Slide Coyote

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COYOTES

Coyotes make some people nervous. They are one of the larger mammals on the beach, and they are carnivores. Studies show that they are actually very nervous around people and tend to stay at a distance. Coyotes are nocturnal, and diet studies have found the bulk of their meals are rodents. They are also intelligent and opportunistic. If they find an easy meal, like shorebird and turtle eggs or the chicks and hatchlings, they will take it. It was once thought they were creatures of the American west and migrated into the eastern United States. Coyote remains have been found in the eastern US that predate the ice age.  So, maybe they are just returning home. Coyotes are in all 67 counties of Florida, and on Pensacola Beach. They look similar to dogs, but will be thinner and their tails hang down between their legs when they run.

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Coyote

Coyote tracks are very similar to dogs. The pad at the rear of both the front and back paws of the coyote have three lobes, dogs have two on the front foot. In general, dog tracks are more round, coyotes typically are long and not as wide. Characteristic of the dog family – the claw marks can be seen.  Keep in mind that tracks are distorted in soft sand – best to look in wet sand.

 

The scat is also characteristic of wild canines – long and thin (like a hot dog) and tapered at each end (like a tamale). Coyote scat is usually 3-8” long and may have the characteristic claw scratching marks some dogs do.

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Coyote

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