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Preliminary Interpretations of Coyote Population Mechanics with Some Management Implications

Frederick F. Knowlton
The Journal of Wildlife Management
Vol. 36, No. 2 (Apr., 1972), pp. 369-382
Published by: Wiley on behalf of the Wildlife Society
DOI: 10.2307/3799066
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3799066
Page Count: 14
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Preliminary Interpretations of Coyote Population Mechanics with Some Management Implications
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Abstract

The need for control of coyote (Canis latrans) depredations and a simultaneous demand for recognition of the aesthetic and ecologic values of the species create a conflict in resource utilization that should be resolved through more intensive management. A coyote population model is proposed from current estimates of density, reproduction, population structure, and mobility. Densities of 0.5 to 1.0 coyote per square mile are frequently suggested, with occasional estimates of 4.0 or more per square mile. Reproductive rates fluctuate as functions of the proportion of females that ovulate, the average number of ova shed, and in utero viabilities. Average litter sizes of 4.3 to 6.9 seemed to be inversely related to population density. Age structure of unexploited populations suggests a 40 percent annual mortality for coyotes over 1 year of age, with relatively high survival rates between 4 and 8 years of age. Movement patterns are not well understood, particularly with regard to home range and dispersal, although indications are that females may be prone to longer treks than males. Implications of the coyote population model that may be applicable in control technology, particularly with respect to general population suppression, temporary and local problems, intensive reductional programs, and efforts to reduce infiltration rates into high risk areas, are discussed.

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