Masters Thesis

Desert Kit Fox (Vulp+D48es macrotis arsipus) food habits and competitive interactions with Coyotes (Canis latrans) in the Mojave Desert

My results suggest that Desert Kit Foxes in the Mojave Desert in California prefer to consume rodents and invertebrates, but will prey upon a variety of other items, especially when preferred prey has declined due to drought or seasonal conditions. Overall, my study supported the scientific consensus that kit foxes are specialists on heteromyid rodents. Invertebrate prey, though, does provide an important supplement when rodent prey is less available. For Coyotes, the most frequently occurring items consumed were rodents and lagomorphs. Thus, Desert Kit Foxes and Coyotes did eat many of the same prey items throughout the study which could promote exploitative competition, but they did so in varying frequencies depending on the year and season.

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