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2021

All Graduate Theses and Dissertations, Spring 1920 to Summer 2023

Desert Ecology

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Dietary Shifts Related To Water Availability And The Demographic Response To Changing Prey Abundance Of Carnivores In The West Desert, Utah, Ashley E. Hodge Aug 2021

Dietary Shifts Related To Water Availability And The Demographic Response To Changing Prey Abundance Of Carnivores In The West Desert, Utah, Ashley E. Hodge

All Graduate Theses and Dissertations, Spring 1920 to Summer 2023

The decrease in number and range of North American large carnivores, has often all owed smaller carnivores ( < 15 kg) to fill the role of the top predator. This has favored some carnivores such as coyotes (Canis latrans), who have expanded their distribution. Other small carnivores such as kit foxes (Vulpes macrotis) have experienced a range shrinkage and their population status throughout the United States is a concern. Historically, western U.S. natural resource management agencies installed artificial water sources to assist desert wildlife, but some researchers believe the access to water allowed more coyotes to live in Utah’s West Desert. In the late-1980s, research proposed that without free drinking water, coyotes would have to triple …