bobcats (Felis rufus), and red foxes (Vulpes vulpes) were examined in western Maine between 1979 and 1982. During winter, radio-collared bobcats (N = 10) and coyotes (N = 9) selected forest stands of predominantly coniferous overstory, whereas radioed foxes (N = 4) avoided this type and selected hardwood-dominated stands. Habitat selection during all seasons was least similar between coyotes and foxes. Home ranges of bobcats overlapped those of coyotes both spatially and temporally. Fox home ranges abutted but did not overlap coyote home ranges. Simultaneously monitored coyotes, bobcats, and foxes occupying adjacent or overlapping ranges maintained random separation distances (P > 0.05). Coyotes, bobcats, and foxes exhibited variable activity patterns. Snowshoe hares (Lepus americanus) were abundant and were 1st or 2nd in frequency of occurrence during all seasons for all species. White-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) also ranked 1st or 2nd in frequency of occurrence in three of 4 seasons for coyotes and bobcats, but occurred in <15% of seasonal fox diets. Small mammals (Cricetidae, Soricidae, and Zapodidae) occurred frequently in the fox diet but occurred rarely in bobcat and coyote diets. Interference competition was inferred from spatial segregation between coyotes and foxes on the study area. There was no evidence that competitive relationships existed between bobcats and red foxes. Although coyote and bobcat use of food and habitat overlapped, no supporting data for interference competition was obtained for these species.

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