Photographs by Larry Allan
Coyotes are the most numerous of the seven wild canids (dog-like animals, including wolves and foxes) found in North America. Popular cartoons often show coyotes as "wily," or sly tricksters. That image of the animal is partly true -- coyotes are intelligent and highly adaptable.
Coyotes are some of the few wild animals that can live successfully near humans. Despite human efforts to destroy, or at least lessen, the coyote population, these survival specialists have maintained their position in the West, and are increasing their numbers in the East. Many people fear these creatures, or see them as pests. But, coyotes are unique and helpful animals that help to maintain the balance of nature. They use their extraordinary hunting and survival skills to capture prey and keep other populations in control.