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Individual study: The effect of randomly altering the time and location of feeding on the behaviour of captive coyotes (Canis latrans)

Published source details

Gilbert-Norton L.B., Leaver L.A. & Shivik J.A. (2009) The effect of randomly altering the time and location of feeding on the behaviour of captive coyotes (Canis latrans). Applied Animal Behaviour Science, 120, 179-185


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Carnivores: Provide food on a random temporal schedule Management of Captive Animals

A replicated, before-and-after controlled study in 2009 of coyotes Canis latrans in a research centre in the USA [2], found that when fed using automated feeders on an unpredictable schedule, marking and howling behaviour increased compared to a predictable schedule. Frequency of marking behaviour (118 events/observation session) and howling behaviour (81 events/observation session) was higher when fed using an unpredictable regime compared to a predictable regime (marking: 42; howling: 24). There were no differences in time spent foraging, travelling, resting or standing. Twelve coyotes were housed individually in 0.1 ha experimental pens. Using automated feeders, one group of coyotes were fed daily on a predictable schedule at 08.00 h and 08.05 h and one group were fed twice daily on an unpredictable schedule. Observations included both pre- and post-feeding activity and non-feeding times using continual focal sampling for two hours per individual per day for ten days.