The state Department of Natural Resources staff work to inform and educate the public about the coyote and its presence in the state. Following is a list of coyote facts provided by ODNR:
What’s in a name?
Coyotes are part of the mammalian class in the animal kingdom. They are of the Carnivora order in the Canidae (dog) family. Their scientific name, Canis latrans, means barking dog.
The average coyote is anywhere from 1-2 feet tall, around 41-53 inches in length, and can weigh anywhere from 20 to 50 pounds.
Coyotes look very similar to a domesticated dog, ranging in color from gray to rusty brown to off-white. A distinguishing feature of the coyote are their bushy tails, which are carried down at a 45 degree angle.
Coyotes eat berries and plants as well as small rodents, including rabbits, mice, fish and even deer. However, ample food can be found in dumpsters or garbage cans, and squirrels, rabbits and raccoons are commonly found in the city.
With their keen vision and strong sense of smell, coyotes can run up to 40 mph to catch prey or run from predators, which includes bears, wolves and humans.
Before settlement in Ohio, coyotes were found west of the Mississippi River.
Coyotes typically prefer open areas. When Ohio was settled and trees were cleared, Ohio became an ideal habitat for the species.
The coyote made its initial appearance in Ohio in 1919 and today is found in all 88 counties.
Coyotes are monogamous, pairing for life with one mate. Breeding occurs sometime between January and March.
The pregnant female will carry her young a little more than two months. Anywhere between one and 12 pups are born in April or May.
Much like domesticated puppies, coyote pups are born helpless, unable to fend for themselves. They will stay with their parents throughout the summer months and into the fall before breaking away from the unit to develop their own families.
The life expectancy of a coyote is 3-10 years.
The coyote is capable of breeding and producing fertile offspring with wild dogs, wolves and domestic dogs.
Dog or coyote?
According to ODNR, 98 percent of reported coyote sightings, captures or killings in Ohio are coyotes, while the other two percent are a coyote-dog mix.
Coyote trouble hotline
According to ODNR, nuisance trappers in the area include Michael Perkins of Van Buren, 419-306-9243; David Keefe of New Riegel, 419-937-2268; Bob’s Varmint Control in Tiffin, 567-230-4804; Tim’s Nuisance Trapping in Bellevue, 419-271-3097; Mike Steel of Rudolph, 419-575-1748; Keith Madaras of Pemberville, 419-287-4920; Mudd Dog Nuisance Animal & Wildlife Removal in Pemberville, 419-849-2969; and Ridum Wildlife Control in Bowling Green, 419-354-7067.
For more information on coyotes or hunting/tracking laws, visit www.wildlife.ohiodnr.gov, contact ODNR district two headquarters at 419-424-5000, or the local state wildlife office by county: Seneca County at 419-429-8394; Hancock County at 419-429-8384; or Wood County at 419-429-8397.
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