Coyotes are categorized under the canine species, with wolves, jackals, and dogs. They are much closer to wolves and are considered relatives with similar features but are typically smaller than all wolf species, including the gray wolf.
An adult coyote typically has a height of 60 cm (24 inches), a length of 1 to 13 meters (3.3 – 4.3 feet), and boasts an average weight of 9 to 23 kg, which is about 20 to 50 pounds.
You need to consider important specifics to differentiate a coyote from a wolf. A Coyote typically has long and coarse fur grizzled around the head region, whitish at the other half, and reddish on the legs. They also have bushy black-tipped tails.
There are different types and species of coyotes with a large population that cuts across North America and other continents. This guide will highlight these important details to understand these highly social canines.
Also read: Are Coyotes Friendly?
Subspecies of Coyote
There are 19 coyote subspecies in existence. Twelve of the lot can be found in North America, while seven are in Central America. The 19 coyotes are listed below:
- Canis latrans cagottis (Mexican)
- Canis latrans clepticus (San Pedro Martir)
- Canis latrans dickeyi (Salvador)
- Canis latrans frustror (Southeastern)
- Canis latrans goldmani (Belize)
- Canis latrans hondurensis (Honduras)
- Canis latrans impavidus (Durango)
- Canis latrans incolatus (Northern)
- Canis latrans jamesi (Tiburón Island)
- Canis latrans latrans (Plains )
- Canis latrans lestes (Mountain)
- Canis latrans mearnsi (Mearns’)
- Canis latrans microdon (Lower Rio Grande)
- Canis latrans ochropus (California Valley)
- Canis latrans peninsulae (Peninsula)
- Canis latrans texensis (Texas Plains)
- Canis latrans thamnos (Northeastern)
- Canis latrans umpquensis (Northwest Coast)
- Canis latrans vigilis (Colima)
The biggest coyotes live in the Southeastern United States. Coyotes are often classified as Urban and country Coyotes.
Urban Coyotes are used to seeing humans and have less fear. They often stroll past the neighborhood and are highly opportunistic, searching garbage for easy food.
Country coyotes are more reserved and prefer to hunt down food while avoiding humans as much as possible.
Also read: What Eats Coyotes? Top 9 Coyote Predators
Coyotes have a dominant population and can be found throughout North America and other continents. They can be found all over the United States except in Hawaii. There are many coyotes in Washington and Alaska, with both States boasting some of the biggest species.
Every country in North America has at least one unique coyote species, and the only reason they have not invaded the South America Continent is because of the Darién Gap.
Coyote expansion is ongoing despite the legal killing of more than 400,000 yearly to curtail their almost exponential growth. Their dominant population growth has made them more visible in human-populated areas.
Frequently Asked Questions
How Many Coyotes Are There in The World?
While there is no recorded tally of existing coyotes, the number exceeds 5 million. Despite killing more than 400,000 coyotes in the United States yearly, they are not in danger of extinction as their population only continues to grow.
What Is the Biggest Coyote in The World?
The biggest coyote species tend to live in the Southeastern United States, with most weighing over 15 kg and as much as 23 kg. The biggest coyote on record was killed on November 19, 1937, and weighed 34 kg while measuring 4 feet 11 inches from tail to nose.
Are There Coyotes in Hawaii?
There are no coyotes in Hawaii. Hawaii is the only state in the US where coyotes do not yet have a presence. Their growing population means it is a matter before they dominate entire North America. However, Hawaii is in the middle of the Pacific Ocean and coyotes could colonize it only if humans introduce it there.
Are There Coyotes in Texas?
Coyotes have a dominant population in Texas and have even displaced the Red Wolf from most of its habitat. Coyotes are adapting well to human encroachment in most forests and are still increasing their population despite control measures being put in place by the Government.
Are There Coyotes in Oklahoma?
Yes, there are Coyotes in Oklahoma. They typically avoid humans but are still easy to come across on lonely roads. Coyotes generally do well with the human association by staying away from us.
What Are the Types of Coyotes In Illinois?
Western coyotes are the majority in Illinois. While you may not see much difference between the Eastern and Western Coyotes, the former is slightly larger.