Date of Award

2010

Degree Type

Thesis

Department

Biological, Geological and Environmental Sciences

First Advisor

Clapham, Wentworth

Subject Headings

Coyote -- Ohio -- Cleveland Metropolitan Park District, Coyote -- Habitat -- Ohio -- Cleveland Metropolitan Park District, Animal populations -- Ohio -- Cleveland Metropolitan Park District, Geographic information systems, Wildlife management -- Ohio -- Cleveland Metropolitan Park District, Habitat use, Eastern coyotes, Urban-parkland gradient, Coyote howl surveys, GIS, Cleveland Metroparks, Ecology, Management

Abstract

This study used coyote howl surveys combined with GIS to locate local coyote (Canis latrans) populations, determine the habitats where coyotes occur and estimate coyote group sizes in Bedford, North Chagrin and West Creek Reservations within the Cleveland Metroparks, Ohio. The CMP were established in 1917 and are the oldest park districts in the state of Ohio. There are 8,500 hectares (21,000 acres) of land in 16 reservations and in 2008 approximately 43,000,000 people visited the Cleveland Metroparks. Bedford, North Chagrin and West Creek Reservations have a mixture of park, forest, woodlots, residential neighborhoods, industrial areas, commercial property, open water, streams and wetlands. Coyotes have become the "top terrestrial predator" in northeastern North America and these animals are choosing to live in urban areas where humans are present and few natural habitats are available. Very little is known about the ecology and behavior of these elusive Canids around residential neighborhoods. I examined where coyotes actually lived along park boundaries. I performed howl surveys in Bedford, North Chagrin, and West Creek Reservations. Data were collected to determine coyote location, estimation of coyote group sizes and what types of habitats coyotes responded from. Overall, coyotes were heard 16.9 of the time when howl surveys were performed. Bedford Reservation had a minimum of 13 coyotes during winter months and 11 coyotes during the summer. It is believed that three coyote groups (Bedford, Cuyahoga Valley National Park and Walton Hills) were present around Bedford Reservation. North Chagrin Reservation had at least five coyotes during the winter and four coyotes in the summer months. West Creek Reservation had three coyotes respond to surveys in the winter and five coyotes replied during summer surveys. North Chagrin and West Creek Reservation each had one coyote group. Bedford Reservation coyote groups had similar responses during all three seasons (dispersal, breeding and pup-rearing). North Chagrin coy

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