Coyotes are in the same family as wolves, the Canidae family. These canids may look similar to wolves at first glance, but they have some significant differences. They are smaller in size and have thinner features than wolves do, like their ears and their muzzle.
They aren’t very picky eaters. They’ll eat rabbits, fish, snakes, insects, rodents, and even carrion if they come across it. They’ll also sometimes take down livestock, which causes problems with humans.1 Younger coyotes will hunt insects like grasshoppers, which helps them develop their hunting skills for larger prey.2 They’ll usually live to be 14 when living in the wild.1
These animals are known for their adaptability.
Coyotes live in family groups similar to wolves. The female will give birth in the spring and both parents will share responsibility for taking care of the pups.1 They will have multiple dens that they’ll rotate through, which helps protect the offspring from predators as well as parasites that might be present in the den.2 Pups face several threats during their first year of life, like disease, weather, and predators. Coyotes also mate for life and tend to use the same den sites over and over again throughout the years.3
Thriving in the Wild
These animals are highly adaptable, which has allowed them to thrive in various environments. Normally they would prefer open habitats, like prairies, but now they can be found in forests, mountains, and cities.1&2 Originally they were found in the western half of North America, but now they can be found nearly everywhere and have been moving south into Central America.3&4
This is due to humans eliminating other predators like bears, wolves, and mountain lions.3&4 Coyotes were then able to jump on the opportunity to expand their reach. They’re considered of “Least Concern”, according to the IUCN.1
Check out more information about coyotes and other members of the Canidae family in our article here!
All the best,
Chris & the WERC Team