coyote (Canis latrans)
CONFIRMATION STATUS: Not confirmed.
CHARACTERISTICS: The males are generally larger than the females
(8-20kg vs 7-18kg), with a body length of 1.0-1.35 meters. The coat
color and texture shows geographic variation, but generally the coat
color is a grey mixed with a reddish tint. The belly and throat are
generally paler. This species is usually smaller than the gray wolf.
The track (70mm by 60mm) is more elongated than the domestic dog
but shorter than either the gray or red wolf. The stride (414mm) is
less than the gray or red wolf. This species breeds in January and
February, with a litter of 5-7 pups being born during April and May.
The litter size is affected by population density and food supply. The
home range size of the males is 20-42 km, and for females 8-10 km.
Favorable den sites include brush covered slopes, steep banks, thickets,
hollow logs and rock ledges. Dens may be shared and used for more
than one year. The young emerge from the den in 2-3 weeks, and
may disperse 6-9 months. Coyotes use visual, auditory, olfactory and
tactile signals for communications.
DISTRIBUTION: Present occurrence in the state is attributed to
introduction by man. An individual male was shot in Floyd County
May, 1983. One was trapped in Tazewell County. Coyote complaints
(1983-1984) were made in Bland, Rockingham, and Washington
Counties, but no animals were shot or trapped. They build their dens
in brushy areas or forests but hunt in primarily fields and meadows.
Although the species is highly adaptable, it prefers hilly terrain which
may be open or may contain brush.
FOODS: This species has a highly varied diet, and is largely an
opportunistic feeder. They take rodents, rabbits, berries, fruits
Crooked Run Valley