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Pumpkin Center, NC, United States

McVey J.M.,North Carolina State University | Cobb D.T.,722 Mail Service Center | Powell R.A.,North Carolina State University | Stoskopf M.K.,North Carolina State University | And 3 more authors.
Journal of Mammalogy | Year: 2013

The recent co-occurrence of red wolves (Canis rufus) and coyotes (Canis latrans) in eastern North Carolina provides a unique opportunity to study prey partitioning by sympatric canids. We collected scats from this region and examined them for prey contents. We used fecal DNA analysis to identify which taxa deposited each scat and multinomial modeling designed for mark-recapture data to investigate diets of sympatric red wolves and coyotes. Diets of red wolves and coyotes did not differ, but the proportion of small rodents in the composite scats of both canids was greater in the spring than in the summer. White-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus), rabbits (Sylvilagus spp.), and small rodents were the most common diet items in canid scats. The similarity of diet between red wolves and coyotes suggests that these 2 species may be affecting prey populations similarly. © 2013 American Society of Mammalogists.

Dellinger J.A.,Auburn University | McVey J.M.,North Carolina State University | Cobb D.T.,722 Mail Service Center | Moorman C.E.,North Carolina State University
Wildlife Society Bulletin | Year: 2011

Differentiation between scats of sympatric canid species is important for determining speciesspecific presence and movements, but distinction in the field is difficult. We calculated upper and lower thresholds of scat diameters to distinguish between scats of red wolves (Canis rufus) and scats of coyotes (C. latrans) and coyote-wolf hybrids in the field, in North Carolina, USA, from February 2009 to March 2010. We used DNA genotyping to identify scats collected in the field and took diameter measurements of those scats. Based on normal-distribution probability functions of scat diameters, scats ≥29 mm in diameter were ≥95% certain to be of red wolf origin. Conversely, scats ≤14 mm in diameter were 95% certain to be of coyote or hybrid origin. Scats >14 mm and <29 mm in diameter could not be identified by diameter alone. We suggest these upper and lower thresholds of scat diameters be used in concert with other methods (e.g., DNA genotyping) to monitor for red wolf, coyote, and hybrid activity to help conserve a lone, freeranging population of wild red wolves. © 2011 The Wildlife Society.

Jeffrey Humphries W.,722 Mail Service Center | Sisson M.A.,722 Mail Service Center
Journal of Herpetology | Year: 2012

The Gopher Frog, Lithobates capito, is an endemic to upland, fire-maintained pine forests on the Southeastern Coastal Plain and requires open, isolated wetlands for breeding. This species has experienced drastic population declines because of habitat loss and degradation and now occurs only in scattered populations in the southern United States. We tracked the post-breeding movements and burrow use of 17 Gopher Frogs in the Sandhills of North Carolina using radio telemetry. Nine frogs were successfully tracked to summer refugia; the other eight frogs shed their transmitters or were killed by predators or fire during migration. Frogs traveled 0.5-3.5 km (mean = 1.3 km) between the breeding pond and a summer refugium. The 3.5-km movement is substantially longer than has been reported for Gopher Frogs before. Our results suggest that an area of 3,739 ha (9,239 acres) around breeding ponds is required to provide summer habitat for Gopher Frogs. Eight of nine frogs used holes associated with the stumps of longleaf pines for their summer refugia, and we documented fidelity to particular stumps, with one frog traveling long distances from breeding pond to the same summer refugium during two consecutive seasons. Frogs only made major movements during rainy nights. Prolonged presence on the forest floor during post-breeding migrations exposed frogs to prescribed fires conducted in the spring. Prescribed burning within several kilometers of Gopher Frog ponds should be conducted after mid-May to reduce adult mortality. © 2012 Society for the Study of Amphibians and Reptiles.

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