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Mississippi State University

Coyote (Canis latrans)

Movement and Activity


Sex and season interacted to influence movement rates (P = 0.025) were noted, thus, we constructed 6 sex-season treatment combinations for movement rates. Females during whelping-pup rearing moved at greater rates (733.6 m/hr) than other sex-season combinations. Movement rates differed across periods (P <0.001). Coyotes moved at greater rates during nocturnal periods (654.3 m/hr) than during crepuscular (483.1 m/hr) or diurnal periods (430.4 m/hr).

Mean percentage activity did not differ between sexes (P = 0.979) or across seasons (P = 0.932). However, percentage activity differed across periods (P = 0.001). Coyotes were more active during nocturnal (74%) and crepuscular periods (62%) than during diurnal periods (46%).


Previous studies have reported a lack of sex-related differences in movement rates. In fact, studies in the southeastern United States have reported that females moved at greatest rates during pup-rearing, suggesting that increasing movements may be related to an increased need to provide food for growing pups. Our data support this contention, as female movements during whelping-pup rearing were greater than any other sex-season combination on TWMA and GP. Increased movements from females during whelping-pup rearing may result from females increasing movements or hunting efforts when feeding pups. Additionally, previous research has reported coyotes to be most active at night; similarly, coyotes on TWMA and GP were most active during crepuscular and nocturnal periods.

Studies in western areas of coyote range have reported that coyote populations often contain transients. Coyotes monitored on TWMA and GP support these findings as 34% of the coyotes we radiomarked left the study area or were unable to be located. Additionally, transient or dispersing coyotes on TWMA and GP often moved considerable distances, similar to findings in other areas of the species' geographic range. This suggests that local control measures may be ineffective, as populations with a high proportion of transients witnesses a rapid filling of territories vacated by removed animals.