Wildlife Tech Class of 2014
Mamaroneck High School
Mentors: MRG Staff and Suzanne Clemente (Pace University)
Project: Activity Period of Coyotes and Other Meso-Predators Along an Urban-Rural Gradient
Project Status: Completed
From January 2012 to February 2013, Carolyn helped Gorge staff run camera traps in 16 parks and protected preserves in New York City (NYC) to investigate the distribution and activity patterns of Canis latrans (coyote) in the NYC metropolitan area. Carolyn used these data to examine seasonal variations in park occupancy and diel variations in activity. Coyotes were detected 538 times over the 13.5 month survey period and were found in all Bronx County parks surveyed at least part of the year.
The graph below shows the rate of coyote photographs per hour of trapping in each solar phase (dawn, day, dusk, night) and season.
Carolyn concluded that coyotes in NYC are primarily nocturnal and crepuscular, corroborating results of earlier studies on urban coyotes, likely due to avoidance of human activity. Additionally, coyotes were found in fewer parks in the summer than in the fall and winter; this pattern suggests a range reduction around denning sites during the pup-rearing season.