The Coyote (Canis latrans) is one of the most adaptable mammals of North America. Coyotes enjoy natural habitats of forests, deserts, grasslands, and riparian areas. However, they have successfully adapted to living in urban places like city neighborhoods and towns as well as agricultural areas. They are generally nocturnal but can be seen during the day depending on prey availability. They live throughout a network of urban canyons and in dens, which they dig themselves and use year after year. They are known to repurpose a den previously used by an animal like a badger.
Coyotes are significantly smaller than wolves but much larger than foxes. Although they are found throughout North and Central America they are generally excluded from areas with high wolf populations. Having adapted well to living in urban areas, they have been known to stalk pets like cats and dogs for food. They are the most vocal of North American mammals and use three distinct calls for communication.
Listen to this coyote vocalization. Can you tell which call the coyote is using?
To learn more about the coyote, please visit the University of Michigan Museum of Zoology.
PHOTO CREDIT: S. Thompson, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service