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

  • Published source details Kitchen A.M. & Knowlton F.F. (2006) Cross-fostering in coyotes: evaluation of a potential conservation and research tool for canids. Biological Conservation, 129, 221-255.


This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Place captive young with captive foster parents

Action Link
Terrestrial Mammal Conservation
  1. Place captive young with captive foster parents

    A replicated, controlled study (year not stated) in a captive animal facility in Utah, USA (Kitchen & Knowlton 2006) found that most coyote Canis latrans pups placed with foster parents in captivity were successfully reared. All eight pups fostered into four litters at <1 week old survived beyond six weeks of age. Of six 3–4-week-old pups fostered into three litters, four pups in two litters survived beyond six weeks old. The two pups in the third litter died. Two attempts each to foster two 6–7-week-old pups failed, with pups dying within 24 hours. All pups born into these litters survived. The survival rate of litters fostered in their entirety when <10 days old (17 out of 19 pups surviving from four litters) was similar to that in litters not fostered (18 out of 20 pups surviving from four litters). Causes of death were not established for pups that died. Litters of eight coyote pairs were augmented by adding two additional pups, four litters were replaced completely and four litters were reared by their parents without additions. Survival was monitored to six weeks of age.

    (Summarised by: Nick Littlewood)

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