New research suggests industrial development is helping coyotes move into wolverine country and edge out the rare carnivore despite its fierce reputation.
Lead researcher Gillian Chow-Fraser of the University of Victoria says it’s another example of how human activity on a landscape has far-reaching consequences for all the animals living on it.
Chow-Fraser and her colleagues used data collected by camera traps in two areas of Alberta — the relatively untouched Willmore Wilderness Area and Kananaskis Country, which is heavily used by industry and outdoor enthusiasts.
Chow-Fraser says coyotes and wolverines wouldn’t normally mix, but she found that along disturbances like roads and cutlines coyotes were three times more likely to interact with wolverines.
She says coyotes are so numerous they’re pushing out the wolverines, which are already believed to be in decline across Canada.
The study is published in the journal Biological Conservation.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 19, 2022.