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Posted on January 15th, 2021 in Alert, How To, Safety, Urban Forestry, Wildlife | No Comments »

coyotesMyDNR Newsletter, Indiana Department of Forestry and Natural Resources (IDNR): Indiana residents are more likely to see coyotes during wintertime, but sightings are no cause for alarm. Coyotes become more active during winter as young coyotes leave their families to find a new home and coyotes begin breeding. Coyotes may look larger than they are due to their thick winter coats, but the average coyote only weighs 20-30 pounds.

General characteristics

  • The coyote closely resembles a German shepherd dog in height and shape but it carries its tail below the level of its back instead of curved upward and is generally half the weight of a German shepherd.
  • Coyotes have a long slender snout and large, pointed ears.
  • The upper body is a grizzled gray or buff, with a reddish brown or gray muzzle and legs. The belly is white, cream-colored or reddish yellow.
  • The coyote has a bushy tail, which it carries below the level of its back.
  • Coyotes average 25 pounds (ranging from 20 to 50 pounds), and they measure 40 to 50 inches long from nose to tail tip.
  • Coyotes are elusive and normally avoid humans.
  • They can be active day or night, but are typically most active at dawn and dusk.
  • The coyote communicates by barking, yipping and howling.

Distribution and abundance

Coyotes are present in all sections of the state. There are records of coyotes in Indiana as early as 1816, though they likely inhabited Indiana well before that time. Bounties were in place in Indiana on coyotes from at least 1849 through the late 1960s. Despite this persecution by early European settlers, coyotes persisted in Indiana. Historically, coyote populations were limited in range to the prairie regions of the state, and expansion may have partially been limited because wolves suppress coyote populations, and both red and gray wolves were once abundant in Indiana. However, with the eradication of wolves and conversion of habitat to farmland, coyotes have been able to expand and adapt to new habitats.  Statewide coyote abundance has slowly increased as coyotes continued to expand into previously unoccupied habitat.  Today, coyotes occupy all of Indiana, no matter the habitat type or amount of development.

For more information, please visit Indiana Department of Forestry and Natural Resources (IDNR).

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Coyotes, IN DNR
Coyotes (PDF), Wildlife Conflicts, Department of Entomology, Purdue University
 Ask the Expert: Coexisting with Coyotes, Video, Purdue Extension – Forestry and Natural Resources Youtube channel
Dealing with Nuisance Coyotes, Indiana Department of Natural Resources (IN DNR)-Fish and Wildlife
Urban Coyotes – Should You Be Concerned?, Got Nature? Blog
Urban Coyote Research Center, Urban Coyote Ecology & Management, Cook County, Illinois

Indiana Department of Forestry and Natural Resources

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