Population Structure of Harvested Red Foxes (Vulpes vulpes) and Coyotes (Canis latrans) on Prince Edward Island, Canada


  • Wendela Wapenaar Department of Population Health, School of Veterinary Medicine and Science, University of Nottingham, Sutton Bonington Campus, Leicestershire, LE12 5RD
  • Fiep de Bie Atlantic Veterinary College, University of Prince Edward Island, 550 University Avenue, Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island C1A 4P3
  • David Johnston Johnston Biotech, 1080 Braemar Lane, Sarnia, Ontario N7V 3B5
  • Ryan M. O'Handley Department of Parasitology, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Adelaide, Adelaide
  • Herman W. Barkema Department of Production Animal Health, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Calgary, 3330 Hospital Drive N.W., Calgary, Alberta T2N 4N1




Coyote, Canis latrans, Red Fox, Vulpes vulpes, age, reproductive activity, habitat, Prince Edward Island


An understanding of the population dynamics and habitat of wild Red Foxes (Vulpes vulpes) and Coyotes (Canis latrans) is a prerequisite to wildlife management. This information is also important in assessing the risk these wild canids pose to the public and domestic animals. On Prince Edward Island, information on age, sex, reproductive activity, and habitat use of 271 Red Foxes and 201 Coyotes was collected in the hunting and trapping season of 2004–2005. The estimated age of Red Foxes and Coyotes ranged from 0.5 to 13.5 years. A large proportion of harvested Red Foxes and Coyotes (58% and 48%, respectively) consisted of juveniles. The sex ratio was not significantly different from 1:1 for either species. Average litter size was 5.0 and 5.2 for Red Foxes and Coyotes, respectively. Number of placental scars ranged from 0 to 7 in Red Foxes and from 0 to 11 in Coyotes. Agricultural areas were the main habitat type (52%) of harvested Red Foxes. For harvested Coyotes, forest was the main habitat (44%), followed closely by agricultural areas (43%). Urban areas were a significant part (13%) of the habitat of Red Foxes. These data can be used to monitor population dynamics over time, provide information for wildlife management, and provide information on potential risk areas for disease transmission by wild canids.