Common Name

Scientific Name

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Photo by Larry Dalton and Laura Romin
Photo Copyright Larry Dalton and Laura Romin

The coyote, Canis latrans, now occurs throughout most of North America, as well as in parts of Latin America. The range of the coyote has greatly expanded in recent years as habitats have been altered and wolves have been eliminated from many areas. Coyotes are common in Utah, occurring in open deserts, grasslands, forests, urban settings, and other habitats. Because coyotes occasionally kills pets, livestock, and young game animals, they are often considered to be pests.

Female coyotes may produce one litter of four to seven pups during the spring. The young are typically born in earthen dens, where they remain for eight to ten weeks. Both parents tend to the pups until fall, when the young leave the family and head off on their own. Coyotes are opportunistic feeders that mainly consume small animals and carrion (animals already dead), although plant material is occasionally consumed. Coyotes are active year-round and are primarily nocturnal.


  • Biotics Database. 2005. Utah Division of Wildlife Resources, NatureServe, and the network of Natural Heritage Programs and Conservation Data Centers.

  • Burt, W. H. and R. P. Grossenheider. 1980. A field guide to the mammals. Houghton Mifflin Company, Boston. 289 pp.