The North American Coyote

 

So, I realize that I did a post on Wolves last month, and in that post I mentioned coyotes. After some deliberation, however, I decided to dedicate this Predator Monday to one of the cutest yet least considered predators.

When most people in North America think of the coyote, they think of Wile. E Coyote of the cartoons, or they envision a skulking mammal that is the next uncivilized step after the feral dog. However, coyotes are indeed not dogs, though they are of the same family. Canis Latrans is wildly dissimilar mostly in behavior. While dogs generally depend on humans in order to survive, coyotes tend to avoid humans as much as possible. At best, coyotes can learn to coexist in the same habitat as humans.

In appearance, the coyote is fairly small, usually about 33-38 inches long and about 25-55 lbs. They are usually a tan or darker brown color, with each individual hair usually having black tips. They have long snouts and very distinctive eyes.

The coyote is also unique due to its diet. In order to survive in such a rapidly changing world, coyotes will eat anything they can. Rodents, fish, insects, grass, snakes and carcasses left by other animals are often on the menu. They will also sometimes eat livestock, household pets, or trash, earning them a reputation among humans for being pests. The loss of beloved pets and consumption of trash can be halted fairly easily with human actions such as keeping pets indoors and using locking trashcans or recycling. Livestock, however, is just as great of a concern in the lifestyle of the coyote as it is with the wolf. While both mammals play an important role in their ecosystems, the loss of livestock is a grave concern.

All in all, the coyote is definitely worth a second look as a predator and as man’s next door neighbor. It is important to understand the creatures in the world around us so that we may better appreciate and protect it. If you liked my post, feel free to drop a like or a comment. Follow for similar content, not only here but on the Facebook and Instagram accounts also. Thanks for reading!

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