Temporal changes in reproductive rate in coyotes (Canis latrans) in Nova Scotia during an incentive program
LE3 .A278 2019
Bachelor of Science
Common management strategies for introduced wildlife are often directed toward targeted removal but attempts in eradication or reduction frequently fail. A general assumption has been that reproductive rate will increase with removal pressure. I quantified reproductive rate in coyotes (Canis latrans) using placental scar counts to determine if an incentive program from 2010 to 2015 and post-incentive from 2016 to 2018 affected fecundity. I also examined associations between placental scars, age, and mass. Analyses were run including all females, excluding juveniles, or excluding non-breeders. Finally, I examined age structure by year for females and males. Reproductive tracts were collected from 1647 females from 2010 to 2018. Lower canine teeth were extracted for age analyses. Unexpectedly, placental scar counts decreased over time if I included all females or if I excluded juveniles but increased when I excluded non-breeders. This result generally is contrary to previous assumptions and suggests population density may not have decreased from the incentive program. Older and heavier females had more placental scars but my results for older females did not suggest senescence, possibly because tooth pulp ratios do not precisely reflect actual ages. Age structure was inconsistent among years forfemales, but consistent for males. A higher percentage of juvenile malesin my data compared to adults may be due to higher dispersal rates or could represent actual age ratios in Nova Scotia populations but there is no clear explanation for differences between females and males in age structure; this requires further investigation.
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