Foraging and Spatial Ecology of Red Wolves (Canis rufus) in Northeastern North Carolina
Type of Degreethesis
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Red wolves (Canis rufus) are critically endangered, with <150 individuals in the only wild population. I collected scats (fecal deposits) of red wolves from that population for 2 consecutive pup-rearing seasons. Packs consumed most species of mammals that were available to them. Generally, packs selected adults and fawns of white-tailed deer. Packs with pups exhibited greater dietary diversity and evenness than packs without pups. Packs appear to be foraging on naturally occurring prey items within a human-altered landscape. I developed resource-selection functions using data obtained from radio-collared red wolves to examine selection of resources. Generally, packs selected agricultural and fallow fields relative to forested, pocosin, and wetland habitat types, and areas near dirt roads, away from water, and with few humans. Factors used to analyze selection of habitat were scale dependent in red wolves.