Sonoran Desert Naturalist >>> Field Guide >>> Mammals >>> Coyote


Canis latrans

Photo © by Mike Plagens

This coyote was found hunting in a burned-over area of Sonoran Desert northeast of Carefree, Maricopa Co., Arizona 15 March 2009. The fire occurred in 2005 and now that vegetation is regrowing rapidly there is an abundance of prey such as cottontails, quail and squirrels. He is framed by a pair of Foothills Palo Verde trees.

Coyotes are familiar predators across North America. Before wolves were eliminated by man the smaller coyote was often religated to marginal habitats that could not support wolf packs. Thus the coyote has a long history with the Sonoran Desert. They are abundant near agricultural habitats and on the perimeters of urban settings. They are very adaptable and feed on fruits as well as small animals and insects. Stray pets are fair game and should be kept indoors or in a well-fenced yard. The echoing calls of coyotes in the desert is music to many who love camping and trekking through the desert.

Canidae -- Wolf, Dog & Fox Family

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Copyright Michael J. Plagens, 1999-2010