Coyote (Canis latrans)

Coyote pups

The coyote is a species of canine native to North America. It is smaller than its close relative, the wolf, and slightly smaller than the closely related eastern wolf and red wolf.
The range of the coyote has expanded from its grassland origins to include habitats from Alaska to Panama, as well as most of the contiguous United States. Their resilience to change has allowed coyotes to persist in highly urbanized environments like Los Angeles, where they are fairly common due to a reliable food supply. Their diverse diet ranges from fruit and insects, to household food waste, to deer and birds (the scat or droppings of a coyote are easy to distinguish from dog droppings by the inclusion of fur or bones). Coyotes walk between 5-15 kilometers a day in search of food, generally along established trails or roads. They may travel solo, as monogamous pairs, or—when food is more abundant—in packs of up to 10 individuals. Pairs will sometimes share territory with relatives or their offspring, which they raise in dens. As a crepuscular species, they are most commonly observed around sunset or sunrise.

  • The coyote was an important figure in North American folklore. It was often viewed as a symbol of craftiness and deceit, sometimes donning various guises to trick people. In Mesoamerica, it was a cosmological symbol of military strength.
  • Coyotes are incredibly mobile animals that will roam around their natural territory for several miles every day. If they are facing stiff competition for food and resources, then it may travel more than a hundred miles in search of a new home.
  • Coyotes are animals that are agile on both land and water, but they are relatively poor climbers.