Fur Markings Change as Winter Coats Come In

These two photos above are of the same coyote taken one month apart. During the Summer, photo on the right, coyotes retain a lighter-colored short undercoat which remains in place throughout the summer until it becomes buried by the longer winter, protective and weather-resistant coat with the markings, which comes in during the Fall.

Coyotes have a signature winter coat (photo above left and below left) usually has a crescent of black and white hairs — looking a little like a shawl — which can be seen over the upper back right below the shoulders. Each coyote sports a variation of this marking which can vary slightly in size, intensity of colors and color combination. Look at the variations of winter coats in the first photo to the left below.

The entire winter coat is amazingly thick and long — over 4″ — and and includes a very bushy tail, as seen in the full coat below. The same coyote urinating in the photo below, has a summer coat for the most part, but she hasn’t totally shed the winter coat which is still on her lower back where she hasn’t been able to reach with her claws: coyotes help the shedding process by scratching.

Please Sign Petition To Stop the Coyote Killing Contest in Grayson County, VA

Please read and sign (and let your friends know about) our new petition at coyotecoexistence.com to stop the coyote killing contest in Grayson County, Virginia: “We’re dealing with a county of farmers that believe the coyotes are ripping their horses and livestock limb from limb in vicious packs — and also I’m being told that, quote “people ’round here need the money’ from the contest.”

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Here is the awful announcement:

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News: Coyote contest opens Wednesday
Posted:  10/14/2014 12:17 PM

renderINDEPENDENCE — Grayson County is announcing an official contest exclusively for Grayson County citizens as an added incentive to hunt and kill nuisance coyotes.  The contest will begin this Wednesday, Oct. 15 and continue through May 15, 2015. According to a county news release, the winner will be judged by only one measure — how many dead coyotes he or she turns into the county.

The only prerequisites to participate in the contest are that you must be a citizen of Grayson County, be in good standing with the county and kill at minimum seven coyotes within the contest period. Citizens will not need to register to participate, they simply need to turn in their coyotes to the county per the Coyote Bounty Ordinance and be the hunter to claim the most coyotes within the contest period and win the honor of Top Coyote Hunter and a $500 cash prize. In  the case of a tie, the prize money will be divided equally.

The prize money will be in addition to the $40 bounty per coyote the county has been paying since county supervisors enacted the coyote bounty program in March. According to language in the ordinance creating the program, coyotes threaten the county’s livestock and agricultural interests and reduce the number of deer available to hunters.

“This is a fun and creative way to engage more of our hunters in helping to remove this nuisance animal from the county landscape,” Glen “Eddie” Rosenbaum, the supervisor representing Grayson’s Wilson District, said. “Whoever kills the most coyotes in this seven month span will be deemed the Top Coyote Hunter in the county and will take home an extra $500 for their service.”

Dispersion Efforts — and Resistance — Continue

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When father and daughter returned from their hike out alone together today — without son who probably had been forcefully prevented from joining them — they saw him (son to one and brother to the other) and slowly made their way towards him. He was hunting in a field alone, but he looked up and saw them coming, and then continued his work — he did not run over to greet them excitedly the way he used to. They approached him, calmly, and there were greetings, which nowadays always involve submissive behavior on his part. The submissiveness had always been part of a dance of activities which segued smoothly into the greeting and had not always been blatantly perceptible, but now it dominates, and in addition, today, there was a curt angry hiss-growl voiced by Dad instead of the high-pitched joyful squeals which used to color these meetings.

The young male has learned to submit more quickly than ever when Dad approaches, but, magically, as if the demand for submission were just a minor annoyance, he then always continues his activities as usual. But Dad seems to be getting more and more antagonistic and more intolerant of his presence. The young female does her best to keep the peace, running interference, it seems, by interjecting herself between her dad and her brother, which always has the effect of diverting Dad’s attention away from his son, and it works. Dad ends up concentrating on her and the son slips away from underneath his dad, distancing himself from the parental bullying. 

Today Dad watched his son for a moment after he had slithered away, and then headed into the bushes — it was time for him to “go in” for the day.  The sibling youngsters, now without Dad around to dominate, began playing an exciting game of “keep the rat away from each other”. They ran all over the place, leaping around and over bushes as the female teased her brother and kept away from him with the treasure in her mouth. Finally they both latched onto the dead rat and there was a tug-of-war.

This is when Dad came out with his gaze fixed on the male youngster — he must not have liked his son’s hyperactive play with the daughter because he went for the young male again — he doesn’t do this to the female — and put him down again on his back — as if to say “stop having fun, you’re supposed to be off skulking somewhere after my last demand for obeisance”.

Son, who now had the rat in his possession,  reacted as he had at the earlier greeting, submitting instantaneously by turning over on his back, while Dad stood over him with a menacing expression.  At an opportune moment, son slipped away, with his ears plastered back against his skull, thus showing his acceptance of lower status. The intense playing activity did not resume. Son headed off a little distance to hunt and Daughter approached Dad to groom him, again diverting his attention away from the young male. Within a few minutes, Dad again headed off into the bushes, and daughter soon followed, while young son stayed out in the tall grasses for a little while longer. 

Sign the Petitions to Stop Gassing Coyotes at Seal Beach

UPDATE: Seal Beach, California, Reportedly Plans to Continue Killing Coyotes!


Despite a public outcry, Seal Beach, California, officials have reportedly decided to extend their coyote killing spree for three more weeks. During this time, coyotes will be trapped and gassed to death—a terrifying demise for these sensitive wild animals who seek only to sustain themselves and their families. In addition to being cruel, this lethal initiative is futile because more coyotes will simply move in from outlying areas to use available resources and remaining pack members will breed at accelerated rates, so their numbers will actually increase.Your voice is once again needed!

Coyotes are attracted to areas with dense rodent populations, therefore trash containment, trimming back vegetation, and prohibiting wildlife feeding will encourage them to move on. Please urge the city to cease trapping and instead promote humane control measures, then forward this alert widely!

Please read and sign the petition NOW!

And there’s a second petition — same issue!

NO(w)HERE, by Lauren Strohacker

Exhibition installation of NO(w)HERE at the Tempe Center for the Arts, Tempe AZ, 2013

NO(w)HERE, Exhibition installation, Tempe Center for the Arts, 2013

“Animals disappear: some literally, in the wake of human expansion, some metaphorically, becoming ubiquitous and fading into the urban landscape.

My suburban upbringing was filled with mediated representations of the animal: literature, television, and corporate branding.  While the feeling of attachment to wildlife was authentic, the wildlife itself was artificial.  Even an encounter with a living, breathing animal is bound by unseen regulation.  Populations are controlled, predators are decimated, and survivors are displaced to the edge of human comfortability.  Boundary lines are drawn and animals are expected to obey, an obedience whose subversion is punishable by death.  The destabilization of wildlife systems due to urban sprawl is concealed under the banner of “progress”.

These realizations are the foundation for my exploration as an artist.  As society continues to redefine nature, I explore alternative systems of human/animal interaction through interdisciplinary processes: Juxtaposing animal imagery with human spaces and subverting traditional ways of observing non-humans in contemporary human networks.  By composing simulated encounters I enter into the dialogue of anti-confinement, animal autonomy, and the uncertain future of cohabitation.”


Help ‘Empty Cages LA’ fight against further coyote killings at Seal Beach

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Please let’s help “Empty Cages LA” fight against killing any more coyotes in Seal Beach!! Anyone who can, please attend the Seal Beach City Council Meeting TODAY, October 13, COLUMBUS DAY, at 6:30pm.
Location: City Hall, 211 8th Street, Seal Beach, CA

If given the opportunity to speak, here are some talking points for those who can attend:

  • killing coyotes is short-sighted as attested to by studies showing that if you kill coyotes, they will more than make up for it in population growth
  • vacancies left by killed coyotes are quickly filled by interlopers and transient coyotes who quickly set up house
  • more new coyotes without the wiser older local coyotes around to teach them, means the newcomers and youngsters will have to learn the ropes of coexistence the hard way: through negative encounters with humans and dogs.
  • older local coyotes help stabilize the population (only the older alphas breed in any territory)
  • simple guidelines for coexistence work in urban areas such as San Francisco and Vancouver: keep small pets from roaming free, leash dogs in a coyote area, don’t leave food out, never feed a coyote, know how to shoo off a coyote
  • it’s an environmental issue: The driving ethos these days is “environmentally friendly” and “sustainability”. This means not destroying what nature has given us — it means developing guidelines which inflict minimal or no harm on the environment: coyotes are part of our natural environment. The idea of sustainability resulted from concerns about how humans and our needs” were altering healthy and balanced ecosystems, which was coming back to haunt all of us.
  • many more pets are killed by cars than ever have been killed by coyotes — maybe we should eliminate cars first?

Coyote Friend of Mine, by George Davis

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Coyote friend of mine, if only I could trade my nose for snout, my mouth for jaws, my skin for fur, my feet for paws, then we could run together, coyote friend of mine.

I had the opportunity to watch two coyotes on a gravel beach at the break of dawn here in Maine, one just sat in the morning sun soaking in the sun. Watched them both for about a half hour. I was in a boat so I don’t think they knew I was there. Wow, they stole my heart thus the poem.

Too much hatred and misunderstanding in these parts, makes me cry for them, no really. Saw a sign on a pickup truck that said Gods Guide Service: deer, coyote and bobcat hunts. Are you f……ing kidding me or what! I will have those signs one day, just has to be done.

Your film is great and I have sent your email address to a few friends of mine. A few of us got together last fall to cut down nine dead coyotes from a tree in front of this yo yo’s house. I mean they were right next to the road, why, why, why? Maybe he got the message because we haven’t seen them there again. One for us!

Anyhow, thank you for all of your good work in helping these wonderful animals, these friends of mine. Rage against the hatred!……..George Davis

[reposted from a comment on our coyotecoexistence.com site]

Seal Beach Residents Demonstrate Against Coyote Killings

Please support the group “Empty Cages Los Angeles” in their effort to stop trapping and gassing coyotes in Seal Beach, California. Coexistence requires little effort, entailing a modicum of education about coyote behavior and about simple guidelines that work. Let’s use our knowledge, not our fears, to deal with our urban wildlife.


Coyote Biology, Behavior and Population Dynamics

click on the image to read the entire article

click on the image to read the entire article

Here is a bit of fascinating information which I’d like to help make more accessible to the public, regarding what we know about coyote population dynamics, territoriality and the attempt by humans to “control and manage” their populations, i.e. kill them.

For many years, we’ve been using this information — first documented by F.F. Knowlton in 1972 — to inform folks about the repercussions of eliminating coyotes: that killing them has the unintended consequence of actually increasing their populations.

This letter from Robert Crabtree, based on his observations and studies, sums up this information precisely, concisely and interestingly. Please click on the the thumbnail to the left to read it and learn more about the fascinating life of coyotes from it!

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