Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center
While coyote distribution has increased, red fox distribution has decreased. The graphs show this is most noticeable in the Missouri Slope and Missouri Coteau. red fox distribution in the Drift Prairie and Red River valley have not decreased significantly, possibly because coyotes have not increased sufficiently.
Radiotelemetry data we collected in the past indicates strong interspecific competition between coyotes and red fox during spring and summer. The result of this competition is that coyote families occupy separate space from red fox families, and that coyotes exclude red foxes from large areas real estate because of these separate territories.
Data from Canada shows the same type of behavior between wolves and coyotes. The larger animals - wolves - exclude coyotes from their territories. We strongly suspect similar behavior between coyotes and especially red fox in relation to once-native swift fox. Swift fox have been virtually nonexistent in North Dakota since the late 1800's, and we think interspecific competition is probably the main reason.