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Do You Hear What I Hear? Human Perception of Coyote Group Size

By Kyle Brewster, Scott E. Henke, Alfonso Ortega, John Tomecek, Benjamin Turner

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Recordings of 1 – 4 coyotes (Canis latrans) that were howling and yip-yapping were played to 427 participants who were asked to estimate the number of coyotes they perceived to hear. Participants were separated by gender (M or F), age group ( 35), resident location (urban, suburban, or rural), and occupation type (rancher/farmer or non-rancher/farmer). Differences between participants concerning gender, age group, resident location, and occupation type were not observed; however, treatment differences were observed. Participants were able to discern differences in the number of coyotes howling with the addition of each coyote; however, participants consistently overestimated the number of coyotes they heard by nearly 2-fold. Thus, it seems the general public has the perception that coyotes are more abundant than they actually are.


Marcy Wilhelm-South

Purdue University

Date 2017
Publication Title Human-Wildlife Interactions
Volume 11
Issue 2
Pages 8
DOI 10.26077/ajxc-g248
Language English
Additional Language English
Cite this work

Researchers should cite this work as follows:

  1. Animal roles
  2. Coyotes
  3. Occupations and Professions
  4. open access
  5. perceptions
  6. residence
  7. Texas
  8. vocalizations
  9. Wild animals
  1. open access