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Coyote Canis latrans


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credit: Rebecca Richardson/CCSA

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Family: Canidae, Dogs view all from this family

Description Smaller than wolves, with a smaller nose pad (less than 25mm) but relatively larger ears. Upperparts are variable in color, but typically brownish, often with reddish highlights on legs. Belly and throat are pale. Tail usually held down when running. Western Coyotes are typically 12-14kg while eastern coyotes average 16-18kg, and may grow up to 23kg. Eastern Coyotes are also more variable in color, with a variety of blond and reddish forms common, as well as occasional black animals.

Dimensions 1.0-1.3m, 30-39cm, 7-20kg

Breeding Where hunted intensively Coyotes form smaller packs, but breed at an earlier age

Habitat Beaches, shorelines & estuaries, Lakes, ponds, rivers & streams, Scrub, shrub & brushlands, Meadows & fields, Deserts, Grasslands & prairies, Forests & woodlands, Alpine & subalpine habitats, Canyons & caves, Cities, suburbs & towns

Range Plains, Great Lakes, New England, Mid-Atlantic, Rocky Mountains, Southeast, Southwest, Florida, Texas, California, Northwest, Eastern Canada, Western Canada, Alaska

Discussion Coyotes expanded their range in all directions in the mid-1900s following extirpation of Wolves. To the south they have reached the Panama Canal. To the east they have now colonized all natural habitats and are increasingly common in suburban areas. Coyotes feed on a wide variety of small and medium-sized prey, as well as fruit in season. Eastern Coyotes also hunt deer. Higher-pitched howling than Wolves, with more yips. Common in all natural habitats, including suburban forests.