Skip to Content (Press Enter)

Biological Science Graduate Studied Diet of Coyotes in Agricultural Areas

Share This:

Coyotes are common throughout California, including in suburban areas, where we have recently learned a lot about their food habits. In contrast, Jessica Nonora’s undergraduate research project quantified the diet of coyotes from rural agricultural areas, using conventional stomach contents analysis, as well as stable isotope analysis to determine what types of foods are actually assimilated into their tissues.

Following strict safety protocols, Jessica, a biological science major, worked diligently in the lab throughout the pandemic lockdown, dissecting coyote stomachs, collecting tissue for chemical analysis off-campus and identifying prey remains. As in suburban areas, rural coyotes have a very diverse diet of mostly small vertebrates, but they also appear to eat a lot of insects and field crops, such as almonds and grapes. Jessica is awaiting stable isotope results from the lab, but she reported her findings to date in the College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics’ undergraduate research journal Dimensions. 

 — Submitted by Paul Stapp, professor of biological science 

Debra Cano Ramos