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The coyote ( Canis
Canis
latrans); from Nahuatl  pronunciation (help·info)) is a canine native to North America. It is smaller than its close relative, the gray wolf, and slightly smaller than the closely related eastern wolf and red wolf. It fills much of the same ecological niche as the golden jackal does in Eurasia, though it is larger and more predatory, and is sometimes called the American jackal by zoologists. The coyote is listed as least concern by the International Union for Conservation of Nature due to its wide distribution and abundance throughout North America, southwards through Mexico, and into Central America. The species is versatile, able to adapt to and expand into environments modified by humans. It is enlarging its range, with coyotes moving into urban areas in the Eastern U.S., and was sighted in eastern Panama
Panama
(across the Panama Canal
Panama Canal
from their home range) for the first time in 2013. As of 2005[update], 19 coyote subspecies are recognized. The average male weighs 8 to 20 kg (18 to 44 lb) and the average female 7 to 18 kg (15 to 40 lb). Their fur color is predominantly light gray and red or fulvous interspersed with black and white, though it varies somewhat with geography. It is highly flexible in social organization, living either in a family unit or in loosely knit packs of unrelated individuals. It has a varied diet consisting primarily of animal meat, including deer, rabbits, hares, rodents, birds, reptiles, amphibians, fish, and invertebrates, though it may also eat fruits and vegetables on occasion. Its characteristic vocalization is a howl made by solitary individuals. Humans are the coyote's greatest threat, followed by cougars and gray wolves. In spite of this, coyotes sometimes mate with gray, eastern, or red wolves, producing "coywolf" hybrids. In the northeastern United States and eastern Canada, the eastern coyote (a larger subspecies, though still smaller than wolves) is the result of various historical and recent matings with various types of wolves. Genetic studies show that most North American wolves contain some level of coyote DNA. The coyote is a prominent character in Native American folklore, mainly in the Southwestern United States
Southwestern United States
and Mexico, usually depicted as a trickster that alternately assumes the form of an actual coyote or a man. As with other trickster figures, the coyote uses deception and humor to rebel against social conventions. The animal was especially respected in Mesoamerican cosmology as a symbol of military might. After the European colonization of the Americas, it was reviled in Anglo-American culture as a cowardly and untrustworthy animal. Unlike wolves (gray, eastern, or red), which have undergone an improvement of their public image, attitudes towards the coyote remain largely negative.

Contents

1 Description 2 Taxonomy and evolution

2.1 History 2.2 Naming and etymology 2.3 Evolution

2.3.1 Fossil record 2.3.2 DNA evidence

2.4 Subspecies 2.5 Hybridization

3 Behavior

3.1 Social and reproductive behaviors 3.2 Territorial and sheltering behaviors 3.3 Hunting and feeding behaviors 3.4 Communication

3.4.1 Body language 3.4.2 Vocalizations

4 Ecology

4.1 Habitat 4.2 Diet 4.3 Enemies and competitors

5 Range 6 Diseases and parasites 7 Relationships with humans

7.1 In folklore and mythology 7.2 Attacks on humans 7.3 Livestock and pet predation 7.4 Uses 7.5 Tameability

8 Notes 9 References 10 Bibliography 11 Further reading 12 External links

Description[edit]

Closeup of a mountain coyote's (C. l. lestes) head

Coyote
Coyote
males average 8 to 20 kg (18 to 44 lb) in weight, while females average 7 to 18 kg (15 to 40 lb), though size varies geographically. Northern subspecies, which average 18 kg (40 lb), tend to grow larger than the southern subspecies of Mexico, which average 11.5 kg (25 lb). Body length ranges on average from 1.0 to 1.35 m (3 ft 3 in to 4 ft 5 in), and tail length 40 cm (16 in), with females being shorter in both body length and height.[5] The largest coyote on record was a male killed near Afton, Wyoming, on November 19, 1937, which measured 1.5 m (4 ft 11 in) from nose to tail, and weighed 34 kg (75 lb).[6] Scent glands are located at the upper side of the base of the tail and are a bluish-black color.[7] The color and texture of the coyote's fur varies somewhat geographically.[5] The hair's predominant color is light gray and red or fulvous, interspersed around the body with black and white. Coyotes living at high elevations tend to have more black and gray shades than their desert-dwelling counterparts, which are more fulvous or whitish-gray.[8] The coyote's fur consists of short, soft underfur and long, coarse guard hairs. The fur of northern subspecies is longer and denser than in southern forms, with the fur of some Mexican and Central American forms being almost hispid (bristly).[9] Generally, adult coyotes (including coywolf hybrids) have a sable coat color, dark neonatal coat color, bushy tail with an active supracaudal gland, and a white facial mask.[10] Albinism
Albinism
is extremely rare in coyotes; out of a total of 750,000 coyotes harvested by federal and cooperative hunters between March 22, 1938, and June 30, 1945, only two were albinos.[8] The coyote is typically smaller than the gray wolf, but has longer ears and a relatively larger braincase,[5] as well as a thinner frame, face, and muzzle. The scent glands are smaller than the gray wolf's, but are the same color.[7] Its fur color variation is much less varied than that of a wolf.[11] The coyote also carries its tail downwards when running or walking, rather than horizontally as the wolf does.[12] Coyote
Coyote
tracks can be distinguished from those of dogs by their more elongated, less rounded shape.[13][14] Unlike dogs, the upper canines of coyotes extends past the mental foramina.[5] Taxonomy and evolution[edit] History[edit] At the time of the European colonization of the Americas, coyotes were largely confined to open plains and arid regions of the western half of the continent.[15] In early post-Columbian historical records, distinguishing between coyotes and wolves is often difficult. One record from 1750 in Kaskaskia, Illinois, written by a local priest, noted that the "wolves" encountered there were smaller and less daring than European wolves. Another account from the early 1800s in Edwards County mentioned wolves howling at night, though these were likely coyotes.[16] This species was encountered several times during the Lewis and Clark Expedition
Lewis and Clark Expedition
(1804–1806), though it was already well known to European traders on the upper Missouri. Lewis, writing on May 5, 1805, in northeastern Montana, described the coyote in these terms:[17]

Toltec
Toltec
pictograph of coyote.

the small woolf or burrowing dog of the prairies are the inhabitants almost invariably of the open plains; they usually ascociate in bands of ten or twelve sometimes more and burrow near some pass or place much frequented by game; not being able alone to take deer or goat they are rarely ever found alone but hunt in bands; they frequently watch and seize their prey near their burrows; in these burrows they raise their young and to them they also resort when pursued; when a person approaches them they frequently bark, their note being precisely that of the small dog. they are of an intermediate size between that of the fox and dog, very active fleet and delicately formed; the ears large erect and pointed the head long and pointed more like that of the fox; tale long; ... the hair and fur also resembles the fox tho' is much coarser and inferior. they are of a pale redish brown colour. the eye of a deep sea green colour small and piercing. their tallons [claws] are reather longer than those of the ordinary wolf or that common to the atlantic states, none of which are to be found in this quarter, nor I believe above the river Plat.

The coyote was first scientifically described by Thomas Say, a naturalist, in September 1819 on the site of Lewis and Clark's Council Bluffs, fifteen miles up the Missouri River
Missouri River
from the mouth of the Platte during a government-sponsored expedition with Major Stephen Long. He had the first edition of the Lewis and Clark journals in hand, which contained Biddle's edited version of Lewis's observations dated May 5, 1805. His account was published in 1823. Say was the first person to document the difference between a "prairie wolf" (coyote) and on the next page of his journal a wolf which he named Canis
Canis
nubilus ( Great Plains
Great Plains
wolf).[3][18] Say described the coyote as:

Canis
Canis
latrans. Cinereous or gray, varied with black above, and dull fulvous, or cinnamon; hair at base dusky plumbeous, in the middle of its length dull cinnamon, and at tip gray or black, longer on the vertebral line; ears erect, rounded at tip, cinnamon behind, the hair dark plumbeous at base, inside lined with gray hair; eyelids edged with black, superior eyelashes black beneath, and at tip above; supplemental lid margined with black-brown before, and edged with black brown behind; iris yellow; pupil black-blue; spot upon the lachrymal sac black-brown; rostrum cinnamon, tinctured with grayish on the nose; lips white, edged with black, three series of black seta; head between the ears intermixed with gray, and dull cinnamon, hairs dusky plumbeous at base; sides paler than the back, obsoletely fasciate with black above the legs; legs cinnamon on the outer side, more distinct on the posterior hair: a dilated black abbreviated line on the anterior ones near the wrist; tail bushy, fusiform, straight, varied with gray and cinnamon, a spot near the base above, and tip black; the tip of the trunk of the tail, attains the tip of the os calcis, when the leg is extended; beneath white, immaculate, tail cinnamon towards the tip, tip black; posterior feet four toed, anterior five toed.[3]

Naming and etymology[edit] The earliest written reference to the species comes from the naturalist Francisco Hernández's Plantas y Animales de la Nueva España (1651), where it is described as a "Spanish fox" or "jackal". The first published usage of the word "coyote" (which is a Spanish borrowing of its Nahuatl
Nahuatl
name coyōtl) comes from the historian Francisco Javier Clavijero's Historia de México in 1780.[19] The first time it was used in English occurred in William Bullock's Six months' residence and travels in Mexico
Mexico
(1824), where it is variously transcribed as cayjotte and cocyotie. The word's spelling was standardized as "coyote" by the 1880s.[17][20] Alternative English names for the coyote include "prairie wolf", "brush wolf", "cased wolf",[21][a] "little wolf"[22] and "American jackal".[23] Its binomial name Canis
Canis
latrans translates to "barking dog", a reference to the many vocalizations they produce.[24]

Local and indigenous names for '' Canis
Canis
latrans''

Linguistic group or area Indigenous name

Arikara Stshirits pukatsh[25]

Canadian French Coyote[21]

Chinook Italipas[25]

Chipewyan Nu-ní-yĕ=̑ts!ế-lĕ[26]

Cocopah Ṭxpa[27] Xṭpa[27]

Northern Cree Plains Cree ᒣᐢᒐᒑᑲᓂᐢ (Mîscacâkanis)[28] ᒣᐢᒐᒑᑲᓂᐢ (Mescacâkanis)[28]

Creek Yv•hu•ce (archaic)[29] Yv•hv•la•nu•ce (modern)[29]

Dakota Mica[25] Micaksica[25]

Flathead Sinchlep[25]

Hidatsa Motsa[25]

Hopi Iisawu[30] Isaw[30]

Karuk Pihnêefich[31]

Klamath Ko-ha-a[25]

Mandan Scheke[25]

Mayan Pek'i'cash[32]

Nez Perce ʔiceyé•ye[33]

Nahuatl Coyōtl[19]

Navajo Ma'ii[34]

Ogallala Sioux Mee-yah-slay'-cha-lah[21]

Ojibwe Mes-ta-cha'-gan-es[21]

Omaha Mikasi[25]

Osage Šómįhkasi[35]

Pawnee Ckirihki[36]

Piute Eja-ah[25]

Spanish Coyote[32] Perro de monte[32]

Yakima Telipa[25]

Timbisha Isa(ppü)[37] Isapaippü[37] Itsappü[37]

Wintu Ćarawa[38] Sedet[38]

Yankton Sioux Song-toke-cha[21]

Yurok Segep[39]

Evolution[edit]

Phylogenetic tree
Phylogenetic tree
of the extant wolf-like canids

Caninae 3.5 Ma

3.0

2.7

1.9

1.6

1.3

1.1

Dog
Dog

Gray wolf
Gray wolf

Himalayan wolf
Himalayan wolf

Coyote
Coyote

African golden wolf
African golden wolf

Ethiopian wolf
Ethiopian wolf

Golden jackal
Golden jackal

Dhole
Dhole

African wild dog
African wild dog

2.6

Side-striped jackal
Side-striped jackal

Black-backed jackal
Black-backed jackal

Phylogenetic relationships between the extant wolf-like clade of canids based on nuclear DNA sequence data taken from the cell nucleus,[40][41] except for the Himalayan wolf, based on mitochondrial DNA sequences.[41][42] Timing in millions of years.[41]

Fossil record[edit] See also: Evolution of the wolf § Fossil record

Skeleton of Pleistocene coyote
Pleistocene coyote
(C. l. orcutti)

Xiaoming Wang and Richard H. Tedford, one of the foremost authorities on carnivore evolution,[43] proposed that the genus Canis
Canis
was the descendant of the coyote-like Eucyon davisi
Eucyon davisi
and its remains first appeared in the Miocene
Miocene
6 million years ago (Mya) in the southwestern USA and Mexico. By the Pliocene
Pliocene
(5 Mya), the larger Canis
Canis
lepophagus[44] appeared in the same region and by the early Pleistocene (1 Mya) C. latrans (the coyote) was in existence. They proposed that the progression from Eucyon davisi
Eucyon davisi
to C lepophagus to the coyote was linear evolution.[45]:p58 Additionally, C. latrans and C.  aureus are closely related to C. edwardii, a species that appeared earliest spanning the mid- Blancan (late Pliocene) to the close of the Irvingtonian (late Pleistocene), and coyote remains indistinguishable from C. latrans were contemporaneous with C. edwardii in North America.[1]:p175,180 Johnston describes C. lepophagus as having a more slender skull and skeleton than the modern coyote.[46]:385 Ronald Nowak found that the early populations had small, delicate, narrowly proportioned skulls that resemble small coyotes and appear to be ancestral to C. latrans.[47]:p241 C. lepophagus was a similar in weight to modern coyotes, but had shorter limb bones that indicates a less cursorial lifestyle. The coyote represents a more primitive form of Canis
Canis
than the gray wolf, as shown by its relatively small size and its comparatively narrow skull and jaws, which lack the grasping power necessary to hold the large prey in which wolves specialize. This is further corroborated by the coyote's sagittal crest, which is low or totally flattened, thus indicating a weaker bite than the wolf's. The coyote is not a specialized carnivore as the wolf is, as shown by the larger chewing surfaces on the molars, reflecting the species' relative dependence on vegetable matter. In these respects, the coyote resembles the fox-like progenitors of the genus more so than the wolf.[48] The oldest fossils that fall within the range of the modern coyote date to 0.74–0.85 Ma (million years) in Hamilton Cave, West Virginia; 0.73 Ma in Irvington, California; 0.35–0.48 Ma in Porcupine Cave, Colorado
Colorado
and in Cumberland Cave, Pennsylvania.[1]:p136 Modern coyotes arose 1,000 years after the Quaternary extinction event.[49] Compared to their modern Holocene
Holocene
counterparts, Pleistocene coyotes (C. l. orcutti) were larger and more robust, likely in response to larger competitors and prey.[49] Pleistocene coyotes were likely more specialized carnivores than their descendants, as their teeth were more adapted to shearing meat, showing fewer grinding surfaces suited for processing vegetation.[50] Their reduction in size occurred within 1000 years of the Quaternary extinction event, when their large prey died out.[49] Furthermore, Pleistocene coyotes were unable to exploit the big-game hunting niche left vacant after the extinction of the dire wolf (C. dirus), as it was rapidly filled by gray wolves, which likely actively killed off the large coyotes, with natural selection favoring the modern gracile morph.[50] DNA evidence[edit] In 1993, a study proposed that the wolves of North America
North America
display skull traits more similar to the coyote than those wolves from Eurasia.[51] In 2010, a study found that the coyote was a basal member of the clade that included the Tibetan wolf, the Dog, the Mongolian wolf and the Eurasian wolf, with the Tibetan wolf
Tibetan wolf
diverging early from wolves and domestic dogs.[52] In 2016, a whole-genome DNA study proposed, based on the assumptions made, that all of the North American wolves and coyotes diverged from a common ancestor less than 6,000–117,000 years ago. The study also indicated that all North America wolves have a significant amount of coyote ancestry and all coyotes some degree of wolf ancestry, and that the red wolf and eastern wolf are highly admixed with different proportions of gray wolf and coyote ancestry. One test indicated a wolf/coyote divergence time of 51,000 years before present that matched other studies indicating that the extant wolf came into being around this time. Another test indicated that the red wolf diverged from the coyote between 55,000 and 117,000 years before present and the Great Lakes region wolf 32,000 years before present. Other tests and modelling showed various divergence ranges and the conclusion was a range of less than 6,000 and 117,000 years before present. The study found that coyote ancestry was highest in red wolves from the southeastern United States and lowest among the Great Lakes region wolves. The theory proposed was that this pattern matched the south to north disappearance of the wolf due to European colonization and its resulting loss of habitat. Bounties led to the extirpation of wolves initially in the southeast, and as the wolf population declined, wolf-coyote admixture increased. Later, this process occurred in the Great Lakes region with the influx of coyotes replacing wolves, followed by the expansion of coyotes and their hybrids across the wider region.[53][54] The proposed timing of the wolf/coyote divergence conflicts with the finding of a coyote-like specimen in strata dated to 1 Mya.[45] Subspecies[edit] As of 2005[update], 19 subspecies are recognized.[23][55] Geographic variation in coyotes is not great, though taken as a whole, the eastern subspecies (C. l. thamnos and C. l. frustor) are large, dark-colored animals, with a gradual paling in color and reduction in size westward and northward (C. l. texensis, C. l. latrans, C. l. lestes, and C. l. incolatus), a brightening of ochraceous tones–deep orange or brown–towards the Pacific coast (C. l. ochropus, C. l. umpquensis), a reduction in size in the Southwestern United States
Southwestern United States
(C. l. microdon, C. l. mearnsi) and a general trend towards dark reddish colors and short muzzles in Mexican and Central American populations.[56]

Subspecies Trinomial authority Description Range Synonyms Image

Plains coyote C. l. latrans nominate subspecies

Say, 1823 The largest subspecies, it has rather pale fur and bears large molars and carnassials.[57] Great Plains
Great Plains
from Alberta, Manitoba, and Saskatchewan
Saskatchewan
south to New Mexico
Mexico
and the Texas Panhandle
Texas Panhandle
[58] C. l. nebracensis (Merriam, 1898) C. l. pallidus (Merriam, 1897)

Mexican coyote C. l. cagottis

C. E. H. Smith, 1839 Similar to C. l. peninsulae, but larger and redder in color, it has shorter ears, larger teeth, and a broader muzzle.[57] States of Oaxaca, San Luis Potosi, Puebla, and Veracruz
Veracruz
in Mexico
Mexico
[58]

San Pedro Martir coyote C. l. clepticus

Elliot, 1903 A small subspecies, it has reddish summer fur and a short, broad skull.[59] Northern Baja California
California
and southwestern California
California
[58]

Salvador coyote C. l. dickeyi

Nelson, 1932 A large subspecies, it equals C. l. lestes in size, but has smaller teeth and darker fur.[60] Originally only known from Cerro Mogote, 3.2 km (2 mi) west of the Goascorán River
Goascorán River
in La Unión, El Salvador,[60] in January 2013, it expanded its range southward to southern Panama.[61]

Southeastern coyote C. l. frustor

Woodhouse, 1851 This subspecies is similar to C. l. peninsulae, but larger and paler, with shorter ears and a longer muzzle.[57] Southeastern and extreme eastern Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, Missouri, and Arkansas
Arkansas
[58]

Belize
Belize
coyote C. l. goldmani

Merriam, 1904 The largest of the Mexican coyotes, it approaches C. l. latrans in size, but has a shorter muzzle.[62] Known only from San Vicente, Chiapas, Mexico, near the Guatemalan border, though it could be the coyote of western Guatemala.[58]

Honduras coyote C. l. hondurensis

Goldman, 1936 A small, rufous-colored subspecies, it has coarse, thin fur and a broad skull.[63] Known only from the open country northeast of Archaga, north of Tegucigalpa
Tegucigalpa
[58]

Durango
Durango
coyote C. l. impavidus

Allen, 1903 This canid is similar to C. l. cagottis in color, but much larger.[59] Southern Sonora, extreme southwestern Chihuahua, western Durango, western Zacatecas, and Sinaloa
Sinaloa
[58]

Northern coyote C. l. incolatus

Hall, 1934 A medium-sized subspecies, it has cinnamon-colored fur and a more concave skull than C. l. latrans.[64] Alaska, Yukon, Northwest Territories, northern British Columbia, and northern Alberta
Alberta
[58]

Tiburón Island
Tiburón Island
coyote C. l. jamesi

Townsend, 1912 Much paler than C. l. mearnsi, it has heavier teeth, a large skull, and long ears.[65] Tiburón Island
Tiburón Island
[65]

Mountain coyote C. l. lestes

Merriam, 1897 Similar in size and color to C. l. latrans, this subspecies has a large tail and ears.[57] southern British Columbia
British Columbia
and southeastern Alberta, Washington east of the Cascade Range, Oregon, northern California, western Montana, Wyoming, Colorado
Colorado
(except the southeastern corner), north-central Nevada, and north-central Utah
Utah
[58]

Mearns' coyote C. l. mearnsi

Merriam, 1897 A small subspecies with medium-sized ears, a small skull and small teeth, its fur is richly and brightly colored. The fulvous tints are exceedingly bright, and cover the hind and fore feet.[57] southwestern Colorado, extreme southern Utah
Utah
and Nevada, southeastern California, northeastern Baja California, Arizona, west of the Rio Grande in New Mexico, northern Sonora
Sonora
and Chihuahua [58] estor (Merriam, 1897)

Lower Rio Grande
Rio Grande
coyote C. l. microdon

Merriam, 1897 A small subspecies, it has small teeth and rather dark fur. The upper surface of the hind foot is whitish, while the belly is sprinkled with black-tipped hairs.[57] Southern Texas and northern Tamaulipas
Tamaulipas
[58]

California
California
Valley coyote C. l. ochropus

von Eschscholtz, 1829 Similar to C. l. latrans and C. l. lestes, but smaller, darker, more brightly colored, it has larger ears and smaller skull and teeth.[57] California
California
west of the Sierra Nevada
Nevada
[58]

Peninsula coyote C. l. peninsulae

Merriam, 1897 It is similar to C. l. ochropus in size and features, but has darker, redder fur. The underside of the tail is blacker than that of C. l. ochropus, and the belly has more black-tipped hairs.[57] Baja California
California
[58]

Eastern coyote C. l. var.

Lawrence and Bossert, 1969 It is a hybrid of C. lupus, but smaller than the eastern wolf and holds smaller territories, but is larger and holds more extensive home ranges than the typical western coyote. It ranges in New England, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Ohio, West Virginia, Maryland, Delaware, and Virginia. They also range in the eastern Canadian provinces of Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, and Newfoundland and Labrador.[58]

Texas Plains coyote C. l. texensis

Bailey, 1905 Smaller than C. l. latrans, it has brighter, more fulvous fur closely approaching the richness found in C. l. ochropus, though C. l. texensis lacks that subspecies' large ears.[66] most of Texas, eastern New Mexico, and northeastern Mexico
Mexico
[58]

Northeastern coyote C. l. thamnos

Jackson, 1949 About the same size as C. l. latrans, or larger, but darker in color, it has a broader skull.[67] north-central Saskatchewan, Manitoba
Manitoba
(except the extreme southwestern corner), east to southern Quebec, south to eastern North Dakota, Minnesota, Iowa, Missouri
Missouri
(north of the Missouri
Missouri
River), Michigan, Wisconsin, Illinois
Illinois
(except the extreme southern portion), and northern Indiana
Indiana
[58]

Northwest Coast coyote C. l. umpquensis

Jackson, 1949 A small subspecies, it has dark, rufous-tinged fur, a comparatively small skull, and weak dentition.[67] Coast of Washington and Oregon
Oregon
[58]

Colima coyote C. l. vigilis

Merriam, 1897 Similar to C. l. peninsulae, but darker and more extensively colored, it has more black on the forearm, and no black on the underside of the tail (excepting the tip).[57] Pacific coast of Mexico
Mexico
from Jalisco
Jalisco
south to Guerrero
Guerrero
[58]

Hybridization[edit]

Melanistic coyotes owe their color to a mutation that first arose in domestic dogs.[68]

Coyotes have occasionally mated with dogs, sometimes producing crosses colloquially known as "coydogs".[69] Such matings are rare in the wild, as the mating cycles of dogs and coyotes do not coincide, and coyotes are usually antagonistic towards dogs. Hybridization usually only occurs when coyotes are expanding into areas where conspecifics are few, and dogs are the only alternatives. Even then, pup survival rates are lower than normal, as dogs do not form pair bonds with coyotes, thus making the rearing of pups more difficult.[70] In captivity, F1 hybrids (first generation) tend to be more mischievous and less manageable as pups than dogs, and are less trustworthy on maturity than wolf-dog hybrids.[69] Hybrids vary in appearance, but generally retain the coyote's usual characteristics. F1 hybrids tend to be intermediate in form between dogs and coyotes, while F2 hybrids (second generation) are more varied. Both F1 and F2 hybrids resemble their coyote parents in terms of shyness and intrasexual aggression.[10][71] Hybrids are fertile and can be successfully bred through four generations.[69] Melanistic coyotes owe their black pelts to a mutation that first arose in domestic dogs.[68] A population of nonalbino white coyotes in Newfoundland owe their coloration to a melanocortin 1 receptor mutation inherited from Golden Retrievers.[72]

Coywolf
Coywolf
hybrid conceived in captivity between a male gray wolf and a female coyote

Coyotes have hybridized with wolves to varying degrees, particularly in the Eastern United States
Eastern United States
and Canada. The so-called "eastern coyote" of northeastern North America
North America
probably originated in the aftermath of the extermination of gray and eastern wolves in the northeast, thus allowing coyotes to colonize former wolf ranges and mix with remnant wolf populations. This hybrid is smaller than either the gray or eastern wolf, and holds smaller territories, but is in turn larger and holds more extensive home ranges than the typical western coyote. As of 2010, the eastern coyote's genetic makeup is fairly uniform, with minimal influence from eastern wolves or western coyotes.[73] Adult eastern coyotes are larger than western coyotes, with female eastern coyotes weighing 21% more than male western coyotes.[73][74] Physical differences become more apparent by the age of 35 days, with eastern coyote pups having longer legs than their western counterparts. Differences in dental development also occurs, with tooth eruption being later, and in a different order in the eastern coyote.[75] Aside from its size, the eastern coyote is physically similar to the western coyote. The four color phases range from dark brown to blond or reddish blond, though the most common phase is gray-brown, with reddish legs, ears, and flanks.[76] No significant differences exist between eastern and western coyotes in aggression and fighting, though eastern coyotes tend to fight less, and are more playful. Unlike western coyote pups, in which fighting precedes play behavior, fighting among eastern coyote pups occurs after the onset of play.[75] Eastern coyotes tend to reach sexual maturity at two years of age, much later than in western coyotes.[73] Eastern and red wolves are also products of varying degrees of wolf-coyote hybridization. The eastern wolf probably was a result of a wolf-coyote admixture, combined with extensive backcrossing with parent gray wolf populations. The red wolf may have originated during a time of declining wolf populations in the southeastern United States, forcing a wolf-coyote hybridization as well as backcrossing with local parent coyote populations to the extent that about 75–80% of the modern red wolf's genome is of coyote derivation.[53][77] Behavior[edit] Social and reproductive behaviors[edit]

Mearns' coyote (C. l. mearnsi) pups playing

A pack of coyotes in Yellowstone National Park

Like the golden jackal, the coyote is gregarious, but not as dependent on conspecifics as more social canid species like wolves are. This is likely because the coyote is not a specialized hunter of large prey as the latter species is.[78] The basic social unit of a coyote pack is a family containing a reproductive female. However, unrelated coyotes may join forces for companionship, or to bring down prey too large to attack singly. Such "nonfamily" packs are only temporary, and may consist of bachelor males, nonreproductive females and subadult young. Families are formed in midwinter, when females enter estrus.[22] Pair bonding can occur 2–3 months before actual copulation takes place.[79] The copulatory tie can last 5–45 minutes.[80] A female entering estrus attracts males by scent marking[81] and howling with increasing frequency.[23] A single female in heat can attract up to seven reproductive males, which can follow her for as long as a month. Although some squabbling may occur among the males, once the female has selected a mate and copulates, the rejected males do not intervene, and move on once they detect other estrous females.[22] Unlike the wolf, which has been known to practice both monogamous and bigamous matings,[82] the coyote is strictly monogamous, even in areas with high coyote densities and abundant food.[83] Females that fail to mate sometimes assist their sisters or mothers in raising their pups, or join their siblings until the next time they can mate. The newly mated pair then establishes a territory and either constructs their own den or cleans out abandoned badger, marmot, or skunk earths. During the pregnancy, the male frequently hunts alone and brings back food for the female. The female may line the den with dried grass or with fur pulled from her belly.[22] The gestation period is 63 days, with an average litter size of six, though the number fluctuates depending on coyote population density and the abundance of food.[23] Coyote
Coyote
pups are born in dens, hollow trees, or under ledges, and weigh 200 to 500 g (0.44 to 1.10 lb) at birth. They are altricial, and are completely dependent on milk for their first 10 days. The incisors erupt at about 12 days, the canines at 16, and the second premolars at 21. Their eyes open after 10 days, by which point the pups become increasingly more mobile, walking by 20 days, and running at the age of six weeks. The parents begin supplementing the pup's diet with regurgitated solid food after 12–15 days. By the age of four to six weeks, when their milk teeth are fully functional, the pups are given small food items such as mice, rabbits, or pieces of ungulate carcasses, with lactation steadily decreasing after two months.[22] Unlike wolf pups, coyote pups begin seriously fighting (as opposed to play fighting) prior to engaging in play behavior. A common play behavior includes the coyote "hip-slam".[71] By three weeks of age, coyote pups bite each other with less inhibition than wolf pups. By the age of four to five weeks, pups have established dominance hierarchies, and are by then more likely to play rather than fight.[84] The male plays an active role in feeding, grooming, and guarding the pups, but abandons them if the female goes missing before the pups are completely weaned. The den is abandoned by June to July, and the pups follow their parents in patrolling their territory and hunting. Pups may leave their families in August, though can remain for much longer. The pups attain adult dimensions at eight months, and gain adult weight a month later.[22] Territorial and sheltering behaviors[edit] Individual feeding territories vary in size from 0.4 to 62 km2 (0.15 to 24 sq mi), with the general concentration of coyotes in a given area depending on food abundance, adequate denning sites, and competition with conspecifics and other predators. The coyote generally does not defend its territory outside of the denning season,[22] and is much less aggressive towards intruders than the wolf is, typically chasing and sparring with them, but rarely killing them.[85] Conflicts between coyotes can arise during times of food shortage.[22] Like wolves, coyotes use a den (usually the deserted holes of other species) when gestating and rearing young, though they may occasionally give birth under sagebrushes in the open. Coyote
Coyote
dens can be located in canyons, washouts, coulees, banks, rock bluffs, or level ground. Some dens have been found under abandoned homestead shacks, grain bins, drainage pipes, railroad tracks, hollow logs, thickets, and thistles. The den is continuously dug and cleaned out by the female until the pups are born. Should the den be disturbed or infested with fleas, the pups are moved into another den. A coyote den can have several entrances and passages branching out from the main chamber.[86] A single den can be used year after year.[23] Hunting and feeding behaviors[edit] While the popular consensus is that olfaction is very important for hunting,[87] two studies that experimentally investigated the role of olfactory, auditory, and visual cues found that visual cues are the most important ones for hunting in red foxes[88] and coyotes.[89][90] When hunting large prey, the coyote often works in pairs or small groups.[5] Success in killing large ungulates depends on factors such as snow depth and crust density. Younger animals usually avoid participating in such hunts, with the breeding pair typically doing most of the work.[23] Unlike the wolf, which attacks large prey from the rear, the coyote approaches from the front, lacerating its prey's head and throat. Like other canids, the coyote caches excess food.[91] Coyotes catch mouse-sized rodents by pouncing, whereas ground squirrels are chased. Although coyotes can live in large groups, small prey is typically caught singly.[23] Coyotes have been observed to kill porcupines in pairs, using their paws to flip the rodents on their backs, then attacking the soft underbelly. Only old and experienced coyotes can successfully prey on porcupines, with many predation attempts by young coyotes resulting in them being injured by their prey's quills.[92] Coyotes sometimes urinate on their food, possibly to claim ownership over it.[93] Coyotes may occasionally form mutualistic hunting relationships with American badgers, assisting each other in digging up rodent prey.[94] The relationship between the two species may occasionally border on apparent "friendship", as some coyotes have been observed laying their heads on their badger companions or licking their faces without protest. The amicable interactions between coyotes and badgers were known to pre-Columbian civilizations, as shown on a Mexican jar dated to 1250–1300 CE depicting the relationship between the two.[95] Communication[edit]

A coyote howling

Body language[edit] Being both a gregarious and solitary animal, the variability of the coyote's visual and vocal repertoire is intermediate between that of the solitary foxes and the highly social wolf.[78] The aggressive behavior of the coyote bears more similarities to that of foxes than it does that of wolves and dogs. An aggressive coyote arches its back and lowers its tail.[96] Unlike dogs, which solicit playful behavior by performing a "play-bow" followed by a "play-leap", play in coyotes consists of a bow, followed by side-to-side head flexions and a series of "spins" and "dives". Although coyotes will sometimes bite their playmates' scruff as dogs do, they typically approach low, and make upward-directed bites.[97] Pups fight each other regardless of sex, while among adults, aggression is typically reserved for members of the same sex. Combatants approach each other waving their tails and snarling with their jaws open, though fights are typically silent. Males tend to fight in a vertical stance, while females fight on all four paws. Fights among females tend to be more serious than ones among males, as females seize their opponents' forelegs, throat, and shoulders.[96] Vocalizations[edit] The coyote has been described as "the most vocal of all [wild] North American mammals".[98][99] Its loudness and range of vocalizations was the cause for its binomial name Canis
Canis
latrans, meaning "barking dog". At least 11 different vocalizations are known in adult coyotes. These sounds are divided into three categories: agonistic and alarm, greeting, and contact. Vocalizations of the first category include woofs, growls, huffs, barks, bark howls, yelps, and high-frequency whines. Woofs are used as low-intensity threats or alarms, and are usually heard near den sites, prompting the pups to immediately retreat into their burrows. Growls are used as threats at short distances, but have also been heard among pups playing and copulating males. Huffs are high-intensity threat vocalizations produced by rapid expiration of air. Barks can be classed as both long-distance threat vocalizations and as alarm calls. Bark howls may serve similar functions. Yelps are emitted as a sign of submission, while high-frequency whines are produced by dominant animals acknowledging the submission of subordinates. Greeting vocalizations include low-frequency whines, 'wow-oo-wows', and group yip howls. Low-frequency whines are emitted by submissive animals, and are usually accompanied by tail wagging and muzzle nibbling. The sound known as 'wow-oo-wow' has been described as a "greeting song". The group yip howl is emitted when two or more pack members reunite, and may be the final act of a complex greeting ceremony. Contact calls include lone howls and group howls, as well as the previously mentioned group yip howls. The lone howl is the most iconic sound of the coyote, and may serve the purpose of announcing the presence of a lone individual separated from its pack. Group howls are used as both substitute group yip howls and as responses to either lone howls, group howls, or group yip howls.[24] Ecology[edit] Habitat[edit]

Urban coyote
Urban coyote
in Bernal Heights, San Francisco

Prior to the near extermination of wolves and cougars, the coyote was most numerous in grasslands inhabited by bison, pronghorn, elk, and other deer, doing particularly well in short-grass areas with prairie dogs, though it was just as much at home in semiarid areas with sagebrush and jackrabbits or in deserts inhabited by cactus, kangaroo rats, and rattlesnakes. As long as it was not in direct competition with the wolf, the coyote ranged from the Sonoran Desert
Desert
to the alpine regions of adjoining mountains or the plains and mountainous areas of Alberta. With the extermination of the wolf, the coyote's range expanded to encompass broken forests from the tropics of Guatemala
Guatemala
and the northern slope of Alaska.[22] Coyotes walk around 5–16 kilometres (3–10 mi) per day, often along trails such as logging roads and paths; they may use iced-over rivers as travel routes in winter. They are often crepuscular, being more active around evening and the beginning of the night than during the day. Like many canids, coyotes are competent swimmers, reported to be able to travel at least 0.8 kilometres (0.5 mi) across water.[100]

A Sonoran Desert
Desert
coyote at the Sonora
Sonora
Desert
Desert
Museum in Tucson Arizona

Diet[edit] The coyote is roughly the North American equivalent to the Eurasian golden jackal.[101] Likewise, the coyote is highly versatile in its choice of food, but is primarily carnivorous, with 90% of its diet consisting of meat. Prey species include bison, deer, sheep, rabbits, rodents, birds, amphibians (except toads), lizards, snakes, fish, crustaceans, and insects. Coyotes may be picky over the prey they target, as animals such as shrews, moles, and brown rats do not occur in their diet in proportion to their numbers.[22] More unusual prey include fishers,[102] young black bear cubs,[103] harp seals[104] and rattlesnakes. Coyotes kill rattlesnakes mostly for food (but also to protect their pups at their dens) by teasing the snakes until they stretch out and then biting their heads and snapping and shaking the snakes.[105] In Death Valley, coyotes may consume great quantities of hawkmoth caterpillars or beetles in the spring flowering months.[106] Although coyotes prefer fresh meat, they will scavenge when the opportunity presents itself. Excluding the insects, fruit, and grass eaten, the coyote requires an estimated 600 g (1.3 lb) of food daily, or 250 kg (550 lb) annually.[22] The coyote readily cannibalizes the carcasses of conspecifics, with coyote fat having been successfully used by coyote hunters as a lure or poisoned bait.[7] The coyote's winter diet consists mainly of large ungulate carcasses, with very little plant matter. Rodent
Rodent
prey increases in importance during the spring, summer, and fall.[5] The coyote feeds on a variety of different produce, including blackberries, blueberries, peaches, pears, apples, prickly pears, chapotes, persimmons, peanuts, watermelons, cantaloupes, and carrots. During the winter and early spring, the coyote eats large quantities of grass, such as green wheat blades. It sometimes eats unusual items such as cotton cake, soybean meal, domestic animal droppings, beans, and cultivated grain such as corn, wheat, and sorghum.[22] Enemies and competitors[edit]

Comparative illustration of coyote and gray wolf

Mountain coyotes (C. l. lestes) cornering a juvenile cougar

In areas where the ranges of coyotes and gray wolves overlap, interference competition and predation by wolves has been hypothesized to limit local coyote densities. Coyote
Coyote
ranges expanded during the 19th and 20th centuries following the extirpation of wolves, while coyotes were driven to extinction on Isle Royale
Isle Royale
after wolves colonized the island in the 1940s. One study conducted in Yellowstone National Park, where both species coexist, concluded that the coyote population in the Lamar River
Lamar River
Valley declined by 39% following the reintroduction of wolves in the 1990s, while coyote populations in wolf inhabited areas of the Grand Teton National Park
Grand Teton National Park
are 33% lower than in areas where they are absent.[107][108] Wolves have been observed to not tolerate coyotes in their vicinity, though coyotes have been known to trail wolves to feed on their kills.[95] Coyotes rarely kill healthy adult red foxes, and have been observed to feed or den alongside them, though they often kill foxes caught in traps. Coyotes may kill fox kits, but this is not a major source of mortality.[109] In southern California, coyotes frequently kill gray foxes, and these smaller canids tend to avoid areas with high coyote densities.[110] Coyotes may compete with cougars in some areas. In the eastern Sierra Nevadas, coyotes compete with cougars over mule deer. Cougars usually outcompete coyotes, and may kill them occasionally, thus reducing coyote predation pressure on smaller carnivores such as foxes and bobcats.[111] In some areas, coyotes share their ranges with bobcats. These two similarly sized species rarely physically confront one another, though bobcat populations tend to diminish in areas with high coyote densities.[112] However, several studies have demonstrated interference competition between coyotes and bobcats, and in all cases coyotes dominated the interaction.[113][114] Multiple researchers[115][116][117][114][118] reported instances of coyotes killing bobcats, whereas bobcats killing coyotes is more rare.[113] Coyotes attack bobcats using a bite-and-shake method similar to what is used on medium-sized prey. Coyotes (both single individuals and groups) have been known to occasionally kill bobcats – in most cases, the bobcats were relatively small specimens, such as adult females and juveniles.[114] However, coyote attacks (by an unknown number of coyotes) on adult male bobcats have occurred. In California, coyote and bobcat populations are not negatively correlated across different habitat types, but predation by coyotes is an important source of mortality in bobcats.[110] Biologist Stanley Paul Young noted that in his entire trapping career, he had never successfully saved a captured bobcat from being killed by coyotes, and wrote of two incidents wherein coyotes chased bobcats up trees.[95] Coyotes have been documented to directly kill Canadian lynx
Canadian lynx
on occasion,[119][120][121] and compete with them for prey, especially snowshoe hares.[119] In some areas, including central Alberta, lynx are more abundant where coyotes are few, thus interactions with coyotes appears to influence lynx populations more than the availability of snowshoe hares.[122] Range[edit]

Range of coyote subspecies as of 1978, (1) Mexican coyote, (2) San Pedro Martir coyote, (3) Salvador coyote, (4) southeastern coyote, (5) Belize
Belize
coyote, (6) Honduras coyote, (7) Durango
Durango
coyote, (8) northern coyote, (9) Tiburón Island
Tiburón Island
coyote, (10) plains coyote, (11) mountain coyote, (12) Mearns' coyote, (13) Lower Rio Grande
Rio Grande
coyote, (14) California
California
valley coyote, (15) peninsula coyote, (16) Texas plains coyote, (17) northeastern coyote, (18) northwest coast coyote, (19) Colima coyote, (20) eastern coyote[58]

Due to the coyote's wide range and abundance throughout North America, it is listed as least concern by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).[2] The coyote's pre-Columbian range was limited to the Southwest and Plains regions of the United States and Canada, and northern and central Mexico. By the 19th century, the species expanded north and east, expanding further after 1900, coinciding with land conversion and the extirpation of wolves. By this time, its range encompassed all of the United States and Mexico, southward into Central America, and northward into most of Canada and Alaska. This expansion is ongoing, and the species now occupies the majority of areas between 8°N (Panama) and 70°N (northern Alaska).[2] Although it was once widely believed that coyotes are recent immigrants to southern Mexico
Mexico
and Central America, aided in their expansion by deforestation, Pleistocene and Early Holocene
Holocene
records, as well as records from the pre-Columbian period and early European colonization show that the animal was present in the area long before modern times. Nevertheless, range expansion did occur south of Costa Rica during the late 1970s and northern Panama
Panama
in the early 1980s, following the expansion of cattle-grazing lands into tropical rainforests. The coyote is predicted to appear in northern Belize
Belize
in the near future, as the habitat there is favorable to the species.[123] Concerns have been raised of a possible expansion into South America through the Panamanian Isthmus, should the Darién Gap ever be closed by the Pan-American Highway.[124] This fear was partially confirmed in January 2013, when the species was recorded in eastern Panama's Chepo District, beyond the Panama
Panama
Canal.[61] A recent genetic study proposes that coyotes were originally not found in the eastern United States. From the 1890s, dense forests were transformed into agricultural land and wolf control implemented on a large scale, leaving a niche for coyotes to disperse into. There were two major dispersals from two populations of genetically distinct coyotes. The first major dispersal to the northeast came in the early twentieth century from those coyotes living in the northern Great Plains. These came to New England
New England
via northern Great Lakes region and southern Canada, and to Pennsylvania
Pennsylvania
via the southern Great Lakes region, meeting together in the 1940s in New York and Pennsylvania. These coyotes have hybridized with the remnant gray wolf and Eastern wolf populations, which has added to coyote genetic diversity and may have assisted adaptation to the new niche. The second major dispersal to the southeast came in the mid-20th century from Texas and reached the Carolinas in the 1980s. These coyotes have hybridized with the remnant red wolf populations before the 1970s when the red wolf was extirpated in the wild, which has also added to coyote genetic diversity and may have assisted adaptation to the new niche. Both of these two major coyote dispersals have experienced rapid population growth and are forecast to meet along the mid-Atlantic coast. The study concludes that for coyotes the long range dispersal, gene flow from local populations, and rapid population growth may be inter-related.[125] Diseases and parasites[edit]

California
California
valley coyote (C. l. ochropus) suffering from sarcoptic mange

Among large North American carnivores, the coyote probably carries the largest number of diseases and parasites, likely due to its wide range and varied diet.[126] Viral diseases known to infect coyotes include rabies, canine distemper, infectious canine hepatitis, four strains of equine encephalitis, and oral papillomatosis. By the late 1970s, serious rabies outbreaks in coyotes had ceased to be a problem for over 60 years, though sporadic cases every 1–5 years did occur. Distemper causes the deaths of many pups in the wild, though some specimens can survive infection. Tularemia, a bacterial disease, infects coyotes through their rodent and lagomorph prey, and can be deadly for pups.[127] Coyotes can be infected by both demodectic and sarcoptic mange, the latter being the most common. Mite
Mite
infestations are rare and incidental in coyotes, while tick infestations are more common, with seasonal peaks depending on locality (May–August in the Northwest, March–November in Arkansas). Coyotes are only rarely infested with lice, while fleas infest coyotes from puphood, though they may be more a source of irritation than serious illness. Pulex
Pulex
simulans is the most common species to infest coyotes, while Ctenocephalides canis tends to occur only in places where coyotes and dogs (its primary host) inhabit the same area. Although coyotes are rarely host to flukes, they can nevertheless have serious effects on coyotes, particularly Nanophyetus salmincola, which can infect them with salmon poisoning disease, a disease with a 90% mortality rate. Trematode Metorchis conjunctus
Metorchis conjunctus
can also infect coyotes.[128] Tapeworms have been recorded to infest 60–95% of all coyotes examined. The most common species to infest coyotes are Taenia pisiformis
Taenia pisiformis
and T. crassiceps, which uses cottontail rabbits as intermediate hosts. The largest species known in coyotes is T. hydatigena, which enters coyotes through infected ungulates, and can grow to lengths of 80 to 400 cm (31 to 157 in). Though once largely limited to wolves, Echinococcus granulosus
Echinococcus granulosus
has expanded to coyotes since the latter began colonizing former wolf ranges. The most frequent ascaroid roundworm in coyotes is Toxascaris leonina, which dwells in the coyote's small intestine and has no ill effects, except for causing the host to eat more frequently. Hookworms of the genus Ancylostoma infest coyotes throughout their range, being particularly prevalent in humid areas. In areas of high moisture, such as coastal Texas, coyotes can carry up to 250 hookworms each. The blood-drinking A. caninum is particularly dangerous, as it damages the coyote through blood loss and lung congestion. A 10-day-old pup can die from being host to as few as 25 A. caninum worms.[127] Relationships with humans[edit] Further information: Urban coyote In folklore and mythology[edit] Main article: Coyote
Coyote
(mythology)

Coyote
Coyote
features as a trickster figure and skin-walker in the folktales of some Native Americans in the United States, notably several nations in the Southwestern and Plains regions, where he alternately assumes the form of an actual coyote or that of a man. As with other trickster figures, Coyote
Coyote
acts as a picaresque hero who rebels against social convention through deception and humor.[129] Folklorists such as Harris belief coyotes came to be seen as tricksters due to the animal's intelligence and adaptability.[130] After the European colonization of the Americas, Anglo-American depictions of Coyote
Coyote
are of a cowardly and untrustworthy animal.[131] Unlike the gray wolf, which has undergone a radical improvement of its public image, Anglo-American cultural attitudes towards the coyote remain largely negative.[132] In the Maidu
Maidu
creation story, Coyote
Coyote
introduces work, suffering, and death to the world.[citation needed] Zuni lore has Coyote
Coyote
bringing winter into the world by stealing light from the kachinas.[citation needed] The Chinook, Maidu, Pawnee, Tohono O'odham, and Ute portray the coyote as the companion of The Creator. A Tohono O'odham
Tohono O'odham
flood story has Coyote
Coyote
helping Montezuma survive a global deluge that destroys humanity. After The Creator creates humanity, Coyote
Coyote
and Montezuma teach people how to live. The Crow creation story portrays Old Man Coyote
Coyote
as The Creator.[citation needed] In The Dineh creation story, Coyote
Coyote
was present in the First World with First Man and First Woman, though a different version has it being created in the Fourth World.[citation needed] The Navajo Coyote
Coyote
brings death into the world, explaining that without death, too many people would exist, thus no room to plant corn.[133]

Mural from Atetelco, Teotihuacán
Teotihuacán
depicting coyote warriors.

Prior to the Spanish conquest of the Aztec Empire, Coyote
Coyote
played a significant role in Mesoamerican cosmology. The coyote symbolized military might in Classic era Teotihuacan, with warriors dressing up in coyote costumes to call upon its predatory power. The species continued to be linked to Central Mexican warrior cults in the centuries leading up to the post-Classic Aztec rule.[134] In Aztec mythology, Huehuecóyotl (meaning "old coyote"), the god of dance, music and carnality, is depicted in several codices as a man with a coyote's head.[135] He is sometimes depicted as a womanizer, responsible for bringing war into the world by seducing Xochiquetzal, the goddess of love.[136] Epigrapher David H. Kelley argued that the god Quetzalcoatl owed its origins to pre-Aztec Uto-Aztecan mythological depictions of the coyote, which is portrayed as mankind's "Elder Brother", a creator, seducer, trickster, and culture hero linked to the morning star.[137] Attacks on humans[edit] Main article: Coyote
Coyote
attacks on humans

A sign discouraging people from feeding coyotes, which can lead to them habituating themselves to human presence, thus increasing the likelihood of attacks

Coyote attacks on humans
Coyote attacks on humans
are uncommon and rarely cause serious injuries, due to the relatively small size of the coyote, but have been increasingly frequent, especially in California. There have been two confirmed fatal attacks: one on a three-year-old named Kelly Keen in Glendale, California[138] and another on a nineteen-year-old named Taylor Mitchell
Taylor Mitchell
in Nova Scotia, Canada.[139] In the 30 years leading up to March 2006, at least 160 attacks occurred in the United States, mostly in the Los Angeles County
Los Angeles County
area.[140] Data from United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Wildlife Services, the California Department of Fish
Fish
and Game, and other sources show that while 41 attacks occurred during the period of 1988–1997, 48 attacks were verified from 1998 through 2003. The majority of these incidents occurred in Southern California
California
near the suburban-wildland interface.[138] In the absence of the harassment of coyotes practiced by rural people, urban coyotes are losing their fear of humans, which is further worsened by people intentionally or unintentionally feeding coyotes. In such situations, some coyotes have begun to act aggressively toward humans, chasing joggers and bicyclists, confronting people walking their dogs, and stalking small children.[138] Non-rabid coyotes in these areas sometimes target small children, mostly under the age of 10, though some adults have been bitten.[141] Although media reports of such attacks generally identify the animals in question as simply "coyotes", research into the genetics of the eastern coyote indicates those involved in attacks in northeast North America, including Pennsylvania, New York, New England, and eastern Canada, may have actually been coywolves, hybrids of Canis
Canis
latrans and C. lupus, not fully coyotes.[142] Livestock and pet predation[edit]

Coyote
Coyote
confronting a dog

Coyotes are presently the most abundant livestock predators in western North America, causing the majority of sheep, goat, and cattle losses.[143] For example, according to the National Agricultural Statistics Service, coyotes were responsible for 60.5% of the 224,000 sheep deaths attributed to predation in 2004.[144] The total number of sheep deaths in 2004 comprised 2.22% of the total sheep and lamb population in the United States,[145] which, according to the National Agricultural Statistics Service USDA report, totaled 4.66 million and 7.80 million heads respectively as of July 1, 2005.[146] Because coyote populations are typically many times greater and more widely distributed than those of wolves, coyotes cause more overall predation losses. The United States government agents routinely shoot, poison, trap, and kill about 90,000 coyotes each year to protect livestock.[147] An Idaho census taken in 2005 showed that individual coyotes were 5% as likely to attack livestock as individual wolves.[148] Livestock guardian dogs are commonly used to aggressively repel predators and have worked well in both fenced pasture and range operations.[149] A 1986 survey of sheep producers in the USA found that 82% reported the use of dogs represented an economic asset.[150] Re-wilding cattle, which involves increasing the natural protective tendencies of cattle, is a method for controlling coyotes discussed by Temple Grandin
Temple Grandin
of Colorado
Colorado
State University.[151] This method is gaining popularity among producers who allow their herds to calve on the range and whose cattle graze open pastures throughout the year.[152] Coyotes typically bite the throat just behind the jaw and below the ear when attacking adult sheep or goats, with death commonly resulting from suffocation. Blood loss is usually a secondary cause of death. Calves and heavily fleeced sheep are killed by attacking the flanks or hindquarters, causing shock and blood loss. When attacking smaller prey, such as young lambs, the kill is made by biting the skull and spinal regions, causing massive tissue and bone damage. Small or young prey may be completely carried off, leaving only blood as evidence of a kill. Coyotes usually leave the hide and most of the skeleton of larger animals relatively intact, unless food is scarce, in which case they may leave only the largest bones. Scattered bits of wool, skin, and other parts are characteristic where coyotes feed extensively on larger carcasses.[143]

Coyote
Coyote
with a typical throat hold on domestic sheep

Tracks are an important factor in distinguishing coyote from dog predation. Coyote
Coyote
tracks tend to be more oval-shaped and compact than those of domestic dogs, and their claw marks are less prominent and the tracks tend to follow a straight line more closely than those of dogs. With the exception of sighthounds, most dogs of similar weight to coyotes have a slightly shorter stride.[143] Coyote
Coyote
kills can be distinguished from wolf kills by less damage to the underlying tissues in the former. Also, coyote scat tends to be smaller than wolf scat.[153][154] Coyotes are often attracted to dog food and animals that are small enough to appear as prey. Items such as garbage, pet food, and sometimes feeding stations for birds and squirrels attract coyotes into backyards. About three to five pets attacked by coyotes are brought into the Animal
Animal
Urgent Care hospital of South Orange County (California) each week, the majority of which are dogs, since cats typically do not survive the attacks.[155] Scat analysis collected near Claremont, California, revealed that coyotes relied heavily on pets as a food source in winter and spring.[138] At one location in Southern California, coyotes began relying on a colony of feral cats as a food source. Over time, the coyotes killed most of the cats, and then continued to eat the cat food placed daily at the colony site by people who were maintaining the cat colony.[138] Coyotes usually attack smaller-sized dogs, but they have been known to attack even large, powerful breeds such as the Rottweiler
Rottweiler
in exceptional cases.[156] Dogs larger than coyotes, such as greyhounds, are generally able to drive them off, and have been known to kill coyotes.[157] Smaller breeds are more likely to suffer injury or death.[141] Uses[edit]

Fur of a Canadian coyote

Prior to the mid-19th century, coyote fur was considered worthless. This changed with the diminution of beavers, and by 1860, the hunting of coyotes for their fur became a great source of income (75 cents to $1.50 per skin) for wolfers in the Great Plains. Coyote
Coyote
pelts were of significant economic importance during the early 1950s, ranging in price from $5 to $25 per pelt, depending on locality.[158] The coyote's fur is not durable enough to make rugs,[159] but can be used for coats and jackets, scarves, or muffs. The majority of pelts are used for making trimmings, such as coat collars and sleeves for women's clothing. Coyote
Coyote
fur is sometimes dyed black as imitation silver fox.[158] Coyotes were occasionally eaten by trappers and mountain men during the western expansion. Coyotes sometimes featured in the feasts of the Plains Indians, and coyote pups were eaten by the indigenous people of San Gabriel, California. The taste of coyote meat has been likened to that of the wolf, and is more tender than pork when boiled. Coyote fat, when taken in the fall, has been used on occasion to grease leather or eaten as a spread.[160] Tameability[edit] Coyotes were probably semidomesticated by various pre-Columbian cultures. Some 19th-century writers wrote of coyotes being kept in native villages in the Great Plains. The coyote is easily tamed as a pup, but can become destructive as an adult.[161] Both full-blooded and hybrid coyotes can be playful and confiding with their owners, but are suspicious and shy of strangers,[69] though coyotes being tractable enough to be used for practical purposes like retrieving[162] and pointing have been recorded.[163] A tame coyote named "Butch", caught in the summer of 1945, had a short-lived career in cinema, appearing in Smoky and Ramrod before being shot while raiding a henhouse.[161] Notes[edit]

^ The name "cased wolf" originates from the fact that the coyote's skin was historically cased like that of the muskrat, whereas the wolf's was spread out flat like the beaver's.[21]

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and Central America". Journal of Biogeography. 31 (12): 2025–2038. doi:10.1111/j.1365-2699.2004.01163.x.  ^ De la Rosa, C. L.; Nocke, C. C. (2010). "Carnivore Evolution: Central America
Central America
and the Great North-South Migrations". A Guide to the Carnivores of Central America: Natural History, Ecology, and Conservation. University of Texas Press. ISBN 978-0-292-78951-7.  ^ Heppenheimer, Elizabeth; Cosio, Daniela S; Brzeski, Kristin E; Caudill, Danny; Van Why, Kyle; Chamberlain, Michael J; Hinton, Joseph W; Vonholdt, Bridgett (2017). "Demographic history influences spatial patterns of genetic diversityin recently expanded coyote (Canis latrans) populations". Heredity. 120: 183–195. doi:10.1038/s41437-017-0014-5.  ^ Young & Jackson 1978, pp. 107–114 ^ a b Gier, H. T.; Kruckenberg, S. M.; Marler, R. J. (1978). "Parasites and diseases of coyotes". In Bekoff, M. Coyotes: biology, behavior, and management. New York: Academic Press. pp. 37–71. ISBN 978-1-930665-42-2. OCLC 52626838.  ^ Chai, J. Y.; Darwin, Murrell K.; Lymbery, A. J. (2005). "Fish-borne parasitic zoonoses: Status and issues". International Journal for Parasitology. 35 (11–12): 1233–1254. doi:10.1016/j.ijpara.2005.07.013. PMID 16143336.  ^ Watts, L. S. (2006). Encyclopedia of American Folklore. Infobase Publishing. pp. 93–94. ISBN 978-1-4381-2979-2. OCLC 465438817.  ^ Harris, M. (1979). Cultural Materialism: The Struggle for a Science of Culture. New York: AltaMira Press. pp. 200–1. ISBN 978-0-7591-0135-7. OCLC 47100657.  ^ Gillespie, Angus K.; Mechling, Jay (1987). American Wildlife in Symbol and Story. University of Tennessee Press. pp. 225–230. ISBN 978-0-87049-522-9. OCLC 14165533.  ^ Way, J. G. (2012). "Love wolves and hate coyotes? A conundrum for canid enthusiasts" (PDF). International Wolf. 22 (4): 8–11. Archived from the original (PDF) on December 24, 2012.  ^ Lynch, P. A.; Roberts, J. (2010). Native American Mythology A to Z. Infobase Publishing. p. 27. ISBN 978-1-4381-3311-9. OCLC 720592939.  ^ Schwartz, M. (1998). A History of Dogs in the Early Americas. Yale University Press. pp. 146–149. ISBN 978-0-300-07519-9. ^ Miller, M. E.; Taube, K. A. (1993). The Gods and Symbols of Ancient Mexico
Mexico
and the Maya: An Illustrated Dictionary of Mesoamerican Religion. Thames and Hudson. p. 92. ISBN 978-0-500-05068-2. OCLC 27667317.  ^ Olivier, G. (2003). Mockeries and Metamorphoses of an Aztec God: Tezcatlipoca, "Lord of the Smoking Mirror". University Press of Colorado. p. 32. ISBN 978-0-87081-745-8. OCLC 52334747.  ^ Kelley, D. H. (1955). "Quetzalcoatl and his Coyote
Coyote
Origins". El México Antiguo. 8: 397–416.  ^ a b c d e " Coyote
Coyote
Attacks: An Increasing Suburban Problem" (PDF). March 2004. Archived from the original (PDF) on September 26, 2007. Retrieved August 19, 2007.  ^ Attack in the Wild: Coyote
Coyote
Mystery (documentary). National Geographic Channel. October 27, 2009.  access-date= requires url= (help) ^ Dell'Amore, Christine (March 2006). "City Slinkers". Smithsonian. Retrieved June 14, 2012.  ^ a b Baker, Rex O. (2007). "A Review of Successful Urban Coyote Management Programs Implemented to Prevent or Reduce Attacks on Humans and Pets in Southern California". Wildlife Damage Management Conferences – Proceedings: 382–392.  ^ Kays, R.; Curtis, A.; Kirchman, J. J. (2009). "Rapid adaptive evolution of northeastern coyotes via hybridization with wolves" (PDF). Biology Letters. 6 (1): 89–93. doi:10.1098/rsbl.2009.0575. PMC 2817252 . PMID 19776058.  ^ a b c " Coyote
Coyote
Predation – Description". A. Wade, Dale & E. Bowns, James. Procedures for Evaluating Predation on Livestock and Wildlife. Archived from the original on August 6, 2007. Retrieved August 19, 2007.  ^ " Sheep
Sheep
and Goats Death Loss" (PDF). National Agricultural Statistics Service. May 6, 2005. Retrieved December 27, 2007.  ^ " Sheep
Sheep
and Lamb Predator and Nonpredator Death Loss in the United States, 2015" (PDF). United States Department of Agriculture. 2015. Retrieved July 1, 2016.  ^ " Sheep
Sheep
and lamb inventory". United States Department of Agriculture. Retrieved February 1, 2010.  ^ "Controlling wily coyotes? Still no easy answers". NBC News. December 7, 2009. Retrieved September 14, 2013.  ^ Collinge, Mark; Timm, R. M.; Madon, M. B. (2008). "Relative risks of predation on livestock posed by individual wolves, black bears, mountain lions and coyotes in Idaho". Proceedings of the Vertebrate Pest Conference: 129–133. Archived from the original on February 23, 2015. CS1 maint: Unfit url (link) ^ "Livestock Protection Dogs" (PDF). Wildlife Services. October 2010. Retrieved July 3, 2016.  ^ "Livestock guarding dogs fact sheet". Animal
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and Plant Health Inspection Service United States Department of Agriculture. Retrieved April 3, 2012.  ^ Grandin, Temple (2015-02-26). "Experts say ranching done right improves the environment and wildlife habitat". Beef Magazine. Retrieved 2017-12-30.  ^ "Bred Cows, Bred Heifers, Feeder Calves". Rhino's Beef & Farm Raised Aussies. 2016-10-04. Retrieved 2017-12-30.  ^ "Ranchers' Guide to Wolf Depredation". Montana
Montana
State University. 2006. Archived from the original on April 9, 2013. Retrieved July 1, 2016. CS1 maint: Unfit url (link) ^ Rollins, Dale. "Coping With Coyotes: Management Alternatives for Minimizing Livestock Losses" (PDF). Texas Agricultural Extension Service. pp. 4–7. Retrieved November 5, 2016.  ^ Hardesty, Greg (May 5, 2005). "For coyotes, pets are prey". Greg Hardesty. Orange County Register. Archived from the original on July 15, 2007.  ^ "A coyote attacks in Weymouth and kills a dog". WHDH-TV – New England News. May 14, 2007 ^ Macur, Juliet (2010). " Coyote
Coyote
vs. Greyhound: The Battle Lines Are Drawn". New York Times. Retrieved July 3, 2016.  ^ a b Young & Jackson 1978, pp. 115–116 ^ Seton 1909, p. 816 ^ Young & Jackson 1978, pp. 119–21 ^ a b Young & Jackson 1978, pp. 64–9 ^ Schultz, J. W. (1962). Blackfeet and Buffalo: Memories of Life Among the Indians. University of Oklahoma
Oklahoma
Press. pp. 141–3. ISBN 978-0-8061-1700-3. OCLC 248716.  ^ Etter, J. (February 15, 1998). " Coyote
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Bibliography[edit]

Cartaino, Carol (2011). Myths & Truths about Coyotes: What You Need to Know about America's Most Misunderstood Predator. Readhowyouwant.com. ISBN 978-1-4587-2668-1. OCLC 876517032.  Fox, M. W. (1978). The Dog: Its Domestication and Behavior. Garland STPM Press. ISBN 978-0-8240-9858-2. OCLC 3223381.  Nowak, R. M. (1979). North American Quaternary Canis. Lawrence, Kans. : Museum of Natural History, University of Kansas.  Seton, E. T. (1909). Life-histories of northern animals : an account of the mammals of Manitoba. New York City: Scribner.  Young, S. P.; Jackson, H. H. T. (1978). The Clever Coyote. University of Nebraska Press. ISBN 978-0-8032-5893-8. OCLC 3294630. 

Further reading[edit]

Books

Dixon, J. S. (1920). Control of the coyote in California. Berkeley, Cal. : Agricultural Experiment Station Flores, D. (2016). Coyote
Coyote
America: A Natural and Supernatural History. Basic Books. ISBN 978-0-465-05299-8 Harding, A. R. (1909). Wolf and coyote trapping; an up-to-date wolf hunter's guide, giving the most successful methods of experienced "wolfers" for hunting and trapping these animals, also gives their habits in detail. Columbus, Ohio, A. R. Harding pub. co. Kurtén, B (1974). "A history of coyote-like dogs (Canidae, Mammalia)". Acta Zoologica Fennica. 140: 1–38.  Leydet, François (1988). The Coyote: Defiant Songdog of the West. University of Oklahoma
Oklahoma
Press. ISBN 978-0-8061-2123-9. OCLC 17106424.  Morey, Paul (2004). Landscape use and diet of coyotes, Canis
Canis
latrans, in the Chicago metropolitan area (Thesis). Utah
Utah
State University.  Murie, A. (1940). Ecology of the coyote in the Yellowstone. Washington, D.C. : U.S. G.P.O. Parker, Gerry. (1995). "Eastern Coyote: Story of Its Success", Nimbus Publishing, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada. Van Nuys, Frank (2015). Varmints and Victims: Predator Control in the American West. Lawrence, KS: University Press of Kansas. Wagner, M. M. (c. 1920). The autobiography of a tame coyote. San Francisco, Harr Wagner pub. co.

Video

Shelly, Priya (June 2016). Living with Coyote
Coyote
(18 minutes). Aeon (digital magazine).

Audiobook

Olson, Jack (May 2015). "The Last Coyote" (8 hours). Narrated by Gary MacFadden. Originally published as Slaughter The Animals, Poison The Earth, Simon & Schuster, Oct. 11, 1971.

External links[edit]

Wikispecies
Wikispecies
has information related to Canis
Canis
latrans

Look up coyote in Wiktionary, the free dictionary.

Media related to Coyote
Coyote
at Wikimedia Commons  "Coyote". Encyclopædia Britannica. 7 (11th ed.). 1911.  " Canis
Canis
latrans". Integrated Taxonomic Information System. Retrieved March 23, 2006.  Arizona
Arizona
Game & Fish
Fish
Department, "Living with Coyotes" Western coyote, Wolf and Coyote
Coyote
DNA Bank @ Trent University View occurrences of " Canis
Canis
latrans" in the Biodiversity Heritage Library.

v t e

Extant Carnivora
Carnivora
species

Kingdom: Animalia Phylum: Chordata Class: Mammalia Infraclass: Eutheria Superorder: Laurasiatheria

Suborder Feliformia

Nandiniidae

Nandinia

African palm civet
African palm civet
(N. binotata)

Herpestidae (Mongooses)

Atilax

Marsh mongoose
Marsh mongoose
(A. paludinosus)

Bdeogale

Bushy-tailed mongoose
Bushy-tailed mongoose
(B. crassicauda) Jackson's mongoose
Jackson's mongoose
(B. jacksoni) Black-footed mongoose
Black-footed mongoose
(B. nigripes)

Crossarchus

Alexander's kusimanse
Alexander's kusimanse
(C. alexandri) Angolan kusimanse
Angolan kusimanse
(C. ansorgei) Common kusimanse
Common kusimanse
(C. obscurus) Flat-headed kusimanse
Flat-headed kusimanse
(C. platycephalus)

Cynictis

Yellow mongoose
Yellow mongoose
(C. penicillata)

Dologale

Pousargues's mongoose
Pousargues's mongoose
(D. dybowskii)

Galerella

Angolan slender mongoose
Angolan slender mongoose
(G. flavescens) Black mongoose
Black mongoose
(G. nigrata) Somalian slender mongoose
Somalian slender mongoose
(G. ochracea) Cape gray mongoose
Cape gray mongoose
(G. pulverulenta) Slender mongoose
Slender mongoose
(G. sanguinea)

Helogale

Ethiopian dwarf mongoose
Ethiopian dwarf mongoose
(H. hirtula) Common dwarf mongoose
Common dwarf mongoose
(H. parvula)

Herpestes

Short-tailed mongoose
Short-tailed mongoose
(H. brachyurus) Indian gray mongoose
Indian gray mongoose
(H. edwardsii) Indian brown mongoose
Indian brown mongoose
(H. fuscus) Egyptian mongoose
Egyptian mongoose
(H. ichneumon) Small Asian mongoose
Small Asian mongoose
(H. javanicus) Long-nosed mongoose
Long-nosed mongoose
(H. naso) Collared mongoose
Collared mongoose
(H. semitorquatus) Ruddy mongoose
Ruddy mongoose
(H. smithii) Crab-eating mongoose
Crab-eating mongoose
(H. urva) Stripe-necked mongoose
Stripe-necked mongoose
(H. vitticollis)

Ichneumia

White-tailed mongoose
White-tailed mongoose
(I. albicauda)

Liberiictus

Liberian mongoose
Liberian mongoose
(L. kuhni)

Mungos

Gambian mongoose
Gambian mongoose
(M. gambianus) Banded mongoose
Banded mongoose
(M. mungo)

Paracynictis

Selous' mongoose
Selous' mongoose
(P. selousi)

Rhynchogale

Meller's mongoose
Meller's mongoose
(R. melleri)

Suricata

Meerkat
Meerkat
(S. suricatta)

Hyaenidae (Hyenas)

Crocuta

Spotted hyena
Spotted hyena
(C. crocuta)

Hyaena

Brown hyena
Brown hyena
(H. brunnea) Striped hyena
Striped hyena
(H. hyaena)

Proteles

Aardwolf
Aardwolf
(P. cristatus)

Felidae

Large family listed below

Viverridae

Large family listed below

Eupleridae

Small family listed below

Family Felidae

Felinae

Acinonyx

Cheetah
Cheetah
(A. jubatus)

Caracal

Caracal
Caracal
(C. caracal) African golden cat
African golden cat
(C. aurata)

Catopuma

Bay cat
Bay cat
(C. badia) Asian golden cat
Asian golden cat
(C. temminckii)

Felis

European wildcat
European wildcat
(F. silvestris) African wildcat
African wildcat
(F. lybica) Jungle cat
Jungle cat
(F. chaus) Black-footed cat
Black-footed cat
(F. nigripes) Sand cat
Sand cat
(F. margarita) Chinese mountain cat
Chinese mountain cat
(F. bieti) Domestic cat (F. catus)

Leopardus

Ocelot
Ocelot
(L. pardalis) Margay
Margay
(L. wiedii) Pampas cat
Pampas cat
(L. colocola) Geoffroy's cat
Geoffroy's cat
(L. geoffroyi) Kodkod
Kodkod
(L. guigna) Andean mountain cat
Andean mountain cat
(L. jacobita) Oncilla
Oncilla
(L. tigrinus) Southern tigrina
Southern tigrina
(L. guttulus)

Leptailurus

Serval
Serval
(L. serval)

Lynx

Canadian lynx
Canadian lynx
(L. canadensis) Eurasian lynx
Eurasian lynx
(L. lynx) Iberian lynx
Iberian lynx
(L. pardinus) Bobcat
Bobcat
(L. rufus)

Otocolobus

Pallas's cat
Pallas's cat
(O. manul)

Pardofelis

Marbled cat
Marbled cat
(P. marmorata)

Prionailurus

Fishing cat
Fishing cat
(P. viverrinus) Leopard cat
Leopard cat
(P. bengalensis) Sundaland leopard cat (P. javanensis) Flat-headed cat
Flat-headed cat
(P. planiceps) Rusty-spotted cat
Rusty-spotted cat
(P. rubiginosus)

Puma

Cougar
Cougar
(P. concolor)

Herpailurus

Jaguarundi
Jaguarundi
(H. yagouaroundi)

Pantherinae

Panthera

Lion
Lion
(P. leo) Jaguar
Jaguar
(P. onca) Leopard
Leopard
(P. pardus) Tiger
Tiger
(P. tigris) Snow leopard
Snow leopard
(P. uncia)

Neofelis

Clouded leopard
Clouded leopard
(N. nebulosa) Sunda clouded leopard
Sunda clouded leopard
(N. diardi)

Family Viverridae
Viverridae
(includes Civets)

Paradoxurinae

Arctictis

Binturong
Binturong
(A. binturong)

Arctogalidia

Small-toothed palm civet
Small-toothed palm civet
(A. trivirgata)

Macrogalidia

Sulawesi palm civet
Sulawesi palm civet
(M. musschenbroekii)

Paguma

Masked palm civet
Masked palm civet
(P. larvata)

Paradoxurus

Golden wet-zone palm civet (P. aureus) Asian palm civet
Asian palm civet
(P. hermaphroditus) Jerdon's palm civet (P. jerdoni) Golden palm civet
Golden palm civet
(P. zeylonensis)

Hemigalinae

Chrotogale

Owston's palm civet
Owston's palm civet
(C. owstoni)

Cynogale

Otter civet
Otter civet
(C. bennettii)

Diplogale

Hose's palm civet
Hose's palm civet
(D. hosei)

Hemigalus

Banded palm civet
Banded palm civet
(H. derbyanus)

Prionodontinae (Asiatic linsangs)

Prionodon

Banded linsang
Banded linsang
(P. linsang) Spotted linsang
Spotted linsang
(P. pardicolor)

Viverrinae

Civettictis

African civet
African civet
(C. civetta)

Genetta (Genets)

Abyssinian genet
Abyssinian genet
(G. abyssinica) Angolan genet
Angolan genet
(G. angolensis) Bourlon's genet
Bourlon's genet
(G. bourloni) Crested servaline genet
Crested servaline genet
(G. cristata) Common genet
Common genet
(G. genetta) Johnston's genet
Johnston's genet
(G. johnstoni) Rusty-spotted genet
Rusty-spotted genet
(G. maculata) Pardine genet
Pardine genet
(G. pardina) Aquatic genet
Aquatic genet
(G. piscivora) King genet
King genet
(G. poensis) Servaline genet
Servaline genet
(G. servalina) Haussa genet
Haussa genet
(G. thierryi) Cape genet
Cape genet
(G. tigrina) Giant forest genet
Giant forest genet
(G. victoriae)

Poiana

African linsang
African linsang
(P. richardsonii) Leighton's linsang
Leighton's linsang
(P. leightoni)

Viverra

Malabar large-spotted civet
Malabar large-spotted civet
(V. civettina) Large-spotted civet
Large-spotted civet
(V. megaspila) Malayan civet
Malayan civet
(V. tangalunga) Large Indian civet
Large Indian civet
(V. zibetha)

Viverricula

Small Indian civet
Small Indian civet
(V. indica)

Family Eupleridae

Euplerinae

Cryptoprocta

Fossa (C. ferox)

Eupleres

Eastern falanouc
Eastern falanouc
(E. goudotii) Western falanouc (E. major)

Fossa

Malagasy civet
Malagasy civet
(F. fossana)

Galidiinae

Galidia

Ring-tailed mongoose
Ring-tailed mongoose
(G. elegans)

Galidictis

Broad-striped Malagasy mongoose
Broad-striped Malagasy mongoose
(G. fasciata) Grandidier's mongoose
Grandidier's mongoose
(G. grandidieri)

Mungotictis

Narrow-striped mongoose
Narrow-striped mongoose
(M. decemlineata)

Salanoia

Brown-tailed mongoose
Brown-tailed mongoose
(S. concolor) Durrell's vontsira (S. durrelli)

Suborder Caniformia
Caniformia
(cont. below)

Ursidae (Bears)

Ailuropoda

Giant panda
Giant panda
(A. melanoleuca)

Helarctos

Sun bear
Sun bear
(H. malayanus)

Melursus

Sloth bear
Sloth bear
(M. ursinus)

Tremarctos

Spectacled bear
Spectacled bear
(T. ornatus)

Ursus

American black bear
American black bear
(U. americanus) Brown bear
Brown bear
(U. arctos) Polar bear
Polar bear
(U. maritimus) Asian black bear
Asian black bear
(U. thibetanus)

Mephitidae

Conepatus (Hog-nosed skunks)

Molina's hog-nosed skunk
Molina's hog-nosed skunk
(C. chinga) Humboldt's hog-nosed skunk
Humboldt's hog-nosed skunk
(C. humboldtii) American hog-nosed skunk
American hog-nosed skunk
(C. leuconotus) Striped hog-nosed skunk
Striped hog-nosed skunk
(C. semistriatus)

Mephitis

Hooded skunk
Hooded skunk
(M. macroura) Striped skunk
Striped skunk
(M. mephitis)

Mydaus

Sunda stink badger
Sunda stink badger
(M. javanensis) Palawan stink badger
Palawan stink badger
(M. marchei)

Spilogale (Spotted skunks)

Southern spotted skunk
Southern spotted skunk
(S. angustifrons) Western spotted skunk
Western spotted skunk
(S. gracilis) Eastern spotted skunk
Eastern spotted skunk
(S. putorius) Pygmy spotted skunk
Pygmy spotted skunk
(S. pygmaea)

Procyonidae

Bassaricyon (Olingos)

Eastern lowland olingo
Eastern lowland olingo
(B. alleni) Northern olingo
Northern olingo
(B. gabbii) Western lowland olingo
Western lowland olingo
(B. medius) Olinguito
Olinguito
(B. neblina)

Bassariscus

Ring-tailed cat
Ring-tailed cat
(B. astutus) Cacomistle
Cacomistle
(B. sumichrasti)

Nasua (Coatis inclusive)

White-nosed coati
White-nosed coati
(N. narica) South American coati
South American coati
(N. nasua)

Nasuella (Coatis inclusive)

Western mountain coati (N. olivacea) Eastern mountain coati (N. meridensis)

Potos

Kinkajou
Kinkajou
(P. flavus)

Procyon

Crab-eating raccoon
Crab-eating raccoon
(P. cancrivorus) Raccoon
Raccoon
(P. lotor) Cozumel raccoon
Cozumel raccoon
(P. pygmaeus)

Ailuridae

Ailurus

Red panda
Red panda
(A. fulgens)

Suborder Caniformia
Caniformia
(cont. above)

Otariidae (Eared seals) (includes fur seals and sea lions) ( Pinniped
Pinniped
inclusive)

Arctocephalus

South American fur seal
South American fur seal
(A. australis) Australasian fur seal (A. forsteri) Galápagos fur seal
Galápagos fur seal
(A. galapagoensis) Antarctic fur seal
Antarctic fur seal
(A. gazella) Juan Fernández fur seal
Juan Fernández fur seal
(A. philippii) Brown fur seal
Brown fur seal
(A. pusillus) Guadalupe fur seal
Guadalupe fur seal
(A. townsendi) Subantarctic fur seal
Subantarctic fur seal
(A. tropicalis)

Callorhinus

Northern fur seal
Northern fur seal
(C. ursinus)

Eumetopias

Steller sea lion
Steller sea lion
(E. jubatus)

Neophoca

Australian sea lion
Australian sea lion
(N. cinerea)

Otaria

South American sea lion
South American sea lion
(O. flavescens)

Phocarctos

New Zealand sea lion
New Zealand sea lion
(P. hookeri)

Zalophus

California
California
sea lion (Z. californianus) Galápagos sea lion
Galápagos sea lion
(Z. wollebaeki)

Odobenidae ( Pinniped
Pinniped
inclusive)

Odobenus

Walrus
Walrus
(O. rosmarus)

Phocidae (Earless seals) ( Pinniped
Pinniped
inclusive)

Cystophora

Hooded seal
Hooded seal
(C. cristata)

Erignathus

Bearded seal
Bearded seal
(E. barbatus)

Halichoerus

Gray seal (H. grypus)

Histriophoca

Ribbon seal
Ribbon seal
(H. fasciata)

Hydrurga

Leopard
Leopard
seal (H. leptonyx)

Leptonychotes

Weddell seal
Weddell seal
(L. weddellii)

Lobodon

Crabeater seal
Crabeater seal
(L. carcinophagus)

Mirounga (Elephant seals)

Northern elephant seal
Northern elephant seal
(M. angustirostris) Southern elephant seal
Southern elephant seal
(M. leonina)

Monachus

Mediterranean monk seal
Mediterranean monk seal
(M. monachus) Hawaiian monk seal
Hawaiian monk seal
(M. schauinslandi)

Ommatophoca

Ross seal
Ross seal
(O. rossi)

Pagophilus

Harp seal
Harp seal
(P. groenlandicus)

Phoca

Spotted seal
Spotted seal
(P. largha) Harbor seal
Harbor seal
(P. vitulina)

Pusa

Caspian seal
Caspian seal
(P. caspica) Ringed seal
Ringed seal
(P. hispida) Baikal seal
Baikal seal
(P. sibirica)

Canidae

Large family listed below

Mustelidae

Large family listed below

Family Canidae
Canidae
(includes dogs)

Atelocynus

Short-eared dog
Short-eared dog
(A. microtis)

Canis

Side-striped jackal
Side-striped jackal
(C. adustus) African golden wolf
African golden wolf
(C. anthus) Golden jackal
Golden jackal
(C. aureus) Coyote
Coyote
(C. latrans) Gray wolf
Gray wolf
(C. lupus) Black-backed jackal
Black-backed jackal
(C. mesomelas) Red wolf
Red wolf
(C. rufus) Ethiopian wolf
Ethiopian wolf
(C. simensis)

Cerdocyon

Crab-eating fox
Crab-eating fox
(C. thous)

Chrysocyon

Maned wolf
Maned wolf
(C. brachyurus)

Cuon

Dhole
Dhole
(C. alpinus)

Lycalopex

Culpeo
Culpeo
(L. culpaeus) Darwin's fox
Darwin's fox
(L. fulvipes) South American gray fox
South American gray fox
(L. griseus) Pampas fox
Pampas fox
(L. gymnocercus) Sechuran fox
Sechuran fox
(L. sechurae) Hoary fox
Hoary fox
(L. vetulus)

Lycaon

African wild dog
African wild dog
(L. pictus)

Nyctereutes

Raccoon
Raccoon
dog (N. procyonoides)

Otocyon

Bat-eared fox
Bat-eared fox
(O. megalotis)

Speothos

Bush dog
Bush dog
(S. venaticus)

Urocyon

Gray fox
Gray fox
(U. cinereoargenteus) Island fox
Island fox
(U. littoralis)

Vulpes (Foxes)

Bengal fox
Bengal fox
(V. bengalensis) Blanford's fox
Blanford's fox
(V. cana) Cape fox
Cape fox
(V. chama) Corsac fox
Corsac fox
(V. corsac) Tibetan sand fox
Tibetan sand fox
(V. ferrilata) Arctic fox
Arctic fox
(V. lagopus) Kit fox
Kit fox
(V. macrotis) Pale fox
Pale fox
(V. pallida) Rüppell's fox
Rüppell's fox
(V. rueppelli) Swift fox
Swift fox
(V. velox) Red fox
Red fox
(V. vulpes) Fennec fox
Fennec fox
(V. zerda)

Family Mustelidae

Lutrinae (Otters)

Aonyx

African clawless otter
African clawless otter
(A. capensis) Oriental small-clawed otter
Oriental small-clawed otter
(A. cinerea)

Enhydra

Sea otter
Sea otter
(E. lutris)

Hydrictis

Spotted-necked otter
Spotted-necked otter
(H. maculicollis)

Lontra

North American river otter
North American river otter
(L. canadensis) Marine otter
Marine otter
(L. felina) Neotropical otter
Neotropical otter
(L. longicaudis) Southern river otter
Southern river otter
(L. provocax)

Lutra

Eurasian otter
Eurasian otter
(L. lutra) Hairy-nosed otter
Hairy-nosed otter
(L. sumatrana)

Lutrogale

Smooth-coated otter
Smooth-coated otter
(L. perspicillata)

Pteronura

Giant otter
Giant otter
(P. brasiliensis)

Mustelinae (including badgers)

Arctonyx

Hog badger
Hog badger
(A. collaris)

Eira

Tayra
Tayra
(E. barbara)

Galictis

Lesser grison
Lesser grison
(G. cuja) Greater grison
Greater grison
(G. vittata)

Gulo

Wolverine
Wolverine
(G. gulo)

Ictonyx

Saharan striped polecat
Saharan striped polecat
(I. libyca) Striped polecat
Striped polecat
(I. striatus)

Lyncodon

Patagonian weasel
Patagonian weasel
(L. patagonicus)

Martes (Martens)

American marten
American marten
(M. americana) Yellow-throated marten
Yellow-throated marten
(M. flavigula) Beech marten
Beech marten
(M. foina) Nilgiri marten
Nilgiri marten
(M. gwatkinsii) European pine marten
European pine marten
(M. martes) Japanese marten
Japanese marten
(M. melampus) Sable
Sable
(M. zibellina)

Pekania

Fisher (P. pennanti)

Meles

Japanese badger
Japanese badger
(M. anakuma) Asian badger
Asian badger
(M. leucurus) European badger
European badger
(M. meles)

Mellivora

Honey badger
Honey badger
(M. capensis)

Melogale (Ferret-badgers)

Bornean ferret-badger
Bornean ferret-badger
(M. everetti) Chinese ferret-badger
Chinese ferret-badger
(M. moschata) Javan ferret-badger
Javan ferret-badger
(M. orientalis) Burmese ferret-badger
Burmese ferret-badger
(M. personata)

Mustela (Weasels and Ferrets)

Amazon weasel
Amazon weasel
(M. africana) Mountain weasel
Mountain weasel
(M. altaica) Stoat
Stoat
(M. erminea) Steppe polecat
Steppe polecat
(M. eversmannii) Colombian weasel
Colombian weasel
(M. felipei) Long-tailed weasel
Long-tailed weasel
(M. frenata) Japanese weasel
Japanese weasel
(M. itatsi) Yellow-bellied weasel
Yellow-bellied weasel
(M. kathiah) European mink
European mink
(M. lutreola) Indonesian mountain weasel
Indonesian mountain weasel
(M. lutreolina) Black-footed ferret
Black-footed ferret
(M. nigripes) Least weasel
Least weasel
(M. nivalis) Malayan weasel
Malayan weasel
(M. nudipes) European polecat
European polecat
(M. putorius) Siberian weasel
Siberian weasel
(M. sibirica) Back-striped weasel
Back-striped weasel
(M. strigidorsa) Egyptian weasel
Egyptian weasel
(M. subpalmata)

Neovison (Minks)

American mink
American mink
(N. vison)

Poecilogale

African striped weasel
African striped weasel
(P. albinucha)

Taxidea

American badger
American badger
(T. taxus)

Vormela

Marbled polecat
Marbled polecat
(V. peregusna)

v t e

Game animals and shooting in North America

Game birds

Bobwhite quail Chukar Hungarian partridge Prairie chicken Mourning dove Ring-necked pheasant Ptarmigan Ruffed grouse Sharp-tailed grouse Snipe (common snipe) Spruce grouse Turkey Woodcock

Waterfowl

Black duck Canada goose Canvasback Gadwall Greater scaup Lesser scaup Mallard Northern pintail Redhead Ross's goose Snow goose Wood duck

Big game

Bighorn sheep Black bear Razorback Brown bear Bison (buffalo) Caribou Cougar
Cougar
(mountain lion) Elk Moose White-tailed deer Gray wolf Mountain goat Mule deer Pronghorn Muskox Dall sheep Polar bear

Other quarry

American alligator Bobcat Coyote Fox
Fox
squirrel Gray fox Gray squirrel Opossum Rabbit Red fox Snowshoe hare

See also

Bear
Bear
hunting Big game hunting Bison hunting Deer
Deer
hunting Waterfowl hunting Whaling Fishing Wolf hunting Upland hunting

Taxon identifiers

Wd: Q44299 ADW: Canis_latrans ARKive: canis-latrans BioLib: 1856 EoL: 328608 EPPO: CANILA Fossilworks: 44854 GBIF: 5219153 iNaturalist: 42051 ITIS: 180599 IUCN: 3745 MSW: 14000718 NCBI: 9614

Authority control

GND: 41755

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