Greetings Wild Side Readers!
The subject of this post is coyotes and there is a lot to discuss. Now, if anyone else out there grew up watching the Warner Bros. Looney Tunes as I did, then perhaps your first introduction to the coyote was through the trials and tribulations of Wile E. Coyote chasing down the always out-of-reach Road Runner. The word ‘wily’ means skilled at gaining an advantage, especially deceitfully. I think Warner Bros. described their canid character quite succinctly and when considering our modern-day coyote, some parallels can be drawn. I would not characterize coyotes as deceitful by any means, but skilled? Yes, indeed. Coyotes are intelligent, equip with heightened senses, and the ability to adapt to available resources not only to survive but to survive well.
Whenever I am preparing a presentation on wildlife conflict, I almost always include some information on coyotes. While not technically native to Ohio, coyotes have been here for some time, over 60 years to be somewhat exact. They were first recorded in Preble County in 1948. Now they are present in all 88 counties and are one of three wild canids that call Ohio home; the other two are the red fox and gay fox. (Gray wolves, in case you are wondering, were extirpated from Ohio in the mid-1800s.) Within those 88 counties, coyotes are found in a variety of areas, from fields to forests to urban areas.
Coyotes are present in many of Ohio’s cities and communities. They are considered to be one of the most adaptable carnivores, avoiding humans by shifting a majority of their activity to the night shift and spending their time in wooded patches and shrubbery within urban areas. Many residents are unaware of their inconspicuous neighbors and rarely catch a glimpse of them. But when they do, that’s when the questions roll in. It’s also why I include coyotes in my wildlife conflict programs.
Recently I presented on coyotes at the Ohio River Valley Woodland and Wildlife Workshop, an annual conference for landowners offered by a collaboration between OSU, Purdue, and the University of Kentucky Extension. Below are the slides I shared that day, as well as additional resources for even more learn-time! Enjoy!
Curious About Coyotes? – slide set
Urban Coyote Research Project – Chicago, IL research lead by OSU’s Stan Gehrt
Ohio Woodland Stewards – classes, workshops, webinars, and more on forestry and wildlife in Ohio
OSU Sheep Team – predator protection information
OSU Poultry Team – predator protection information
Coyote Species Profile – ODNR, Division of Wildlife
Coyotes – USDA Wildlife Services, Wildlife Damage Management Technical Series (good livestock protection information)
Predators of Poultry – OSU Fact Sheet
Urban Carnivores – Stanley D. Gehrt, Seth P.D. Riley, and Brian L. Cypher
Mammals of Ohio – John D. Harder and Guy N. Cameron
Thanks for reading!
Wildlife Program Specialist