Coyote - © Jim ScarffProjects
English: American Jackal, Brush Wolf, Prairie Wolf;
The Coyote has a wide distribution throughout North America, Mexico and into Central America. They are abundant throughout their range and are increasing in distribution as humans continue to modify the landscape. The species is very versatile, especially in their ability to exploit human modified environments. Coyotes are abundant throughout their range and are increasing in distribution as humans continue to modify the landscape. Elimination of wolves may also have assisted Coyote expansion. Coyote density varies geographically with food and climate, and seasonally due to mortality and changes in pack structure and food abundance. Local control temporarily reduces numbers on a short-term basis, but Coyote populations generally are stable in most areas.
Habitat and Ecology:
Coyotes utilize almost all available habitats including prairie, forest, desert, mountain and tropical ecosystems. The ability of coyotes to exploit human resources allows them to occupy urban areas. Water availability may limit Coyote distribution in some desert environments.
Coyotes are opportunistic, generalist predators that eat a variety of food items, typically consuming items in relation to changes in availability. Coyotes eat foods ranging from fruit and insects to large ungulates and livestock. Livestock and wild ungulates may often be represented in coyote stomachs and scats as carrion, but predation on large ungulates (native and domestic) does occur (Andelt 1987). Predation by Coyotes on neonates of native ungulates can be high during fawning (Andelt 1987). Coyotes in suburban areas are adept at exploiting human-made food resources and will readily consume dog food or other human-related items.
There are no current threats to Coyote populations throughout their range. Local reductions are temporary and their range has been expanding. Conservation measures have not been needed to maintain viable populations. Coyotes adapt to human environs and occupy most habitats, including urban areas. Hybridization with dogs may be a threat near urban areas. Genetic contamination between dogs, Coyotes, and Grey Wolves may be occurring in north-eastern U.S. Hybridization between Coyotes and Red Wolves is problematic for Red Wolf recovery in south-eastern U.S.
Coyote fur is still sought by trappers throughout its range, with harvest levels depending upon fur prices, local and state regulations, and traditional uses and practices. Many states and provinces consider Coyotes a furbearing species with varying regulations on method of take, bag limit, and seasons.