• Wind Cave National Park - Two Worlds

    Wind Cave

    National Park South Dakota

Diseases - Coyote Study (tularemia, canine distemper, and sylvatic plague)

Weighing a Coyote

Weighing a Coyote

NPS Photo

Superintendent Linda L. Stoll announced today the beginning of a two-a-half year study to learn more about the park’s coyote population. This study, conducted by Jamie Chronert, a master’s student from South Dakota State University (SDSU) in Brookings, involves capturing fifteen to twenty coyotes using padded foothold traps set throughout the park.

Captured animals will be fitted with radio collars to allow their movement to be monitored. They will also be measured, weighed, and blood samples taken. These samples will be analyzed at the Animal Disease Diagnostic Laboratory at South Dakota State University for tularemia, canine distemper, and sylvatic plague.

 
Taking a Blood Sample from a Coyote

Taking a Blood Sample from a Coyote

NPS Photo

The objectives of this study are to evaluate coyote home range and habitat use, food habits, denning behavior, and population size. Biological Science Technician Barbara Muenchau said, “This study will provide us better information about one of the park’s main predators and allow us to use this knowledge with other on-going research.”

Did You Know?

A picture of Alvin McDonald in his caving hat.

Alvin McDonald was the first systematic explorer of Wind Cave. He explored the cave from 1890 until his death in 1893. More...