The University of Georgia and WRD recently began a four-year cooperative study into the effects of coyotes on fawns, and it will result in a significant reduction of coyotes on two middle Georgia WMAs.
“We know from previous research that coyotes are having some impact on Southeastern deer herds,” said Dr. Karl Miller, professor of wildlife ecology and management at The University of Georgia. “To determine the extent of that impact, we first need to generate reliable estimates of coyote populations.”
DNA found in deposited scats will be used to identify individual coyotes. Researchers will also evaluate the seasonal diet of coyotes and assess the extent to which they impact fawn recruitment by conducting an intensive coyote removal at B. F. Grant and Cedar Creek WMAs.
Graduate students began work on the two WMAs earlier this fall by conducting trail-camera surveys. These surveys will be done repeatedly throughout the study to assess fawn-to-doe ratios before and after the coyote removal. Later this winter, they plan to begin monitoring coyote abundance by setting up scent station and scat deposition transects that will traverse nearly 24,000 acres.