Sex Ratio, Body Mass, and Harvest Rates for Five Sympatric Mammalian Carnivores in the Canadian Prairies
Keywords:American Badger, Taxidea taxus, Coyote, Canis latrans, Raccoon, Procyon lotor, Red Fox, Vulpes vulpes, Striped Skunk, Mephitis mephitis, Saskatchewan
AbstractWe assessed sex ratio, body mass, and harvest rates for 5 species of carnivores (Mammalia: Carnivora) collected in southern Saskatchewan, Canada during spring and summer 1999-2001. Overall, 647 adult carnivores were collected; captures consisted mostly of Striped Skunk (Mephitis mephitis, 50.7% of captures, 2.6±0.6 kg), Raccoon (Procyon lotor; 28.3%, 6.5±1.3 kg), American Badger (Taxidea taxus, 8.2%, 7.7±1.5 kg), Red Fox (Vulpes vulpes, 7.7%, 4.6±0.6 kg), and Coyote (Canis latrans, 5.1%, 11.0±1.5 kg). Sex ratio (M:F) of captures was male-biased for Raccoon (2.5:1), Striped Skunk (1.7:1), but did not differ from 1:1 for American Badger (2.3:1), Coyote (1.7:1), or Red Fox (2.2:1). For both Striped Skunk and Raccoon, the temporal variation in sex ratio of captures suggests that males were more vulnerable to capture early in the spring than females. Harvest rates were highest for Striped Skunks (range 0.8-2.2 animals/km2) followed by Raccoons (0.4-1.3 animals/km2), American Badgers (0.2-0.5 animal/km2), Red Foxes (0.2-0.4 animal/km2), and Coyotes (0.1-0.4 animals/km2).
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