Fire Effects on Coyotes...


Coyotes are very mobile and can probably escape most fires. There are
no reports of direct coyote mortality due to fire [49].

Fire may improve the foraging habitat and prey base of coyotes. In New
Enlgand, coyotes are commonly found in forest openings created by fire
or logging [18]. Fires that reduce vegetation height and create open
areas probably increase hunting efficiency by coyotes. Surface fires
often open substrates for quieter stalking and easier capture of prey
than can occur in closed forests [38]. Wirtz [68] noted increases in
consumption of birds and deer by coyotes after a chaparral fire in the
San Dimas Experimental Forest, California. Increased consumption was
presumably the result of increased vulnerability of prey with reduced
cover, but no change was noted in small mammal consumption.

Periodic fire helps to maintain habitat for many prey species of coyote.
Fires that create a mosaic of burned and unburned areas are probably the
most beneficial to many coyote prey species. Several studies indicate
that many small mammal populations increase rapidly subsequent to
burning in response to increased food availability. Fire often improves
hare and rabbit forage quality and quantity for two or more growing
seasons [38]. Hill [67] concluded that burning at intervals longer than
2 years would be less beneficial to rabbits and hares, but any fire is
believed better than fire exclusion. Along the coast of northern
California, black-tailed jackrabbits occurred at highest density in open
brush, moderate density on recent burn areas, and lowest density in
mature chaparral stands [68]. Wagle [65] reported that fire suppression
in grasslands is detrimental to populations of small bird and mammal
herbivores due to organic matter accumulation and reduced plant vigor.

The 1988 fires in Yellowstone National Park have probably benefited
coyotes. Fire in combination with drought likely increased available
carrion the fall and winter following the fire. Additionally, the fires
stimulated grass production, which should lead to an increase in small
mammal populations [45].

In California, coyotes are abundant in young chaparral (less than 20
years old) and are rare or absent in chaparral that has not been burned
for 20 years or more [51]. Quinn [51] observed more coyote sign during
the second and third years after a chamise (Adenostoma spp.) chaparral
wildfire in Riverside County than had been observed prior to burning.
Coyote numbers increased during the second and third years following a
chaparral fire in the Sierra Nevada foothills [39].

Prescribed burning that favors small mammals by creating ecotones and
different age classes of vegetation would increase the prey base for
coyotes and make hunting easier by opening up the habitat [51].

(source US Forest Service)
Good stuff Robb, answers my questions from an earlier post on that issue.

Looks like I'll be in heaven next year or so in some of my other spots. /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/laugh.gif
Robb, just a thought. How mobile do you think the pups were at the time of the fire? Are we sure they had permanently left the dens? In a firestorm, it would take maximum effort just for adult coyotes to stay ahead of the fires onrush. Any pups still in the dens would be lost to fire, heat, smoke, oxygen deprevation, etc. and probably wouldn't be visible for a casual "body count". However, adults who escaped should have migrated into surrounding areas where they will have to compete with the existing resident population of predators. This could mean a bumper crop of coyotes for our Globe hunt. What do you think?
Most of the fire was ABOVE the Mogollon Rim, GLobe and San Carlos is BELOW a considerable distance...

I personally wouldnt expect to see a noticeable difference near Globe or San Carlos this year with just two days of hunting for the PM Hunt, now Show Low and Snowflake might be a different story... also depends on if any good rain gets some fresh growth growing in the burned areas soon, to attract small game (which are now easier to see !).

The coyotes will be where theres food and WATER (Major limiter right now) and some cover to hole up in during the day. AZGFD claims Firefighters saw ungulates (and small game) in some of the burned areas soon after the Fires passed.

I would compare the intensity of the Yellowstone fire with that of the Show Low burns... If the model presented in the Yellowstone Fire resembles that of the Show Low, then those that did make it, will do allright, and next few years should be a boom.

It just depends on a few variables I guess... Each Den would be a separate case. But yes O2 deprivation as well as smoke and intense heat would have been "negative" to coyotes in a shallow den. But, The fire only moved at about 5 mph (ottomh).

I havent seen any pups this year yet (but Ive been seeing lots of coyotes recently) but speculating a bit here .... Depending on how quickly the coyotes reacted to the impending danger... they might have been able to carry a few pups to safer areas if they couldn't move on their own. Coyote pup self-mobility of significance should be on the fringe during that time period.
I recently spent half a month on a fire in southern Utah. During the most intense point in the fire, I saw a couple coyotes sitting very clost to the fire's edge. I don't know if they were waiting to get back to their den/pups, or if they were waiting for the fire to push rodents to them. I had been seeing lots of injured rabits and gigantic squirrels throughout the day. I didn't get to watch them very long so I don't know what they were doing.
was just curious as to where you were in southern Utah, I often times head down there to hunt around the richfield area. I am here in VA for the summer and was just wondering if the fire had destroyed the hunt for this coming fall. Thanks, Seann
the fire was about 20 miles east of Cedar city in the Deep creek drainage. Highway 14 was the only thing that stopped the fire from getting to the monument. It was called the Big Wash fire. I imagine your hunt will still be good. Every night we could hear them sounding off.