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Coyotes Mating

1-30-15 coyote2  143Coyotes mate in January and February, but pre-mating behavior started two to three months ago. During this period scent marking increases, as does howling, and males wander far and wide. Female coyotes come into heat only once a year. When this happens, and two coyotes pair up, they may howl in a duet before mating. If there is an ample food supply, most females will breed and between 60% and 90% of adult females will produce a litter. The size of the litter fluctuates with the size of the rodent population; lots of rodents means larger litters. The same pair of coyotes may mate from year to year, but not necessarily for life. (Photo taken at Squam Lakes Natural Science Center)

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4 responses

  1. Marilyn

    When it’s warm enough to have the window open at night, I hear the coyotes howling. By then it sounds like a pack. I miss hearing the owls too. Perhaps night snowshoeing would be an aural adventure.

    January 29, 2015 at 9:07 am

  2. They are really handsome animals, so like our domestic dogs, which apparently around here are known to interbreed. Do you have any stats on the truth in that?

    January 29, 2015 at 5:42 pm

  3. Kathie Fiveash

    I’ve also read that hunting coyotes in the attempt to decrease their population actually causes a disruption of social organization that results in much larger litters. As I understand it, one mated pair controls and maintains a territory with the help of some of last year’s litter. When a stable territorial fabric is disrupted by the death of one of the dominant pair, population dynamics change. Is this what you think? I’m assuming that the widely ranging males you speak of are animals that have not established territories yet?

    February 1, 2015 at 8:28 am

    • That’s my understanding as well, Kathie.

      February 1, 2015 at 4:51 pm

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