Title

Cross-fostering in coyotes: Evaluation of a potential conservation and research tool for canids

Document Type

Article

Journal/Book Title/Conference

Biological Conservation

Volume

129

Issue

2

Publisher

Elsevier

Publication Date

2006

First Page

221

Last Page

225

DOI

doi:10.1016/j.biocon.2005.10.036

Abstract

Cross-fostering has been attempted opportunistically with endangered canids as a means of increasing populations. Due to the usefulness of cross-fostering for conservation, an understanding of factors influencing success rates is essential. Using captive coyotes (Canis latrans) as a model, we assessed the willingness of adult pairs to foster young born to other parents. We assessed the efficacy of fostering pups into existing litters (augmentation) and completely switching litters (replacement). We augmented four litters with two pups of similar age when pups were <7 days old. In>addition, we replaced four entire litters when pups were <10 days old. We also augmented litters with pups>3–4 and 6–7 weeks of age. Survival, weight gain, and dominance status of pups were monitored for six weeks and compared to four control litters to determine success...