||Western Coyote (Canis latrans)
Prior to European arrival in North America, Coyotes were only found in western regions of the continent. Though their range overlaps with Grey Wolves, the two species do not hybridize in the west. As Wolves were extirpated from regions east of the Mississippi River, however, Western Coyotes expanded eastward and readily hybridized with remnant Eastern Wolves, thus creating the Eastern Coyote that is pervasive in current eastern landscapes. Click here for more information on Western Coyotes and how they interact with Grey Wolves in Yellowstone National Park.
Western Coyotes has a social structure similar to that of Wolves and packs live in generally well-defined territories. Females are capable of reproducing at 10 months of age, but rarely do until about 2 – 5 years of age when they are established as the breeder in a pack. Coyotes mate in February and give birth in early April. Pups emerge from the den in May and disperse in early winter. Click here for more information on the ecological role of Western Coyotes in Yellowstone National Park.
Weight: 20 – 40 lbs (9 – 18kg).
Pelage: Variable, but generally blonde, reddish, or charcoal.
Litter Size: 1 – 12 pups (average about 5).
Age at Dispersal: ~ 6 months.
Pack Size: variable, between 2 – 10depending on habitat
Territory Size: small but variable; average non-urban size = 10 km2