Social and Play Behavior in a Wild Eastern Coyote, Canis latrans, Pack
Keywords:Canis latrans, eastern Coyote, amiable/affiliative interactions, play behavior, Massachusetts
AbstractI had close and consistent observations of a wild eastern Coyote pack (Canis latrans) from January 2000 to August 2007. During this time, I obtained 3156 radio-locations on a specific radio-collared breeding male (“Sill”) and observed him and/or members of his pack on 375 occasions. The average group size = 3.0 ± 2.3 (SD) Coyotes with 1.9 ± 1.2 (SD) being adults and 1.1 ± 1.9 being pups. Maximal group size involved 12 Coyotes (9 pups, 3 adults). During these observations, Coyotes most often behaved in a friendly manner toward each other as indicated by 80 of my observations involving play between pups, and 15 involving play among adult Coyotes. On the evening of 6 July 2007 I observed the breeding male (>8 yr old), his mate (>5 yr old), one of their full-sized probable yearlings, and five pups playing intensely for 33 minutes. This paper details social and play behavior from this pack, especially from the 6 July 2007 observation.
Copyright for Canadian Field-Naturalist content is held by the Ottawa Field-Naturalists' Club, except for content published by employees of federal government departments, in which case the copyright is held by the Crown. In-copyright content available at the Biodiversity Heritage Library is available for re-use under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 (CC BY-NC-SA 4.0) licence. For usage of content at the BHL for purposes other than those allowed under this licence, contact us.
To request use of copyright material, please contact our editor, Dr. Dwayne Lepitzki: editor -at- canadianfieldnaturalist -dot- ca