Facts and Knowledge:
A lone coyote howling at the moon has become a symbol of the American West. But in reality coyotes are not solitary animals. They mate for large and hunt in packs. Unlike most other large North American predators, the coyote has actually increased its range since European settlers arrived on the continent. Relying on its ability to adapt to new habitats and live on varied foods, it has survived extensive hunting by fur trappers and sheep farmers.
Habitat: The coyote ranges from icy Alaska to Costa Rica. It can adapt to many habitats but its most at home in open grassland and thinly wooded bush. Its its preferred terrain, it marks off its territory with urine and uses its howl and other loud calls to warn off intruders. In other habitats coyotes live a more nomadic life. In some areas they stay in the hills in summer and move to valley's in winter..
Breeding The coyote usually mates for life, but those that live longer than average often have more than one partner. During the breeding season, the female is in heat (ready to mate) for about 10 days. After mating, she looks for a secluded place to make a den. Depending on the terrain the den may be a burrow dug by both parents, stolen from a fox or badger and enlarged, or hidden in a cave or dense thicket.
The pups are born after a two month gestation period and are nursed for up to seven weeks. At about three weeks they begin to eat solid food that has been regurgitated by the parents. The pups are fully grown at about nine months and sexually mature at one year, although many wait until their second year to mate. Where food is plentiful, young coyotes may remain with their parents. and hunt in a pack. but these packs seldom last long. When the young mature, competition within the family forces them to leave. They typically travel more that 90 miles to establish territories of their own.
Food & Hunting: The Coyotes hunt mostly at night and can adjust their hunting technique to suit their prey are almost exclusively carnivorous, with jackrabbits, ground squirrels, and other small rodents making up more than 90 percent of their diet.
Like foxes, coyotes usually stalk their prey and then pounce on it. Coyotes also pursue large animals such as deer and elk in small packs as deer or elk in small packs of around six. Like wolves, they work together to track down, harass, and kill these larger prey. But their packs are far less stable than wolf packs since they usually consis of a breeding pair and the young still in their parents territory. Coyotes feed on already dead animals. (or carrion) as well as live prey.. In some areas already dead cattle and sheep make up half their diet..
Key Facts: Sizes, Weight, breeding, lifestyle,
Length: Head and body 30 top 40 inches.
Tail length: 12 to 16 in.
Height: 18 to 22 in at shoulder
Weight: 15 to 45 lbs
Sexual Maturity: 1 year.
Mating season: January to march
Gestation: 58 to 65 days
No of pups: 2 to 12 usually 6
Lifestyle: Habit: Sociable, nocturnal predator
Diet: Small animals, some carrion, deer and sheep.
Life span: Usually about 4 years, up to about 22 years in captivity.
Related Species: There are 8 other species
in the genus Canis, including the gray wolf, C lupus, and the domestic dog,
Distribution: Found throughout North America, from Alaska south to Costa Rica, and as far east as New Brunswick, Canada.
Conservation: Coyotes are protected in 12 states but are hunted elsewhere. A a species the coyote is also at risk from interbreeding with the red wolf, gray wolf, and domestic dog.
The Coyote's Den:
Den: Site depends on terrain. May be dug by parents stolen from a fox or badger, or built in a small cave
Pups: Remain hidden in den while young. Parents being them prey to eat.
The Coyote and wolf compare:
Coyote: Narrower nose pad and more pointed ears than gray wolf Fur mostly beige.
Gray Wolf: Larger than coyote. Fur slightly grayer and less colorful.
Did you know:
A solitary jackal fails to make a kill 80 percent of the time. Pairs have a failure rate of only 30 percent.
A mother jackal cares for her young alone in her den. At the first sign of disturbance she will move her pups to a new den.
Many newborn jackals die when their dens flood.
A golden jackal can drive off predators many times its own weight.
Jackal pairs live in territories of up to one square mile.
One or two immature jackals often stay behind with their parents to assist them in rearing the next litter.
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