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Grizzly bears, black bears, wolves, coyotes, cougars/ mountain lions,bobcats, wolverines, lynx, foxes, fishers and martens are the suite of carnivores that originally inhabited North America after the Pleistocene extinctions. This site invites research, commentary, point/counterpoint on that suite of native animals (predator and prey) that inhabited The Americas circa 1500-at the initial point of European exploration and subsequent colonization. Landscape ecology, journal accounts of explorers and frontiersmen, genetic evaluations of museum animals, peer reviewed 20th and 21st century research on various aspects of our "Wild America" as well as subjective commentary from expert and layman alike. All of the above being revealed and discussed with the underlying goal of one day seeing our Continent rewilded.....Where big enough swaths of open space exist with connective corridors to other large forest, meadow, mountain, valley, prairie, desert and chaparral wildlands.....Thereby enabling all of our historic fauna, including man, to live in a sustainable and healthy environment. - Blogger Rick

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Thursday, January 25, 2018

A new U. of Wisconsin Study on the sympatric mesocrnivores, the Coyote and Red Fox, reveals that in urban Madison, Wisconsin, the two canids are co-existing by using different portions of the landscape.............While both Coyotes(Western and Eastern) and Red Foxes share a prey base of rodents, rabbits, deer fawns, some adult deer, fruit, bird eggs, et al, Coyotes living in and around Madison Wisconsin(2nd largest city in the state-245,000 population) prefer natural cover whereas Red Foxes favored more developed land, closer into and adjacent to human dwellings and infrastructure............While historically it has been perceived that Coyotes will shrink Red Fox populations where the two species exist, this new Study is forecasting the possiblity that Red Foxes are learning how to best co-exist with their larger cousin, allowing for both carnivores to bring their eco-system benefits of rodent control(positively limiting lyme disease vectors) to bear on the environment.............The Study concluded by saying-----"While the focus of our study was not on food or habitat resource availability, we suspect that the mechanism that facilitates coexistence in urban areas is rooted in an abundance of food resources in our urban study area"........... "More abundant resources appear to allow both species to display smaller home ranges, which may allow for these two traditionally competitive species to coexist within urban environments with a similar dynamic to rural coyotes and red foxes, but on a smaller scale with potentially less competitive interactions".........."Habitat patch size—especially of NATURAL AREAS—may also be important to home range size and composition"............. "In our study area, coyotes within the largest natural area (UW Arboretum) rarely ventured into surrounding developed areas, whereas coyotes near smaller natural areas (Owen Park) frequently used adjacent neighborhoods".............. "The size of natural areas may influence resource availability and therefore affect the way wildlife uses these areas"............. "Additional research should be conducted using fine-scale tracking techniques and GPS technology on sympatric canids to investigate the potential for interactions between these two species to adequately determine if coyotes are displacing red foxes or if red foxes are simply self-selecting for more developed areas of urban landscapes"

Madison Wisconsin Study of how Coyotes and Red Foxes interact

watch a video of a North Carolina Coyote intrude upon a Red Fox family, but not kill or displace them

Coexistence of coyotes (Canis latrans) and red foxes (Vulpes vulpes) in an urban landscape

  • Published: January 24, 2018

About the Authors

Marcus A. Mueller
Affiliation Department of Forest and Wildlife Ecology, University of Wisconsin, Madison, Wisconsin, United States of America
David Drake
Affiliation Department of Forest and Wildlife Ecology, University of Wisconsin, Madison, Wisconsin, United States of America
Maximilian L. Allen

Affiliation Department of Forest and Wildlife Ecology, University of Wisconsin, Madison, Wisconsin, United States of America


Urban environments are increasing worldwide and are inherently different than their rural counterparts, with a variety of effects on wildlife due to human presence, increased habitat fragmentation, movement barriers, and access to anthropogenic food sources.

Red Fox in Wisconsin

 Effective management of urban wildlife requires an understanding of how urbanization affects their behavior and ecology. The spatial activity and interactions of urban wildlife, however, have not been as rigorously researched as in rural areas.
 From January 2015 to December 2016, we captured, radio-collared, and tracked 11 coyotes and 12 red foxes in Madison, WI. Within our study area, coyotes strongly selected home ranges with high proportions of natural areas; conversely, red foxes selected home ranges with open space and moderately developed areas. Use of highly developed areas best explained variation among individual home range sizes and inversely affected home range size for coyotes and red foxes.

Eastern Coyote in Wisconsin

Coyote and red fox home ranges showed some degree of spatial and temporal overlap, but generally appeared partitioned by habitat type within our study area. Coyotes and red foxes were both active at similar times of the day, but their movement patterns differed based on species-specific habitat use. This spatial partitioning may promote positive co-existence between these sympatric canids in urban areas, and our findings of spatial activity and interactions will better inform wildlife managers working in urban areas.

Coyote and Red Fox home ranges tend to
 be apart from eachother,,,,,,,,,,,some overlap, 
but minimal!

Note in Green natural area and red degrees of
 developed area.........Coyotes need some natural
 areas as refuge whereas the Foxes not requiring

A pair of Coyotes visited a Fox den nightly but did 
not displace or kill the Foxes

A Red Fox(red dot) and Coyote(green dot) hunted in
proximity of each other, without either disturbing
 the other                                                                          

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