Forest, grassland, shrubland, desert, mountains, urban
Most of North and Central America from Panama to Alaska
Least Concern (IUCN Red List)
This species is
to the Truckee Meadows.
Also called a prairie or bush wolf, coyotes are generally around 24 inches tall at the shoulders, and weigh an average of 40 pounds. Coyotes have narrow elongated snouts, their fur is very long and course, and their tails are bushy and usually black tipped. They vary in color from red, grey, and black, and their bellies are typically white in color. In Nevada, coyotes vary greatly in size based on their habitats; coyotes in the mountains often weigh twice as much as coyotes in the desert.
At the turn of the 21st century the coyote population was at its highest point. Since the wolf population has dropped significantly in the United States over the last 150 years, this has allowed coyotes to thrive. Wolves kept the population of coyotes regulated to what is now the central United States and northern Mexico, but now, with coyotes no longer having wolves as competition, they could be found almost everywhere in North and Central America.
Coyotes are very opportunistic eaters, eat almost anything from frogs and snakes to prey as large as deer. They may also feed on insects like grasshoppers.
One reason for coyotes’ resilience is their ability to adapt to close human presence. While urbanized coyotes do not fear humans, they generally stay away from them. However, it's not uncommon to find packs in major cities like Chicago and Los Angeles (they are also fairly common in and around Reno). Coyotes are attracted to cities due to the abundance of food, as they often forage in garbage and hunt small prey, including domestic dogs and cats.
In the Paiute langue, coyotes are called Etza’a.
National Audubon Society: Field Guide to Mammals, 1996, book.
Erica Derby (research & content)
Alex Shahbazi (edits & page design)