Another issue in the CVNP is the high density of white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus).
I collected scats opportunistically when encountered throughout the CVNP. Initially I focused on identifying any positive sign of coyote presence in the parks because this was the basis of my graduate research.
In conclusion, this study should be considered a compilation of the general diet composition of coyotes in the CVNP from February 1998-March 1999.
The majority of diet items identified in coyote scats collected in the CVNP from February 1998-March 1999 were mammalian.
I did witness over 10 occurrences of coyotes feeding on deer that had been hit by vehicles along the many roads that pass through the CVNP. This was determined through evidence found during snow tracking and from personal observations at other times in the study.
I also did not find evidence of coyotes feeding on any domestic animals during any of my surveys in the CVNP. I did however find evidence of squirrels, eastern cottontail, small mammals, and white-tailed deer being fed upon by coyotes in the CVNP.
Raccoons are common in the CVNP, but a raccoon is substantial prey in comparison to eastern cottontail, and small mammals.
Coyote diet in the CVNP should continue to be monitored and further examined.
In contrast, increases in prey numbers may also precede an increase in coyote reproduction, resulting in future effects on the CVNP and surrounding communities.