Evidence for the Use of Vocalization to Coordinate the Killing of a White-Tailed Deer, Odocoileus virginianus, by Coyotes, Canis latrans

Erich M. Muntz, Brent R. Patterson


Among the social canids, howling is largely accepted as playing a role in territory maintenance. However, its role in communication within packs, such as announcing departures from den and rendezvous sites and coordinating reunions or movements, remains largely speculative. We report an observation where a radio-collared adult male Coyote (Canis latrans) and his mate seemed to summon two other Coyotes (presumed to be their offspring) from ~700 m away to join in the successful pursuit of an adult male White-tailed Deer (Odocoileus virginianus). Our observation suggests that Coyotes can use vocalization as an effective means of coordinating social activities such as the hunting of large prey.


Eastern Coyote; Canis latrans; predation; vocalization; acoustic communication; social organization; Nova Scotia

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.22621/cfn.v118i2.930

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