Wednesday 14 August 2019

City coyotes' poor diets could make them more aggressive, study suggests

AUGUST 8, 2019

by Bev Betkowski, University of Alberta
City coyotes' garbage-based diets are affecting their gut bacteria and that could affect how they interact with humans, new University of Alberta research shows.
"It could possibly promote aggressive behavior," said Scott Sugden, who conducted the research to earn his master's degree in science.
In analyzing the gut microbiome of 76 urban and suburban coyotes, Sugden found urban coyotes were surviving on a protein-poor diet that lacked game native to their natural diets, like rodents and deer.
Stomach contents revealed scrounged meals that included leather gloves, a still-wrapped burrito, fast food wrappers, even a chunk of pineapple.
"There's not much nutrition there for a carnivore," said Sugden.
Alongside this change in diet,the microbiome of the coyotes contained less of one specific bacterial group, Fusobacterium. Lower abundances of these bacteria have been loosely associated with aggression in dogs, so the same possibility exists for their wild canine relatives, he said.

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