How to Contribute Coyote Samples for Research

Contributing Coyote Samples for Research

Map of Ohio counties, colored by number of coyote samples

We are collecting data on coyotes from all across Ohio. The map to the left shows the counties we have sampled so far, and we are particularly looking for samples in any of the counties in white that indicate no samples. If you would like to contribute to this data collection, there are two main ways you can do this:

  1. Call or email us if you see a roadkill coyote. Please do not collect roadkill, as this requires a special permit, but if you give us the precise location (road name, mile marker, nearby exit/intersections). We will go collect the carcass for our research. 
  2. If you are a hunter or trapper who legally harvests coyotes and you don't mind collecting a few whiskers from the carcass, we can either pick them up from you or you can mail them to us. 

We are no longer taking carcasses of harvested animals. Thanks to public contributions, we have sufficient data from carcasses. 

Please reach out with any questions you may have.

Contributing Coyote Whiskers

Pulling a whisker from an anesthetized coyote with tweezers
When taking whisker samples, either pull the whisker or cut it from as close to the muzzle as possible so that the entire whisker is saved.

Whiskers are one of the primary sources of diet information we get from coyotes. If you are using or disposing of the coyote carcass, or don't have storage space or a place to keep it until we can pick it up from you, it is still incredibly helpful for us to get just a few whiskers.  Pull or cut whiskers with scissors, trying to get as much of the whisker as possible and the longest ones that you see. At least 2-3 whiskers are desirable, but more is always better! Place whiskers in a zip-top bag or paper coin envelope and either put a piece of paper with the coyote's information in the bag, or staple it to it. Tape the coin envelope shut or zip the zip-top bag so that whiskers are secure. 

You can either call us to arrange a time/date when we can collect the whiskers from you, or you can mail them to us. If you have whiskers samples you would like to mail, please notify us via email and we can send you a postage-paid envelope for your convenience.

Information We Need

You can either use our datasheet and attach it to the sample, or include the information below. There are a few things we need to know: 

  • Date** that the coyote was harvested
  • Location** the coyote was harvested, either county (minimum), county/township, or GPS point (preferred)
  • Whether it came from a male or female**
  • If female, whether it was obviously pregnant or lactating
  • Approximate age** of the animal as adult/juvenile (best guess is ok)
  • Description of surrounding area as agricultural, forested, suburban, etc.

** Indicates information that is necessary for our data collection. 

More information is always better than less! Please contact us for further instructions if you have any questions.

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