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Coyotes (Canis latrans)


Coyotes are a very abundant animal.  They can be found in pretty much every county of Wisconsin.  You will generally find them in open plains or grasslands, but they will sometimes go to valleys and mountains when searching for food.  Coyotes weigh around fifteen to forty-five pounds.  They aren’t that big.  Their length including their tail is approximately forty to sixty inches long.  Wisconsin coyotes get up to fifteen to twenty inches high up to their shoulders.  Even though coyotes aren’t that big, they have a lot of strength.


Proving this, their leg’s strength is so strong that they allow the coyotes to run up to forty mph and jump over fences that are eight feet tall!  Dynamite does come in small packages.  When a coyote wants to show aggression to another animal or human, they will hold their tail horizontally and make it become bushy.  Their ears also hold a great purpose.  Wisconsin coyotes will hold their ears in an acute angle so that detect prey and danger from a great distance away. 


A coyote’s diet consists of pretty much anything that they can find in the area they are in at the time.  They do have their favorites though which consist of: small mammals, insects, reptiles, fruit, and carrion.  They are not that picky when it comes to food.  Wisconsin coyotes have a unique kind of behavior.  They will change their breeding habits, diet, and social activities in order to survive in a certain habitat.  Depending on the coyote, some will travel alone, in pairs, or in packs. 


If the coyote wants to warn others to stay out of their territory, they will use a loud call much like a wolf’s howl.  Wisconsin coyotes are considered sexually mature once they reach the age of one or two years.  Then they begin their mating season which happens between January and March.  The female coyotes are pregnant anywhere from fifty-eight to sixty-five days.  Then a miracle is born.  There are usually two to twelve pups.  The coyote is one of the most adaptable animals in the world.  They can adapt to their habitats and can use their body parts to do more than defend theirself.


Coyotes have the ability to use their long tail to help balance when they have to turn around at a high speed.  Wisconsin coyotes have such great hearing that they can hear a mouse burrowing underground!  That is amazing.  Coyotes do have their disadvantages though.  Wisconsin coyotes have poor vision, only being able to see movement.  This is bad because they can’t see what exactly is coming after them.  A good amount of coyotes also get trapped by humans for their fur.  Coyotes help humans by killing the rodents that eat their crops. 


The main predator of coyotes is the human.  Eagles will sometimes swoop down and attack the baby coyotes.  If they don’t get caught by predators, coyotes can live up to fifteen years in the wild.  Did you know that there are eight species of coyotes?  Also, when coyotes walk, only their toes touch the ground!  What an interesting animal.  If you have domestic dogs, keep watch on them because coyotes are known to breed with domestic dogs.  If you get the chance to see a coyote, keep your distance, but enjoy the moment!

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