The coyote (Canis latrans), the gray wolf (Canis lupus), and the red fox (Vulpes vulpes) are all known to be ecologically significant predators. All three are widely known canine species ranging in size, but also share similarities due to their close taxonomic relationship. Yet, they have many notable differences as a result of adapting to different drivers of speciation, such as competition or food source availability. Further, it is my goal to determine if there are differences in their daily activity patterns which have previously been observed as crepuscular. Data used for my research was collected using camera traps from the Snapshot USA project located in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. By running a chi square test, I determined that coyotes are nocturnal, however, the red fox and gray wolf are indeterminant, or cathemeral. Studying daily activity patterns is vital to understanding a species ecological role and impact on their environment. Further research could determine how species activity patterns have impacted various wildlife populations and communities, as well as potential ecological drivers and disturbances that have caused these activity patterns.
Dr. Diana Lafferty
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Hinshaw, Trinity E., "Activity pattern variation of three canine species in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula" (2021). Celebration of Student Scholarship. 29.