Coyotes rarely pose a threat to the people. Though often referred to as “Trickster” the coyote is generally curious, but shy and virtually harmless. The coyote is generally afraid of people and more often heard than seen. The coyote is known for a strong sense of family. In the springtime when their pups are born, both parents join in protecting and feeding the pups as well as teaching them how to fend for themselves. The pups are able to hunt on their own by the next fall. Curiously enough coyotes are also excellent swimmers. For more than twenty years the coyote has migrated to both east and west even colonizing islands.
As opportunistic feeders, if a coyote finds livestock or pets they’ll take them, unfortunately this behavior classifies them as pests in the minds of many. To some degree humans have forced the coyote into this position. With the extripation of other predators such as wolves and cougars and reduced competition the coyote was able to expand their range. And with increased urbanization coyotes have adapted to the human environmenta for survival.
In an attempt to inform the public about the important role coyotes play in our ecosystem and how we can coexist with the species, Wild South’s conservation fellow Lindsey Desmul is conducting a survey for Duke University’s Nicholas School of the Environment to identify where human-coyote interactions are taking place in Western North Carolina.