Summary Information
Coyote Scat Survey in the Chihuahuan Desert Grasslands and Creosote Shrublands at the Sevilleta National Wildlife Refuge, New Mexico (1992-2004)
Creator:
Individual: Robert Parmenter
Organization: Valles Caldera National Preserve
Physical Address:
Delivery Address: P.O. Box 359, 090 Villa Louis Martin
City: Jemez Springs
Locality: NM
Postal Code: 87025
Phone: US
Email: bparmenter@vallescaldera.gov
Metadata Provider:
Individual: Information Manager Sevilleta LTER
Physical Address:
Delivery Address: 1 University of New Mexico
City: Albuquerque
Postal Code: 87131
Phone: US
Phone: (505) 277-2109
Phone: (505) 277.5355
Email: data-use@sevilleta.unm.edu
Associated Party:
Individual: Robert Parmenter
Organization: Valles Caldera National Preserve
Physical Address:
Delivery Address: P.O. Box 359, 090 Villa Louis Martin
City: Jemez Springs
Locality: NM
Postal Code: 87025
Phone: US
Email: bparmenter@vallescaldera.gov
Role: data manager
Associated Party:
Individual: Robert Parmenter
Organization: Valles Caldera National Preserve
Physical Address:
Delivery Address: P.O. Box 359, 090 Villa Louis Martin
City: Jemez Springs
Locality: NM
Postal Code: 87025
Phone: US
Email: bparmenter@vallescaldera.gov
Role: field crew
Associated Party:
Individual: John Dewitt
Physical Address:
Phone: US
Role: field crew
Publication Date: 2011-02-17
Language: English
Abstract:
This study measured the population dynamics of coyotes in the grasslands and creosote shrublands of McKenzie Flats, Sevilleta National Wildlife Refuge. The study was begun in January, 1992, and continued quarterly each year.  Coyotes were sampled via scat counts along the roads of McKenzie Flats during winter, spring, summer, and fall of each year. The entire road transect was 21.5 miles in length. Scat counts over a week period (number of scats/mile/day) in each season along the roads were used to calculate the densities of coyotes (number of coyotes per square kilometer). Results from 1992 to 2002 indicated that autumn was the peak density period of the year, with generally steady declines through the year until the following autumn. Coyote populations appeared to fluctuate seasonally, but remained relatively stable at 0.27 +/- 0.03 (SE) coyotes per km2 during summer periods (this likely represents the "breeding pair" density, during which coyote pairs have set up territories and are raising young, but the pups have not as yet joined the parents in foraging activities).
Keywords:
Keyword: populations
Keyword Thesaurus: Core Areas
Keywords:
Keyword: populations
Keyword: seasonality
Keyword: transects
Keyword: roads
Keyword: deserts
Keyword: grasslands
Keyword Thesaurus: LTER Controlled Vocabulary
Additional Information:
The samples (scats) were collected in winter, spring, summer, and fall, of each year.  Scats were collected from the road once at the beginning of a collection period, and once at the end (usually, one week later) during each of these four seasons per year. Months of collection varied in some years, but generally the sampling was conducted in January, April, July, and October. The study began in January, 1992, and is continuing.
Intellectual Rights:
Data Policies
This dataset is released to the public and may be freely downloaded. Please keep the designated contact person informed of any plans to use the dataset. Consultation or collaboration with the original investigators is strongly encouraged. Publications and data products that make use of the dataset must include proper acknowledgement of the Sevilleta LTER. A copy of any publications using these data must be supplied to the Sevilleta LTER Information Manager.
Distribution:
Online:
URL: http://sevdeims-d.lternet.edu/data/sev-49
Coverage:
Geographic Goverage:
Geographic Description: McKenzie Flats is located within the northeastern section of the Sevilleta NWR, encompassing an area from Black Butte south to Palo Duro Canyon and east to the Los Pinos.
Bounding Coordinates:
West Bounding Coordinates: -106.691
East Bounding Coordinates: -106.691
North Bounding Coordinates: 34.3592
South Bounding Coordinates: 34.3592
Bounding Altitude:
Altitude Minimum: 1615
Altitude Maximum: 1615
Altitude Units: meter
Geographic Goverage:
Geographic Description: The Black Butte Mixed Grass site is located just inside the gate and to the south of Black Butte. This site is grassland, characterized by Oryzopsis hymenoides, Sporobolus giganteus, Sporobolus flexuosus, Bouteloua eriopoda, and occasional shrubs, including Gutierrezia sarothrae and Yucca glauca.  Forbs include Senecio douglasii, Baileyi multiradiata, and Sphaeralcea spp. This site contains the fertilizer study plots, which are located less than one mile from the Black Butte gate on the east side of the road to Five Points.
Bounding Coordinates:
West Bounding Coordinates: -106.683
East Bounding Coordinates: -106.683
North Bounding Coordinates: 34.408
South Bounding Coordinates: 34.408
Bounding Altitude:
Altitude Minimum: 1666
Altitude Maximum: 1666
Altitude Units: meter
Geographic Goverage:
Geographic Description: Five Points is the area which encompasses the Five Points Black Grama and Five Points Creosote Core study sites and falls along the transition between Chihuahuan Desert Scrub and Desert Grassland habitats. Both sites are subject to intensive research activity, including NPP measurement, phenology observation, pollinator diversity studies, and ground dwelling arthropod and rodent population assessments. There are drought rain-out shelters in both the Black Grama and Creosote sites, as well as the mixed-ecotone, with co-located ET Towers.
Bounding Coordinates:
West Bounding Coordinates: -106.717
East Bounding Coordinates: -106.717
North Bounding Coordinates: 34.3381
South Bounding Coordinates: 34.3381
Bounding Altitude:
Altitude Minimum: 1615
Altitude Maximum: 1615
Altitude Units: meter
Geographic Goverage:
Geographic Description: Palo Duro Canyon is south of Five-Points and McKenzie Flats. Research in the area has included core vegetation line-intercept transects, re-sampling historic BLM vegetation transects, paleoecological studies of packrat middens, vegetation monitoring of the northern-most ocotillo population, and, most recently, the Very Large Moisture Array.  A posrtion of the bird community assessment project was also located here.
Bounding Coordinates:
West Bounding Coordinates: -106.717
East Bounding Coordinates: -106.717
North Bounding Coordinates: 34.299
South Bounding Coordinates: 34.299
Bounding Altitude:
Altitude Minimum: 1650
Altitude Maximum: 1650
Altitude Units: meter
Temporal Coverage:
Date Range:
Begin Date:
Calendar Date: 1992-01-24
End Date:
Calendar Date: 2004-07-12
Purpose:
The purpose of the study was to assess the dynamics of coyote populations in the grasslands and creosote shrublands of the Sevilleta NWR. Coyotes are important predators and omnivores in these habitats, feeding on a wide variety of vertebrates, arthropods, and plants. Populations of prey species may be controlled to some extent by coyote predation, in which case coyotes may have significant influences on the biodiversity and species composition of the desert grassland ecosystem.
Contact:
Position Title: Information Manager
Organization: LTER Network Office
Physical Address:
Delivery Address: UNM Biology Department, MSC03-2020
Delivery Address: 1 University of New Mexico
City: Albuquerque
Locality: NM
Postal Code: 87131-0001
Phone: USA
Phone: 505 277-2535
Phone: 505 277-2541
Email: tech-support@lternet.edu
URL: http://www.lternet.edu
Contact:
Individual: Information Manager Sevilleta LTER
Physical Address:
Delivery Address: 1 University of New Mexico
City: Albuquerque
Postal Code: 87131
Phone: US
Phone: (505) 277-2109
Phone: (505) 277.5355
Email: data-use@sevilleta.unm.edu
Publisher:
Organization: Sevilleta Long Term Ecological Research (LTER) Project
URL: http://sev.lternet.edu
Publication Place: Sevilleta LTER
Method Step:
Description:
Sampling Design:   The scats were sampled along 21.5 miles of roadway that was broken up into four "legs" of varying lengths. Leg A: Black Butte southward to Five Points (5.7 miles). Leg B: Five Points eastward to the turnoff before Palo Duro Canyon (4.1 miles). Leg C: Palo Duro turnoff northward to the old McKenzie Headquarters site (6.1 miles). Leg D: McKenzie Headquarters site northwestward to Black Butte (5.6 miles). Sample Unit:   Each scat was the unit of sample. Frequency of Sampling:   Sampled one week per season, four seasons per year. Sample Size:   Variable, depending on scat abundance. Technique Citations:   Knowlton, Frederick F. 1984.  Feasibility of Assessing Coyote Abundance on Small Areas.  Unpublished Report, 14 pp. Measurement Techniques:  The number of scats deposited by coyotes per mile of roadway per day in a typical western basin-and-range landscape has been shown to be correlated with the absolute density of coyotes. Therefore, the objective was to measure the deposition rate of coyote scats on the roads of McKenzie Flats. The process involved two samplings along the roads.  The first sampling involved the "clearing" of scats from the 21.5 mile survey route, so as to initialize the roadway with zero scats.  On the assigned day, the technician would drive an ATV slowly (less than 5 miles per hour) along the route.  When a coyote scat was observed, the technician would stop and pick up the scat, placing it into a zip-lock plastic bag that was labeled with the date and the "leg" letter.  Each "leg" was bagged separately.  The odometer reading of the scat location was recorded on the data sheet.  If more than one scat was observed at the same place, the number of scats was recorded as well. For health and safety, the technician wore gloves during this process, or used tongs or a small trowell to pick up the scats and place them into the bag.  When using the ATV, the technician wore a safety helmet. During the early sampling periods (1992 to 1993), prior to the acquisition of the ATV in 1994, scats were collected by two technicians in a pick-up truck. One technician would drive, and the other would ride on the engine hood above the bumper, and scan the road as the truck was driven slowly along the road.  When a scat was observed, the driver would stop the truck while the rider would collect the scat.  The same data were recorded as described above. One week following the "road clearing" survey, a second collection took place.  The scats were sampled in the same fashion as before, but each scat was placed individually in a labelled small zip-lock plastic bag.  Again, odometer readings were taken at the point of collection.  Multiple scats from the same location were placed in separate plastic bags. The scats were then returned to the field station, and placed in freezers for preservation pending analysis of dietary items. Analytical Procedures:  Density values were computed as numbers of individuals per square kilometer.  According to F. Knowlton (see reference above), the relationship between absolute densities of coyotes (x-value, independent variable) and the number of scats per night per mile x 100 (y-value, dependent variable) is:     Y = 2.66 + 11.42X, r2 = 0.97, n = 8 Transforming this equation for computing densities of coyotes from numbers of scats for each "leg" of the survey, and converting these values to numbers of coyotes per square kilometer, the coyote density equations for each survey "leg" are as follows:      D = Density of coyotes/km2,  N = Total Number of Scats Collected/Leg                                        after a 7-day period.     Leg A (5.7 miles):   D = [0.2195(N) - 0.2329]/2.59     Leg B (4.1 miles):   D = [0.3052(N) - 0.2329]/2.59     Leg C (6.1 miles):   D = [0.2052(N) - 0.2329]/2.59     Leg D (5.6 miles):   D = [0.2235(N) - 0.2329]/2.59
Data Table:
Entity Name: sev049_coyotescat_20160302.csv
Entity Description: Data for SEV049
Object Name: sev049_coyotescat_20160302.csv
Size: 109321
Data Format:
Text Format:
Number of Header Lines: 1
Record Delimiter: \r\n
Attribute Orientation: column
Simple Delimited:
Field Delimiter: ,
Quote Character: "
Distribution:
Online:
URL: https://pasta.lternet.edu/package/data/eml/knb-lter-sev/49/130519/972da483dd7ef50750b2aa5eed3e3435
Coverage:
Temporal Coverage:
Date Range:
Begin Date:
Calendar Date: 1992-01-24
End Date:
Calendar Date: 2002-07-31
Attribute List:
Attribute Name: year
Attribute Label: year
Attribute Definition: The year in which data was collected.
Storage Type: date
Measurement Scale:
Datetime:
Format String: YYYY
Attribute Name: month
Attribute Label: month
Attribute Definition: The month in which data were collected.
Storage Type: date
Measurement Scale:
Datetime:
Format String: MM
Attribute Name: day
Attribute Label: day
Attribute Definition: The day of the month in which data were collected.
Storage Type: date
Measurement Scale:
Datetime:
Format String: DD
Attribute Name: run
Attribute Label: run
Attribute Definition: One of two road surveys per season.
Storage Type: string
Measurement Scale:
Nominal:
Non Numeric Domain:
Enumerated Domain:
Code Definition:
Code: 1
Definition: clearing the roads of scats
Code Definition:
Code: 2
Definition: collecting the scats after one week
Attribute Name: leg
Attribute Label: leg
Attribute Definition: One of four sections of road transect.
Storage Type: string
Measurement Scale:
Nominal:
Non Numeric Domain:
Text Domain:
Definition: One of four sections of road transect.
Attribute Name: mileage
Attribute Label: mileage
Attribute Definition: Distance from start of transect to observation as measured using a truck odometer.
Measurement Scale:
Ratio:
Unit:
Standard Unit: mile
Numeric Domain:
Number Type: real
Attribute Name: #scat
Attribute Label: #scat
Attribute Definition: The number of scats collected at a particular spot.
Storage Type: string
Measurement Scale:
Nominal:
Non Numeric Domain:
Text Domain:
Definition: The number of scats collected at a particular spot.
Attribute Name: comment
Attribute Label: comment
Attribute Definition: Comments about a sampling period
Storage Type: string
Measurement Scale:
Nominal:
Non Numeric Domain:
Text Domain:
Definition: Comments about a sampling period