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Coyote

Coyote

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Coyote

Features of the coyote

 Family: Canidae
Length: 75 to 100 cm
Weight: 15 kg
Sexual maturity: 1 year
Lifespan: 10 years

  • Long and slender body
  • Long and pointed ears and muzzle
  • Keen hearing and sense of smell
  • Fast runner; can reach speeds of 64 km/h

The coyote (Canis latrans) is a close relative of the dog and the wolf. Its size varies according to the region it inhabits. The largest subspecies generally live in more northern regions. 19 subspecies of coyotes can be found throughout North and Central America, ranging from Alaska to Costa Rica. 

Intelligent and wily

CoyoteThe coyote has an extraordinary ability to adapt. This intelligent and wily animal can adjust to upheavals in its habitat and takes advantage of all available opportunities. Despite persecution by humans, the coyote has managed to expand its range.

 

Family territory

The coyote marks its territory with its urine, which emits a very strong odour. This territory, which can extend up to 50 km2, is shared by members of the same family, made up of a breeding pair and juveniles of various ages. Solitary coyotes can roam over much larger territories.

A cry in the night

Howling and barking help coyotes communicate among each other. These calls reach their peak during the mating season. The coyote, with its varied range of vocalizations, can especially be heard between dusk and dawn.

At home almost everywhere

The coyote makes its home in many different habitats. It can be found in wetlands, prairies, taiga, and forests, as well as in farming and urban areas. It makes its den in a secluded spot, preferably near a body of water. Most often, it chooses a burrow abandoned by another animal, a hollow tree or a cavity in the rocks.

Monogamous couples

Most coyote couples are monogamous and breed only once a year. The mating season occurs from January to March. In early May, following two months of gestation, the female gives birth to a litter averaging five to seven pups. Newborns weigh barely 250 grams and open their eyes only after about ten days.

A short childhood

The female nurses her pups for the first four weeks. After weaning, both parents feed them with partly digested food. Young coyotes learn to hunt at about two or three months of age. When autumn arrives, the pups leave the family unit to claim territories of their own.

Diversified diet

Small game such as mice and hares are staples of the coyote’s diet. This small carnivore easily adapts to available food sources and is not a fussy eater. As such, it will readily feed on birds, reptiles, insects, fish or carrion. It will also not turn down fruits and certain vegetables. In urban areas, it captures domestic animals and scavenges for food in garbage bins.

Persecuted more than others

Coyote NathalieThe wolf and the cougar are major predators of the coyote. The black bear, the eagle and, more rarely, the lynx can also attack. However, humans remain the coyote’s chief enemy. The coyote is the most widely hunted wild animal in North America.

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