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Coyote Fact Sheet Georgia DNR - Wildlife Resources Division by kaj11697


									Coyote Fact Sheet | Georgia DNR - Wildlife Resources Division                                                                                   

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              Among the non-native wildlife found throughout the southeast, coyotes are unique in their ability to rapidly
              acclimate to a variety of habitats. With the extirpation of the red wolf in the last century across Georgia, the
              coyote (Canis latrans) has been able to fill a once occupied void and now can be found statewide.
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              Resembling a small dog in appearance, distinguishing characteristics of a coyote include pointy ears and
              snout, mottled color fur pattern ranging from black to reddish-blonde and a bushy tail. As with most canines,                                   You Give, They
              coyotes are equipped with keen eyesight and an acute sense of smell to seek out their diet of small mammals,                                    Live.
              carrion and succulent vegetation. High pitched cries, shrieks or yips can be heard late in the evening as these                                 Support Georgia
              animals communicate. Growling, barking and whining also are commonly used methods of
              communication. Breeding usually occurs in late winter to early spring with five to seven pups born in excavated                                 BUY YOUR TAG >
              dens or brush piles. Pups are weaned at about five to eight weeks of age. Socially, these creatures may mate
              for life and commonly can be found living within a small community (or pack) of related individuals. If mated
              with dogs, a female coyote can produce a coyote/dog hybrid called a "coydog." However, this is uncommon
              due to the unsynchronized breeding cycles of the two species.
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             RANGE & HABITAT
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              The coyote's geographic range spans the entire North American continent from Alaska down to Central
              America. Ranging from the open grasslands and deserts of the west to the forests and agricultural fields of the
              east, the coyote can adapt and thrive wherever food, water and shelter can be found. Preferences include
              wooded forests bordered by fields and brushy areas to den and hunt for small mammals, which is similar to its
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              native habitat range of the southwestern U.S. However, due to their ability to adapt, coyotes do not have many
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              problems when exposed to habitat alterations. Coyotes have even recently been found frequenting urban areas
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              in search of garbage, rodents and other easily found meals. For these reasons, coyotes are thriving in Georgia
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              and their success is not the result of a Department of Natural Resources stocking program.

              Increased numbers of coyote sightings create increased concerns of landowners for their property and safety.
              However, there is little need for fear. By nature, coyotes are timid and shy animals that tend to steer clear of
              any potential danger and thus pose little threat to humans. Contrary to popular belief, these animals do not
              hunt in packs but rather are primarily solitary hunters. Despite these characteristics, problems sometimes do
              occur as these predators become increasingly tolerant of human interactions.

              Prevention is the best defense against nuisance coyotes. Small house pets (especially cats), young or small
              livestock and poultry are vulnerable and susceptible to predation by a coyote. If a coyote is suspected in an
              area where domestic animals are roaming free, several precautions can be made to ensure their safety:

                     Take pets indoors during the night, as this is the coyote's primary hunting time.

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Coyote Fact Sheet | Georgia DNR - Wildlife Resources Division                                                              

                   If the pet must be kept outside, put up fencing to discourage coyotes.

                   Small livestock or poultry should be kept in an enclosed or sheltered area. Coyotes rarely bother larger
                   livestock although they often are blamed for such nuisance instances. It should be noted that dogs,
                   rather than coyotes, are notorious for harassing and attacking livestock.

             Trapping and/or hunting are additional solutions against nuisance coyotes. Because coyotes are a non-native
             species in Georgia, there is no closed season for their harvest. Foot hold or live traps can be used to capture
             animals. However, coyotes may prove difficult to deceive with traps and hunting may be a better solution.
             When hunting, predator or animal-in-distress calls are effective methods of luring in a coyote. Coyotes are
             valued for their thick, attractive fur and are harvested seasonally for commercial use of their pelts.

             A coyote displaying abnormal behavior and appearing fearless of humans is uncharacteristic and may mean
             the animal is injured or has fallen victim to a disease, such as rabies, parvovirus or distemper. In this case, it is
             in the coyote's and human's best interest to euthanize the animal to prevent any further spread of the disease
             and relieve the suffering of the infected animal.

             Overall, the coyote is a largely misunderstood creature and despite its nuisance reputation proves to be an
             asset in maintaining the balance of wildlife in Georgia.


             Click here for a formatted version of the above information.

                Georgia Wildlife Resources Division                                                                                         Georgia DNR Home   Contact Us
          2070 U.S. Hwy. 278, SE, Social Circle, GA 30025

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