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).


Other Identifier


Knowledge Network for Biocomplexity (KNB) Identifier


Document Type



This dataset was originally published on the Long Term Ecological Research (LTER) Network Data Portal,, and potentially via other repositories or portals as described. The Digital Object Identifier (DOI) of the source data package is doi:10.6073/pasta/cab0801fbe7e76bc03ae1bd1eee8c044, and may be accessed at Metadata and files included in this record mirror as closely as possible the source data and documentation, with the provenance metadata and quality report generated by the LTER portal reproduced here as '*-provenance.xml' and *-report.html' files, respectively.


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. Datasets must be cited as in the example provided. A copy of any publications using these data must be supplied to the Sevilleta LTER Information Manager. By downloading any data you implicitly acknowledge the LTER Data Policy (


SEV LTER, Department of Biology, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM, 87131


Temporal coverage

1992-01-01 - 1994-07-01

Spatial coverage

Location: 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.Landform: McKenzie Flats is a broad, nearly flat grassland plain between the Los Pinos Mountains and the breaks on the east side of the Rio Grande., Geology: Deep (20,000 ft) alluvial and aeolian deposits., Soils: Turney Series: fine-loamy, mixed, thermic Typic Calciorthids. Berino Series: fine-loamy, mixed, thermic Typic Haplargids., Hydrology: Surface water only during rain events, no arroyos. Run-on plain for Los Pinos Mountains., Vegetation: The terrain is generally a mixed-species desert grassland, dominated by black grama (Bouteloua eriopoda), blue grama (B. gracilis), sand muhly (Muhlenbergia arenicola), various drop seeds and sacatons (Sporobolus spp.), purple three-awn (Aristida purpurea), and burrow grass (Scleropogon brevifolia). Shrubs are common in the area around Five Points, including creosote bush (Larrea tridentata) and snakeweed (Gutierrezia sarothrae)., Climate: Long-term mean annual precipitation is 243 mm, about 60% of which occurs during the summer. Long-term mean monthly temperatures for January and July are 1.5 degrees C and 25.1 degrees C, respectively., History: McKenzie Flats encompasses an area of approximately 50 square miles and was one of the primary livestock grazing areas within what is now the Sevilleta NWR. Cattle have been excluded from the site since 1974-76. The ranch headquarters buildings and corrals were located at the junction of Legs C and D of the coyote survey, siteid: 25



Permanent URL

knb-lter-sev.112.85597-metadata.html (67 kB)
Show full metadata

knb-lter-sev.112.85597-provenance.xml (3 kB)
Show provenance metadata

knb-lter-sev.112.85597-report.html (26 kB)
Show original LTER Network Data Portal ingest report

sev112_coyotedens_01062009.txt (1 kB)
Data in TXT format


Article Location