Behaviour 2019
Effects of foraging mode on the behavior of captive coyotes
Mitchell A. Parsons1,2, Andrew C. Garcia2, Julie K. Young1,2. 1Utah State University Department of Wildland Resources, Logan, Utah, United States; 2USDA National Wildlife Research Center Predator Research Facility, Millville, Utah, United States

Foraging is an essential behavior with the potential to influence animal behavior and evolution. Many species consume a variety of resources that require different foraging modes. This diversity could affect animal behavior, as foraging modes could alter energy needs and require adeptness in different behaviors. We investigated the behavioral impacts of foraging modes of captive coyotes (Canis latrans). We presented eight mated pairs of coyotes with the same diet under two treatments: scavenging or hunting. Four pairs of scavenging coyotes were scatter fed six days per week. Four pairs of hunting coyotes were fed using a mobile prey model three days per week and scatter fed three days per week. We evaluated behavioral budgets, boldness, and innovation using focal observations, novel objects, and puzzle boxes over one year. Only two hunting pairs pursued the prey model. Hunting coyotes showed an increase in resting behavior compared to scavenging coyotes. A hunting coyote was the only coyote to solve the puzzle box and interact with novel objects. Our findings indicate that foraging mode impacts animal behavior, but our conclusions were limited by low participation by coyotes.