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Historical and present distribution of coyote (Canis latrans) in Mexico and Central America
Aim Coyote (Canis latrans) distribution in Mexico and Central America has expanded recently reaching the Yucatan peninsula, Belize and Panama, probably promoted by deforestation of tropical areas. Historically, the southern distribution of coyotes prior to European settlement in America was described as reaching only as far south as central Mexico and that introduction of livestock favoured migration of coyotes to southern Mexico and Central America. However, coyote fossil records in Central America and Yucatan, as well as observational records of travellers during the sixteenth century suggest that the coyote's arrival to the region was earlier. Because of the uncertainty of past coyote distribution and the possible economic and ecological impacts due to recent range expansion, the objectives of this study were to confirm if paleontological and historical evidence support the hypothesis that the southernmost limit of coyote distribution before the arrival of European settlers was the centre of Mexico, to discuss the possible factors that have influenced historical shifts in coyote distribution, and to model the present distribution of the coyote in Mexico and Central America, determining the areas where they could invade in the near future. Location The research area comprises continental Mexico and the Central American Isthmus countries: Guatemala, Belize, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica and Panama. Methods The historical distribution (Pleistocene-Early Holocen
ISSN : 0305-0270 CODEN : JBIODN
Journal of biogeography A. 2004, vol. 31, n° 12, pp. 2025-2038 [14 pages] [bibl. : 3 p.3/4]
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