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PA Mammalian Predators. Eastern Coyote  AKA brush wolf, prairie wolf, coy- dog  Largest wild canine in PA  During wolf bounties of 1800’s, many were.

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Presentation on theme: "PA Mammalian Predators. Eastern Coyote  AKA brush wolf, prairie wolf, coy- dog  Largest wild canine in PA  During wolf bounties of 1800’s, many were."— Presentation transcript:

1 PA Mammalian Predators

2 Eastern Coyote  AKA brush wolf, prairie wolf, coy- dog  Largest wild canine in PA  During wolf bounties of 1800’s, many were turned in by mistake  By 1990 populations had rebounded

3 Eastern Coyote: Identification  Larger than Western Coyote: may be due to hybridization with wolves  Males: 45-55 lbs.  Females: 35 to 40 pounds  Many different coat colors and patterns: tri-color (German shepherd-like), red, blonde and dark brown (appears black at a distance)


5 Black Phase  BLONDE PHASE


7 Eastern Coyote: Diet  Generalist: small mice, voles, deer, rabbits, wood chuck, birds, plant matter  Sometimes prey on domestic animals (sheep, chickens, ducks, dogs, cats)


9 Eastern Coyote: General Biology  Monogamous, but not for life  May hunt alone or with family group, not a true pack animal like the wolf  Nocturnal  Smell and hearing are keen; very alert  Prefer heavy brush, edges  PA population estimated at 40,000

10 PA Game Commission Bag Limits  COYOTES: No closed season. Unlimited. Outside of any big game season (deer, bear, elk and turkey), coyotes may be taken with a hunting license or a furtaker license, and without wearing orange. During any big game season, coyotes may be taken while lawfully hunting big game or with a furtakers license.


12 Owl In an SUV grill deo/us/2013/02/11/dnt-owl-trapped-in- suv.wsvn

13 Mustelid Family Predators  Examples: Mink, Otter, Fisher, Weasels  Others not in PA: Ferret, Badger, Wolverine LEAST WEASEL



16 WEASELS  Mustelid family  Strong musk odor  Found worldwide except Antarctica  3 species in PA: ermine, long-tailed weasel, least weasel  Long, slim bodies, short legs, 5 clawed toes


18 WEASELS  Least Weasel

19 WEASELS  Long tailed Weasel

20 WEASELS: Diet  Consummate Predators: kill and consume wide varieties of prey (including animals larger than themselves)  Mice, voles, rats, shrews, snakes, birds, insects  Very fast metabolism for size: eat 1/3 body weight every 24 hrs.  Keen smell, sight, hearing

21 WEASELS: Biology  Aggressive and quick  Secretive and wary=difficult to study in nature  Delayed implantation: Mate in summer/fall Fertilized egg implants in uterus in spring WHY???  1.Assures litters arrive when prey is abundant  2.Does not restrict mating to a short period

22 FISHER  Size of a house cat 12lbs.-30 lbs.  Males 2 times heavier than females  Appear black from a distance, really cream underneath; tri-colored hair

23 FISHER: Habitat  Climb trees very well: den in holes in the trees, rest in nests, pursue prey  Continuous forest areas

24 FISHER: Biology  Low population densities and large home ranges: 30 square miles  Nocturnal  Produce 1 litter per year: 2 or 3 cubs  Born and raised in a tree cavity  Solitary and opportunistic predators:  Snowshoe hare and porcupine  RARELY EAT FISH!!

25 FISHER: Population  Widely distributed prior to 1800’s  Timber cutting and unregulated trapping almost eliminated by 1900’s  Reintroduced to Catskills, WV, PA  1994 PSU and Game Commission released in Allegheny National Forest


27 BOBCAT 336” long with a 6” tail 115-35 lbs. GGrey brown fur, dark spots and bars NNeck and belly white RRuff of fur on ears

28 Bobcat: Habitat  Mountains, deep forest, swamp  Very elusive, prefer to stay away from people  Most common in North Central PA  In 2000 estimated pop. was 3500 adults  Very restricted hunting/trapping season

29 PA Game Commission Bag Limits  BOBCAT (WMUs 2A, 2C, 2E, 2F, 2G, 3A, 3B, 3C, 3D, 4A, 4C, 4D and 4E): Jan. 15-Feb. 5. One bobcat per license year, but all licensed furtakers may obtain one permit.


31 Bobcat Eye Adaptation  Nocturnal  Pupils: slit shaped, open wide


33 Bobcat: Diet  Mice, wood rat, shrew, squirrel, chipmunk, bird, rabbit, hare, porcupine, mink, muskrat, fish, frog  Sick/injured deer: cover and save carcass

34 Bobcat: Breeding  Males can travel up to 20 miles in a single night to find a female  Males play no part in raising young  Females guard litter; young often killed by males, owls, foxes  Mature bobcat has few enemies except man

35 Bobcat: Hunting Adaptations  Sharp sight, smell and especially hearing  4 large canines: pierce and hold  5 retractable, hooked claws on front  4 on rear

36 Bobcat: Retractable Claws

37 Red Fox: Appearance

38 Gray Fox: Appearance

39 Red Fox And Gray Fox  Canidae family (coyote, wolf, domestic dog, fox)  Gray only member of Canidae to climb trees

40 Red Fox and Gray: Biology  Males: “dogs” Females: “vixen”  Young are born in dens underground  Both parents care for young  Do not hibernate but will use bushy tail to conserve heat in severe weather

41 Red Fox and Gray: Biology  Swift runners, can swim  Nocturnal  Opportunistic predators: mice, rabbits, woodchucks, opossum, cats, chickens, squirrels, fruits, grasses  Bury uneaten food in ground

42 Habitat  Red: prefers rolling farmland, woods, marshes and streams  Gray: heavy woods, rugged, mountains

43 Exit Ticket…..To leave this room you must answer these questions…. 1. List one surprising new idea you learned about mammalian predators. 2. Name 2 weasels found in PA. 3. See #2. 4. What is the common characteristic shared by the Mustelid family? 5. Name 2 adaptations that help the canines locate prey.

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