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#32: Clearing Up Coyote Misconceptions

What’s the deal with coyotes? It seems like people are seeing them more and more and some coyotes have unusual behavior. What’s going on? 

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People also seem to really hate them, but do they deserve such a bad wrap? This is so interesting to me because so many people love dogs!

In this episode, I talk all about coyotes with a focus on coyotes in the eastern United States. This is a wide-ranging conversation that will likely answer questions you have about this super adaptive species. I clear up many of the most common coyote misconceptions. 

Watch the full podcast episode on YouTube here:

Or enjoy highlights here:

Specifically, I go over: 

  • A brief history of coyotes
  • How they’ve expanded their range in every direction in North America: east, west, south, and north
  • Why they are so good at expanding their range and occupying new niches
  • What coyotes look like at the most southern area of their range and why
  • Are coy wolfs/coydogs a real thing?
  • Coyotes in urban areas: LA, NYC, and Chicago
  • My study on investigating boldness in coyotes and other animals
  • Coyotes and domestic cats
  • Coyotes and white-tailed deer: Are coyotes causing deer declines? 
  • My study on deer fear of coyotes – can they act as apex predators? 
  • Some weird stories of people being followed by coyotes
  • Should you be scared of coyotes? 
  • If killing coyotes is an effective way to control populations
Camera trap coyote
Coyote detected on one of our school camera traps in a very suburban area of Raleigh. We never saw the coyote even though they are there!
Coyote puppies running in sandy areas of the Outer Banks in North Carolina. Photo from eMammal.
Almost all (if not all) coyotes have dog genes in them. Some look more dog like than other like this coyote on the right.

Resources and Sources Mentioned in Coyote Misconceptions

How coyotes conquered the continent – a study from my former lab! 

Coyote in Quiznos in Chicago:

Rabid coyote in North Carolina

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