Coyote

Texas Junior Naturalists
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(Canis latrans Say)

A slender, dog-like carnivore, coyotes are common throughout Texas and have taken over much of what historically was the range of the red wolf. They have adapted easily to the expansion of human communities into their habitat and can occasionally be found in urban and suburban neighborhoods. Coyotes may live alone or in small "packs" of up to 6 individuals. They hunt at all hours of the day and night but may be seen more often in the early morning or just before sunset.

Coyotes are opportunitic feeders and will eat almost anything, alive or dead, garbage, meat, fish, vegetables, berries or whatever they can find easily. Their natural diet consists mostly of rabbits, rodents and carrion. Coyotes are very wary of humans, however they can become accustomed to humans especially if they are fed. Since any wild animal that has no fear of humans can become dangerous, it is important to not feed them at all. Don't leave pet food out over night, secure lids to garbage cans and keep small pets inside unless supervised. They do not normally pose a threat to livestock, however hungry coyotes may occasionally take small domestic animals or poultry.

Coyotes are well known for their calls and have given a start to many an unsuspecting camper. They howl (a high quavering cry) and emit a series of short, high-pitched yips. Howls are used to keep in touch with other coyotes in the area. Coyotes have a good sense of smell, vision and hearing and can run up to 40 miles per hour.


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