A friend of mine shared a post about, ‘a warning’, that is circulating on social media in regards to January and February being active Coyote mating months, and how to avoid being attacked.
Being from Southern California, and having lived in Nevada, Washington, Texas, Florida, Illinois, Louisiana, and South Carolina, amongst other states, and Canada, I have had friends, family, and several aquaintance, lose their pets, and even been approached by a pack of Coyote themselves, whilst out for a walk, jog, biking, or even in their own yards. My friend’s shared warning post prompted me to do some more homework, and elaborate on Coyote in general, and even about Wolves. Many people mistake both, for one another, and even a dog, so I wanted to add clarity, and give education.
First, I have posted pictures of a Coyote, and a Coyote Pup which often are mistaken for a wolf, stray dog, or stray puppy. So it is really important to learn about the markings, size, and distinctions.
Next, I share the warning issued across social media, in particular California, but the warning applies to all areas where Coyote occupy in North America.
I go on to discuss details, and nature of Coyotes as a species. Which I might add is a relatively large species throughout North America.
I also discuss ‘Coyote Attractants’, ‘How to Discourage a Coyote’s Approach’, and ‘What to Do If You Encounter Coyote’.
I go on to post various ‘Coyote Warning Flyers’ issued across North America. I also post ‘Wolf and Coyote Comparisons’ so you are able to identify the difference quickly.
The more knowledge you have about these beautiful animals, and their nature, the better we can co-exist, and protect them, ourselves, and our beloved furry babies.
A warning issued across social media on Coyote activity in January – February.
Coyote Courting Season, Rain, & Dispersal
We are now in coyote courting season when more coyotes will be seen in pairs as the courting season ritual begins.
During the courting season, coyotes have been observed romancing their partners in a variety of different ways; playing with their partners by jumping high into the air, dancing around their partners, chasing their partners, and even coming face to face with their partners. Coyotes will have increased appetites and require more food due to their increased extra curricular activities during the courting season.
Dog owners must pay particularly close attention to their dogs (especially male dogs) while outside during January and even through the middle of February, because coyotes may see a dog as competition (and maybe even a threat). A coyote’s natural instinct is to remove the competition (or threat) since coyotes are very protective of their partners. Most susceptible to coyote attack are puppies and older dogs that are less able to protect themselves.
In addition, rainfall plays an important role in determining the amount of coyote activity in January. Although we will see very little of the coyotes over the next week since coyotes do not like to be in the rain, expect increased coyote activity after the storms completely pass through.
Coyote activity always decreases as a storm front moves in, because of the drop in barometric pressure makes coyotes more lethargic and less active. After the storm front passes through, barometric pressure increases which in turn increases the metabolisms of coyotes. When coyote metabolisms increase, coyotes become hungrier and thirstier so more coyotes are seen out hunting.
While tracking coyote activity over the course of a few years, Coyotes OC learned that coyotes were most active in the months where there was the greatest amount of precipitation. Although we welcome rain here in southern California, storms passing through do present a greater chance for a coyote encounter.
Juvenile coyotes (less than one year old) may also be seen dispersing as they venture out to find their own new home range/territory.
Due to the increased safety risk for your pets during this time, please remember to always accompany your pets outside and keep them on a short leash to keep them safe.
Coyotes (Canis latrans) are found through most of California. The California Department of Fish and Game estimates a population range of 250,000 to 750,000 individuals. Coyotes are very adaptable and inhabit most areas of the state with the exception of the centers of major metropolitan areas. They are medium sized animals belonging to the dog family. Most adults weigh between 22 to 25 pounds on the average, with males being the larger sex. With large erect ears, slender muzzle, and bushy tail they resemble a small collie dog. In the hotter drier regions of California, coyotes are tan-brown in color with streaks of gray. In the more mountainous or humid areas the color is darker with less brown. In the winter the coats become quite dense, especially in the colder areas. The voice of the coyote is quite distinctive, consisting of various howls, high-pitched yaps, and occasional dog like barks. Coyotes are proficient predators, possessing the speed, strength, and endurance necessary to tackle prey as large as adult deer.
In California, coyotes breed mainly during January, February, and March. The gestation period is about 60-63 days. Young are born March through May, with litter sizes averaging 5-6 pups. Coyotes produce one litter per year. The young are weaned at 5-6 weeks and leave the parents at 6 to 9 months. Most adults breed first in their second year. Non-breeding yearlings often stay with the adult parents and help care of the pups. Coyote dens are found in steep banks, rock crevices, sinkholes, and underbrush. Often these are holes that have been used by badger, skunks, foxes, or other animals with entrances enlarged to about one foot in diameter. Dens vary from 4 to 5 feet wide to 50 feet deep.
The diet of the coyote consists mainly of mice, rats, ground squirrels, gophers, rabbits, and carrion. They also eat insects, reptiles, amphibians, fruits, birds and their eggs, and deer fawns. In some rural areas of California they prey heavily on sheep, cattle, and poultry. In urban and suburban areas, garbage, domestic cats, dogs and other pets, hobby animals, and pet food can be important food items.
Coyotes are most active at night and during the early morning and late evening hours. In areas where they are not disturbed by human activities and during the cooler times of the year, they may be active throughout the day. Urban coyotes are becoming very tolerant of human activities. Young coyotes tend to be more active during daylight hours than adults. Home range size varies depending on food availability.
Distemper and canine hepatitis are among the most common diseases of coyotes. Rabies and tularemia also occur and may be transmitted to humans and other animals Coyotes often carry parasites including mites, ticks, fleas, worms, and flukes. Mites that cause sarcoptic mange are an important ectoparasite of coyotes. Heart worm is one of the most important endoparasites in California’s coyote population. This parasite can be transmitted to domestic dogs by mosquitoes.
Coyotes can cause substantial damage. In rural areas they often kill sheep, calves, and poultry. In some parts of the state they cause damage to drip irrigation systems by biting holes in the pipe. In other areas they cause considerable damage to watermelons, citrus fruits, and avocados. Aircraft safety is often jeopardized when coyotes take up residence on or near runways. Coyotes have also been known to prey on various endangered/threatened species including the kit fox and the California least tern. In urban and suburban areas, coyotes commonly take domestic house cats, small dogs, poultry, and other domestic animals. Coyotes have been known to attack humans, and in one case, a coyote in southern California killed a three-year-old girl.
During the time of the year when adult coyotes are caring for young (May-September), they can be very aggressive. Domestic dogs are especially vulnerable to attack during this time. In urban settings where a den site has been identified, the area should be posted with signs and caution should be taken to keep dogs out of the area. Increased predation on all domestic pets can be expected around den sites. In some cases a family group of coyotes can be harassed enough to encourage them to move. Whenever possible, coyotes should be harassed or scared to condition them to avoid humans.
Coyotes are not threatened or endangered in California and are classified as non-game mammals by the Department of Fish and Game. Where coyotes continue to be a problem after non-lethal methods have proven unsuccessful or when human health and safety is jeopardized, it is sometimes necessary to kill one or more animals. Coyotes can be shot where legal and appropriate or captured using a variety of restraining devices. California Department of Fish and Game regulations prohibit the relocation of coyotes without written permission from the Department. For further information on the legal status of coyotes and other wildlife contact your local California Department of Fish and Game Regional Office.
For further information or assistance in solving coyote problems contact the USDA-APHIS-WS State Office (916-979-2675) or the USDA-APHIS-WS District Office for your area.
The following list illustrates some of the attractants that draw coyotes close to people.
- Outdoor pet food or water
- Birdseed or food sources that attract small mammals
- Accessible garbage or compost
- Fallen fruit or berries from trees or shrubs
- Shrubs, woodpiles, decks or any other structure that can provide cover or be used as a den
- Dogs and cats allowed to roam free, and/or female dogs in heat
Discourage a Coyote’s Approach
It is unlawful to feed or intentionally attract coyotes.
- Always supervise your pet outside, especially at dawn and dusk.
- Keep your dog on a short leash while recreating – avoid retractable leashes.
- Do not allow your dog off-leash.
- Do not allow your dog to play or interact with a coyote.
- If possible, pick up your dog when coyotes are visible.
- Avoid known or potential den sites and thick vegetation. Like domestic dogs, coyotes will defend their territory and their young.
- If you must leave your dog outside, secure it in a fully enclosed kennel.
If You Encounter a Coyote
If a coyote attacks your pet, or if you have an unexpected encounter with a coyote in which the animal appears aggressive, please report the incident to Animal Control.
In the case of a coyote attack on a human, call 911.
Various Coyote Warnings Issued Across North America
The Wolf And Coyote Comparison
More Information You Should Know About Coyote
Where do Coyotes live? Coyotes live in every state of America, especially North America and Central America, Canada, and Mexico. Generally, they roam in deserts, plains, hilly areas, tropical and subtropical climates, urban and suburbs, grasslands, tundra, and even swamps.
Coyotes are highly social and territorial animals. Mostly, they live as a part of the pack, but solitary animals are also seen. They mark their territory with the urine and don’t allow other animals to enter their homes. They use vocals to communicate with fellows. Usually, Urban Coyotes mark the home boundary in an area ranging from two square miles to ten square miles. Moreover, they make a den for family raising purposes. Interestingly, the papa Coyote is not allowed to enter the den. Only mom lives with her pups in the den.
Common Habitat of Coyotes
It seems like saying,” HURREEYY! I am the Champ of the US, Canada, and Mexico “.It is an adaptable mammal that can live well in a variety of climates, conditions, and habitats.
Below are a few common habitats:
You may be surprised to know that Coyotes are shy to humans, occasionally urban coyotes have become a fearless creature. In urban areas, they make homes in parks, golf courses, forest preserves, cemeteries, soccer playfields, and even any safe green patches of land. How intelligent they are. If they face food shortages, they can increase the size or territory. However, if enough food and shelter are available even in a small territory, they live happily. They tend to hide their den in an urban matrix. Researchers have found coyote holes in surprising places like:
- Small hidden places under sidewalks
- In culverts-open drains under the roads
- In the basement of wrecked houses
- In existing raccoon burrows
- Under storage sheds
Interestingly, urban Coyotes even don’t hesitate to travel in a subway. Such a fearless creature! Isn’t it?
They also live in towns, rural and semi-rural areas. As most Americans are adapting organic lifestyles, this mammal is more likely to live near farmhouses. Here they can easily prey on pets. New farmers are mostly unaware of this harm. It also lives near fields, because they eat grains. In villages, they also create homes out of the greenery. If there is more food in smaller areas, they live peacefully, otherwise, they manage to increase the size of the territory.
Historically, this animal used to live in woods and forests. They are actually born in the wild then adapt to survive anywhere. In forests, make territory away from wolf and bear areas. They are most opportunistic to create a shelter in dense trees with abundant food supplies.they can easily hide the den in woods, by digging burrows and covering them with scratch.
No doubt, Coyotes are the most adaptable creature to survive in any habitat. Even they are not disturbed by the blazing sun, burning sand, and the cool night breeze of the desert.in Arizona Sonoran desert, they typically make their homes in:
- Elevated peaks.
- Desert shrubberies.
- Near small patches of green land.
- In the caves.
- Near populated areas.
Grasslands provide shelter to most wild animals including coyotes. They live in nearly all the grasslands of North America. Similarly, In Yellowstone National park, a large number of these species tend to live and raise their families.
Coyote territories are also seen in the swamps from the eastern to coastal North Carolina. The incredibly adaptable creature, make territories even in the marshes. However, they make territories away from the alligators. Enjoy this amazing image taken from McElroy Swamp Louisiana.
You will be surprised to know that Coyotes are good swimmers. They successfully inhabit the tundra, a vast treeless flat region of North America. Moreover, they also live in the Arctic tundra.
Where Do Coyotes Live in World Map
Now you are wondering whether Coyotes exist in the whole world or they are only the natives of America and neighborhoods? So, let’s figure this out. Coyotes generally live in nearly all states in the US, from North to Central America, except Hawaii, Canada, Mexico. And why is Hawaii free from this creature? The reason is that Hawaii is the only US state that is located outside North America in the North Pacific ocean. Moreover, this state is 3000km away from the nearest continent. Although they are good swimmers but not enough to cover such a big distance. Similarly, they are not allowed to hire a fairy to visit Hawaii. That’s why they are not present in Hawaii.
Where Do Coyotes Live in The US
Coyotes live in all the States of the US. From the past few decades, they have increased their area from North America, Central America towards the arctic. However, at Panama- Colombia border, there comes an area of 100 miles connecting Central and South America and consists of a dense forest. This area, named Darien Gap, acts as a hurdle and stops Coyotes from entering South America. Actually, the Jaguars of Darien Gap dont allow them to enter South America. But if they succeed in entering the South, they will spread throughout the whole continent. Let’s discuss the US areas with a high Coyote population and even if you are planning a coyote hunt, this information will surely help you.
Coyotes are present in the whole Texas but Austin and Travis County are the areas with high coyote populations. In Texas, if you are interested in hunting, you don’t need a license throughout the year.
Coyotes have extended their families in all the 67 counties of Florida. its hunting is legal and allowed throughout the year. However, if you are using a steel leg trap, you must need a permit from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.
Coyotes are living in all the 83 counties of Michigan. According to Michigan Coyote hunting rules, you must have a fur harvester or resident based license. However, the daytime hunting season starts from 15 July to 15 April, and nighttime predation starts from October 15 to March 15. Also, there are some restrictions for night time Coyote hunting.
Nevada is featured as an ideal habitat for Coyotes.The best thing about this area in private ranchers. fantasticBoth local residents and non-residents are allowed to hunt throughout the year. But you need a license in the case of fur selling. Also if you are planning to use a leg trap, make sure to take the permit first.
The beautiful land with high altitudes and the best weather provides a large habitat to Coyotes. This wild animal is mostly attracted to rural areas, where dead livestock disposal sites are a food source for them. Here the natives are allowed hunting at any time. If you are a nonresident, seek permission first.
Wyoming State has 23 counties, and eventually, all of these counties are rich in coyote populations. Moreover, you can enjoy legal hunting at any time. But be careful, don’t hunt the Coyote from the public roads, as it is not allowed.
Utah state is located in the western US with 29 counties. It has a dry desert climate, with extremely hot weather. But coyotes never mind the weather extremes. hey, exist in all the counties of Utah. Moreover, coyote hunting is also legal throughout the year and no license is required.
This US State, with a mixture of hot and humid weather, mainly consists of great plains. Here, the winters are cold and icy, and summers are hot, providing an ideal shelter to Coyotes.Especially western Nebraska is rich in the Coyote population. The natives here can hunt without a license, but the nonresidents need a permit.
The Kansas state, located in the midwestern US, is the best place where you can find a large number of Coyotes. The best thing is Coyote hunting is allowed throughout the year. However, a license is required for hunting and fur selling.
A large number of Coyote populations exist in California State. This animal inhabits nearly all the areas ranging from mountains to deserts. However, in dense populated areas Coyotes are usually not seen. Its hunting is legal but you must require a permit.
Where Do Coyotes Live in Canada
No doubt, this animal doesn’t take care of borders, so they have expanded their range from America to Canada. Moreover, Coyotes make their homes near farmlands, valleys, mountains, and parks in the urban areas. Interestingly, a dominant species named coywolf exists in Ontario, which is actually a hybrid of Coyote and eastern wolf. Here is the list of coyote inhabited areas in Canada.
- Southern Saskatchewan
- Western NWT
- East of Maritima
Where Do Coyotes Live in Mexico
It is really sad that the destruction of the natural wildlife habitat is sweeping the homes of animals. Therefore, wild animals including coyotes are heading towards metropolitan areas. Although Mexico itself is a small country, rich in the Coyotes population. Here they live more happily in the Sonoran desert, which provides a vast area as a shelter.
What to do if you find a coyote in your territory. You can capture it in a cage and then set if free away from your place.
I hope this blog post gives you good information to happy co-existence, and happy living.