Coyote

OVERVIEW

Resembling domesticated dogs, coyotes are carnivorous wild canines found throughout North America. Larger than foxes but smaller than wolves, they adapt well to a variety of environments, mostly due to humans encroaching on their habitat. Prevalent in grasslands, arid deserts, and even suburban environments, the coyote can be a nuisance. Additionally, the pest can be dangerous to humans and pets alike.

Biology & Behavior

The coyote and its relatives have been subjected to guns, traps, and poisons for many years and they continue to live in close proximity to humans. Coyotes can be very brave in their attempts to get food. Daylight raids are not uncommon; however, the usual suburban coyote moves under the cover of darkness, taking advantage of the situation. The chief food of coyotes includes rabbits, ground squirrels, gophers, meadow mice, deer and antelope fawns, fruits, insects, and livestock. Coyotes generally make their dens by enlarging an existing burrow by digging. An average litter consists of 6 pups born in the early spring. The most significant enemy of the coyote is the human.

Noises

Rather than the soul-haunting, drawn-out sound of a wolf’s howl, a coyote’s howl is characterized by high-pitched barks and yips, with each song consisting of a lot of lyrics. And, coyote songs can be loud. Researchers have speculated that the intensity and volume of the vocalizations may also have meaning.

Tracks

Coyote footprints are oval-shaped and measure approximately 2.5 inches long by 2 inches wide. They register four toes with claws in both front and hind feet. Their tracks are relatively symmetrical, though they can show a slight lead toe/claw that allows left and right feet to be differentiated.

Scat

Coyote scat may be up to 4 inches long & 3/4 of an inch in diameter. Their scat may contain evidence of hair, bones, fruits & berries. … Their scat is blunt ended 3/4 to 1 inch in diameter. Deer scat is oval in shape, pellet like 1/2 to 5/8 inches in diameter, black in color scattered piles

Damage

The coyote eats fruits, grasses, vegetables, insects, rodents, deer, and small mammals. In addition coyotes are also predators of domestic livestock, specifically sheep and goat, they present a danger to pets such as dogs and cats, and there are records of coyotes attacking small children.

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