MORTALITY PATTERNS OF RADIO-MARKED COYOTES IN JACKSON HOLE, WYOMING
Coyote (Canis latrans) mortality was measured in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. The study area included portions of Grand Teton National Park, National Elk Refuge and Bridger-Teton National Forest. Coyote exploitation is prohibited on both the National Park and Refuge, environments minimally influenced by man. Ninety-two coyotes, 43 males and 49 females, at least 4 months of age or older, were captured during 5 trapping periods from December 1973 to September 1976. Coyotes were collared with radio telemetric transmitters which revealed geographic location and served as mortality indicators. Thirty-three pups ((LESSTHEQ) 7 weeks) were ear-tagged; two were subsequently captured and radio-marked. Forty-one radio-marked coyotes, 18 males and 23 females, were recovered. Only 1 ear-tagged pup was recovered. A positive linear relationship existed between recovery time (days) and age (years) at marking. Eighty-five % (N = 41) of the recoveries were during September through May. Ninety-three % of the mortalities were man-caused. Mortality causes of recovered coyotes included: shot, 80.5%; trapped, clubbed, snow-machined and starvation, 2.4%; road-killed and unknown, 4.9%. Annual (June to subsequent May) recovery rates were: 1974-75, 25% (N = 47); 1975-76, 5% (N = 18); and 1976-77, 40% (N = 25). Recovery rates from marking to recovery from the composite sample were: year 0, 26% (N = 90); year 1, 18% (N = 65); and year 2, 8% (N = 47). Shooting mortality rates (h(,x)) for the 0 years since marking class of the young-of-the-year Jackson Hole coyotes (0.4194) were compared to rates from Curlew Valley (0.3125) and Yellowstone National Park (0.2531). Mean total mortality rates (q) were: 0.7339, Curlew Valley; 0.5596, Yellowstone National Park; and 0.4561, Jackson Hole. The mean total mortality rate (q) was 0.3783 and the mean shooting mortality (h) was 0.2540 for Jackson Hole coyotes. Monthly survival rates were higher in 1975-76 that 1974-75. Female young-of-the-year survival was less (P = 0.03) for 1974-75 than 1975-76. There was no difference (P > 0.05) between years in survival rates for males or adult and yearling females. Estimates of areas of utilization (22 January 1975 to 22 April 1975) were computed for 19 coyotes. The mean area of utilization of 5 adult or yearling males was 35.5 km('2) (+OR-) 18.9, and for 13 adult or yearling females was 70.1 (+OR-) 80.3. Coyotes radio-marked primarily in Grand Teton National Park and the National Elk Refuge had mortality patterns similar to other coyote populations exploited by man.