The Coyote, Brush Wolf or Prarrie Wolf still haunts most of North America and it is also on the increase in Long Point Country. Smaller than the Timber Wolf and more adaptible to changing conditions, it is able to survive in spite of settlement of much of its former wilderness range. Its keen senses and fast speed enable it to live almost anywhere; it preys on mice, rabbits, deer, occasionally domestic livestock and even fruit. In some areas it has crossed with domestic dogs and the results are not always easy to distinguish from the original wild animal. The coyote hybridizes readily with the domestic dog, the offspring being called coydogs. An intelligent animal with a reputation for cunning and swiftness, the coyote has been persecuted by humans because of the damage (generally overstated) done by individuals that sometimes prey on domestic or game animals. Despite such persecutions, the coyote has adapted well to environments dominated by humans and is found with regularity in populous areas.
The coyote, Canis latrans, is a wide-ranging animal similar to wolves in some ways but different in others. Coyotes are light-boned, rangier in body with longer, narrower jaws and smaller ears and feet. They are thought to be the most intelligent of the wild canids because they have been able to survive and thrive despite human efforts to exterminate them for hundreds of years. Coyotes can weigh between 25 and 60 pounds and are usually gray to light tan in colour, depending on the region. There are more than a dozen subspecies of coyotes ranging throughout North and Central America. Coyotes tend to live in smaller groups than wolves, sometimes leading solitary lives until they reach sexual maturity at about two years, and they mate for life.
Coyotes also called PRAIRIE WOLF, BRUSH WOLF, OR LITTLE WOLF (Canis latrans), New World member of the dog family (Canidae). The coyote, whose name is derived from the Aztec coyotl, is found from Alaska south to Costa Rica, and especially on the Great Plains. Historically, the eastern border of its range was the Appalachians, but the coyote has, during the 20th century, expanded its range, and now can be found in all of the continental United States, occupying the niche formerly held by the wolf. Smaller and more lightly built than the wolf, the coyote stands about 60 cm (24 inches) at the shoulder, weighs about 9-23 kg (20-50 pounds), and is about 1-1.3 m (3.3-4.3 feet) long, including its 30-40-centimetre tail. The fur is long and coarse and is generally grizzled buff above and whitish below, with reddish legs and a bushy, black-tipped tail. There is, however, considerable local variation in size and colour.
Noted for its nightly serenades of short yaps and mournful howls, the coyote is primarily nocturnal and hunts alone or in relays, running tail downward and sometimes attaining a speed of 64 km (40 miles) per hour. It feeds mainly on rodents and hares but also eats carrion and most types of animal and vegetable matter. It lives in a burrow where, in spring, six or more pups are born after a gestation period of 60-63 days. The parents, which are sometimes lifelong mates, feed and care for the pups until fall.
Coyote," Microsoft® Encarta® 96 Encyclopedia. © 1993-1995 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.