Mass: 11 - 21 kg Length: to 4.5 ft. (1.4 m) Biomes: temperate forest & rainforest, temperate grassland, chaparral, desert, tropical deciduous forest, tropical scrub forest, tropical savanna & grasslands Status: no special status. Range: No other species of wild animal has a range that extends over an area large as that of the modern coyote. They are found throughout Central America, all of the contiguous US and Alaska and all but the northernmost portions of Canada.
Hiker's Note: Coloration of the coyote varies from grayish brown to a yellowish gray on the upper parts. The throat and belly are whitish. The forelegs, sides of head, muzzle and feet are reddish brown. The back has fulvous colored underfur and long, black-tipped guard hairs that produce a black dorsal stripe and a dark cross on the shoulder area. The tail, which is half the body length, is bottle shaped with a black tip. There is also a scent gland located on the dorsal base of the tail. There is one moult per year, which starts in May with light loss of hair and ends in July after profuse shedding. The coyote is significantly smaller than the gray wolf and much larger than foxes. The coyote is differentiated from domesticated dogs by its pointed, erect ears and drooping tail, which it holds below its back when it is running. The eyes have a yellow iris and round pupil. The nose is black and usually less than one inch in diameter. The ears are large in relation to the head and the muzzle is long and slender.
Coyotes are a public health problem because they are reservoir hosts of rabies. They are a threat to poultry, livestock and crops.
The feet are relatively small for the size of the body. The pes has four digits and the manus has five with a small first digit. Coyotes run on their toes (digitigrade). Tracks are 2 in. (5 cm.) long and claw marks are readily visible. The front paw mark is slightly larger than the rear print. Coyote toe pad tracks are wider than those of the fox.