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Coyotes have been a common sight on the land that is now western United States for ages. When the European settlers came in, they cut down forests to build farms and killed the biggest enemies of the coyotes. This was the perfect opportunity for them to expand and up to this day, they still live in a deforested land. According to a new study, which the journal ZooKeys recently published, coyotes are now established in every state, including in certain Canadian areas and are now moving into Central America too.
Camera traps stand proof of their expansion in those areas. But coyotes are dangerous and have numerous times attacked pets and rarely, even humans. Federal wildlife manages think that by instructing hunters to kill, poison or trap them, the problem will be solved. But they fail to acknowledge the fact that this behavior, which targeted the coyotes’ enemies, provoked this situation. The study also says that coyotes have been living around these areas since forever. The species that roam these lands today originate from their ancestors that were once contemporary with saber-tooth tigers and mastodons.
Coyotes and the reason why they are so many
In order to gather more information about coyotes, the team mapped the historic range of coyotes. For this, they used archaeological and fossil records. As for their range expansion, the team also used museum specimens, game department records and reports. But biologists still do not understand why coyotes like open land more than forest.
A reason could be that bigger predators can kill them for territory and forests are more dangerous because of this. However, now, coyotes also roam lands where there are still forests because there are no more predators to hunt them. And unlike mountain lions or bears, coyotes are survivors and won’t give in that easily.
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