Mammal Research

, Volume 64, Issue 1, pp 53–62 | Cite as

Response of two sympatric carnivores to human disturbances of their habitat: the bobcat and coyote

  • Minerva Flores-Morales
  • Jorge VázquezEmail author
  • Amando Bautista
  • Luisa Rodríguez-Martínez
  • Octavio Monroy-VilchisEmail author
Original Paper


Information about human land uses, producing the least impact on wildlife and their habitats, is crucial to develop management strategies allowing coexistence between human beings and wildlife. We investigated the responses of the bobcat (Lynx rufus) and the coyote (Canis latrans) to different types of human activity by assessing the abundance, habitat use, and activity patterns of these species in response to extraction of firewood, grazing, and crop farming within their habitat. Photographic records of both carnivores were obtained from 18 camera-trap stations, distributed evenly within these three types of habitat disturbances. The highest relative abundance index for both carnivores was obtained at firewood extraction sites, followed by grazing sites, and croplands. The probability of carnivore sightings varied between species by type of disturbance and by season. The probability of bobcat sightings was highest within firewood extraction sites, with no effect of season, whereas that of the coyote was highest during winter, with no effect of type of human disturbance. An analysis of habitat use revealed that both carnivores avoided cropland sites. Activity patterns were similar, which suggests an absence of temporal segregation between these species; moreover, the activity patterns of both carnivores seems to be affected by intensity of human activities. Preference for woodland habitats by both carnivores denotes that firewood extraction is the disturbance that least affects bobcat and coyote populations; therefore, this kind of human activity could be the least impacting type of disturbance for the coexistence between humans and these carnivore species.


Abundance Habitat use Activity pattern Camera-traps 



We express our gratitude to D López, CA. Morales, HM. Castro, and I. Montes for their valuable aid in the field work; to F. Aguilar, JA. Fargallo, H. Rödel, and R. Beamonte for their comments during the statistical analysis; and to Kurt Leroy Hoffman for language editing.

Funding information

This research received financial support with grants from the Consejo Nacional de Ciencia y Tecnología (CONACYT 321834), project CONACYT 101254, Posgrado Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México of. CPCB/127/12 2012, Posgrado de Ciencias Biológicas, Universidad Autónoma de Tlaxcala, Volkswagen de México (“Volkswagen: Por amor al planeta” program, 2013–2015), and Programa Integral de Fortalecimiento Institucional (PIFI) 2013-29MSU00134-04.


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Copyright information

© Mammal Research Institute, Polish Academy of Sciences, Białowieża, Poland 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Doctorado en NeuroetologíaUniversidad VeracruzanaXalapaMexico
  2. 2.Licenciatura en Ciencias AmbientalesUniversidad Autónoma de TlaxcalaTlaxcalaMexico
  3. 3.Centro Tlaxcala de Biología de la ConductaUniversidad Autónoma de TlaxcalaTlaxcalaMexico
  4. 4.Centro de Investigación en Ciencias Biológicas AplicadasUniversidad Autónoma del Estado de MéxicoTolucaMexico

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