WOW-Coyotes!

Posted on 08. Jul, 2018 by in WOW! Blog

Coyotes are members of the canine or dog family.  They are related to wolves, foxes and domestic dogs but they are distinct. Coyotes are primarily carnivores but will eat fruit, vegetables and just about anything they can find when they are hungry.  They are smaller than gray wolves and red wolves but larger than foxes.  Their coat is primarily reddish to dark gray and the tail has a black tip.  When a coyote runs it holds its tail between the legs unlike wolves and foxes, which hold their tails straight out when they run.

When I was growing in the Piedmont of Georgia in the 1950s and 60s we never knew anything about coyotes being in our area.  We thought they were western animals.  Well, that’s partly true.  For 10,000 years these animals lived generally west of the Mississippi River and mostly in grasslands.  But, since 1950 they have expanded east until now they are found all over the Lower 48 States and they have expanded north into Alaska. And they are expanding south into Central America and soon may enter South America.

I often hear people talking about coyotes and worrying about their small pets and even their children having an encounter with a coyote. If you are fearful of this animal the quote below may help you feel a little less worried about coyotes but maybe a little more worried about dogs!

“In a recent review of coyote attacks on humans from 1970-2015, Baker and Timm (2017) documented 367 attacks by non-rabid coyotes in the United States and Canada, two of which were fatal. In comparison, 4.5 million dog bites occur nationwide annually, with 800,000 requiring medical attention; in 2016, 31 dog bites resulted in fatalities. North Carolina ranks 14th in dog bite incidences, with 77 dog bite claims to insurance companies in 2016 (Bennett 2017).”

This quote is from this interesting article from the North Carolina Wildlife website: http://ncwildlife.org/Portals/0/Learning/documents/Species/Coyote%20Management%20Plan_FINAL_030118.pdf

And here’s another interesting fact about coyotes, if humans try to manage the population by hunting or trapping them to reduce the population, they will breed earlier and have larger litters to maintain the population.  Looks like we better learn to live with this relatively new resident of North Carolina. If you’ve seen coyotes in your area and are concerned here’s a link to an article that will help you make some plans for coexisting with these animals. http://ncwildlife.org/Portals/0/Learning/documents/Profiles/Coexist-Coyotes-v2.pdf

 

Here’s a link to another interesting article.

http://ncwildlife.org/Learning/Species/Mammals/Coyote2#44771367-related-links–photos

 

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