Between 2000 and 2010 the rabbit population along the coast of Nova Scotia declined dramatically. Wildlife biologists studying the decline could find no signs of disease or undernourishment, so it is likely that the decline was caused by increased predation. Coyotes prefer to hunt larger mammals such as deer and elk, but it is well known that the deer population in Nova Scotia declined substantially in that period because of chronic wasting disease, a transmissible spongiform encephalopathy affecting the herd. Therefore, it is likely that coyotes were the cause of the dramatic decline in the rabbit population.
Which of the following, if true, most strengthens the argument above?
A. Despite a substantial decline in the deer population between 2000 and 2010, there were still enough deer to support the coyote population in the region.
B. It is difficult for most wildlife biologists to properly assess whether the decline of an animal population is caused by disease or undernourishment.
C. Between 2000 and 2010, the rabbit population on several islands off the coast that are inaccessible to coyotes did not decline.
D. Coyotes are known to eat mice and other vermin, ground birds, insects, and even fish.
E. Since 2010, the rabbit population has recovered well while the deer population has declined even further.
Source: Veritas Prep
Between 2000 and 2010 the rabbit population along the coast of Nova Scotia declined dramatically. Wildlife biologists
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