About this Species 

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Name:Coyote
Family:Furbearers
Scientific Name: Canis latrans
Description:

Coyotes are about the size of small collie dogs. They are reddish-gray in color, and from a distance they look like very tall foxes. Adult male coyotes weigh 25-37 pounds; adult females weigh 22-33 pounds. Coyotes weighing 40 pounds are rare, and coyote-like animals that weigh 50 pounds or more are likely to be dogs or crosses with dogs.

Coyotes occur in all Arkansas counties. They tolerate man and commonly establish dens in brush piles or near abandoned farm buildings. Coyotes favor brushy fields with persimmon trees, blackberry thickets and tall weeds. They are most abundant along forest edges near pastures and crop lands and are often found around clearings where trees have been harvested.

The first evidence of nearby coyotes is often the high-pitched "yip-yip-yihwool" calls they make in late evening and near day break. The calls may be spontaneous, but they usually follow a siren, train whistle or other loud sound.

During the courting and breeding season, from late December through March, male and female coyotes form pair bonds and are almost constant companions. As pups develop, they accompany each other and the adults on forays. Many pups abandon the family home range and disperse to new areas by late November. Others remain near their parents and interact with them for years, at times even helping with future litters of pups.

Coyotes diets vary. Common foods include mice, rats, rabbits, birds, insects and other small animals. Coyotes also catch fawns, wild turkeys and small domestic animals as large as 2-3 week old calves. Persimmons are a preferred food during autumn, and other wild fruits are eaten when available. Watermelons, cantaloupes and occasionally corn and other garden vegetables are also eaten.

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Eric Dresser