An ENR Graduate Exit Seminar will be presented by Evan Wilson on Wednesday, May 30th, beginning at 10:00 a.m. in 333C Kottman Hall. His presentation will be The Effects of Sarcoptic Mange on an Urban Coyote (Canis latrans) Population.
Coyotes (Canis latrans) are the top predator common to the metropolitan Chicago area, as well as other urban areas throughout North America. As such, coyotes play an important role in the dynamics of the urban ecosystem. Coyotes have increasingly come into conflict with humans as both human and coyote populations have increased in the areas surrounding major cities. Sarcoptic mange is an important disease of coyotes throughout their range, and is capable of epizootics with high prevalence and mortality rates. While previous research has examined sarcoptic mange in rural coyote populations, host-parasite dynamics in urban ecosystems can differ from those in rural ecosystems. Hunting and trapping is a major factor of mortality in rural systems that is largely absent from urban areas. Additionally, previous studies have provided evidence that sarcoptic mange infection may play a role in human-coyote conflict in urban systems. Between 2000 and 2011, 310 coyotes were captured and radio-collared. The movements and disease status of these animals were monitored via radio telemetry. Sarcoptic mange is enzootic in the Chicago area and was the leading cause of disease related mortality in this system. Annual incidence of sarcoptic mange was relatively low and steady throughout the study, though sarcoptic mange accounted for a high percentage of mortality during winter months. While mange-infected coyotes avoided urban habitats similarly to uninfected individuals, there were increases in residential habitat used by individuals during the 60-day time period just prior to death.
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