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E-M:/ coyote biology

Enviro-Mich message from "Sherry MacKinnon" <MACKINSM@state.mi.us>

Just a short note on coyote biology- it would be unlikely that social pressure would limit coyote reproduction as coyotes rarely, if at all, form packs like wolves.  In pack society only the dominant pair are allowed to breed.  Generally, the only time coyotes are seen in any number together is when the pups are young and the coyotes are travelling as a family unit.  Young disperse from the natal den at 6-9 months of age and most will not breed until their second winter.  So every year these new recruits to the population are not breeding.  Most biologists feel that the major limiting resource on coyote reproduction is lack of food resources and available habitat (although coyotes are good at making the best of what is available in a suburban setting).  So the point Tim makes about getting rid of their access to "un-natural" food resources is a good one.

According to A. Kurta (Mammals of the Great Lakes Region) woodchucks have not been documented as a food source, but I can't imagine a coyote not taking the opportunity if it arises!


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