Naturalist’s Corner – Coyotes!

Naturalist’s Corner – Coyotes!

Posted August 26, 2020

Written by Kyla Isakson

Coyotes (Canis latrans) are canines native to North America, and their populations are well established in Massachusetts, except on Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket. The color of their coats is based on where they live. Coyotes do not hibernate, and they mate each winter (January through March) with the same partner each year. In April and May, the females give birth to 4 to 8 pups. These pups each weigh about 8 ounces at birth, and they begin eating regurgitated food from their father at 10 to 14 days old, at which time they open their eyes.

Coyotes typically hunt small mammals, including those that eat livestock feed, which can help farmers maintain their animal populations on the farm. With their heightened senses and ability to run up to 40mph, coyotes are great hunters. Coyotes are also considered opportunistic feeders, meaning they eat whatever they can find. This makes them less susceptible to habitat destruction and other human activities, as they can adapt to find food in fragmented environments.

If you encounter a coyote in your area or on a trail in Wareham, do NOT approach the animal. If you find an animal that might be sick or injured, report it to MassWildlife at 508-389-6300. For more information, visit

Learn more about preventing coyote conflicts here.

(C) Wareham Land Trust ~ provided by New Bedford Internet