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The coyote is considered to be one of the last species of primitive dogs. It is called the master adapter and the ultimate survivor. Based on these titles alone, one can conclude that the coyote has thrived despite the habitat change implemented by human development and expansion. The coyote has always been a native of North America. However, it used to only populate the western part of the continent, whereas presently, coyotes can be found throughout the United States and Canada.

Unlike other species, the coyote is not endangered whatsoever. In fact, quite the opposite is true. The coyote is thriving because of how well it can adapt and because of how intelligent and flexible it is (Patrick, 1999). Animal researcher, Bil Gilbert, calls the coyote the great-granddaddy of what he calls, invigorated species (Gilbert, 1991, p. 69). These are animal types that are doing better than ever before in categories such as reproductive rates and widespread distribution. Gilbert offers a similar explanation as to why the coyote is the most prolific of the invigorated species.

Often coyotes and many other invigorated species are referred to as "generalists." This has to do mainly with how and what they eat. In this respect, few other creatures have such catholic tastes or more ingenious methods of satisfying them as have coyotes (Gilbert, 1991, p. 69).

The list of what exactly the coyote consumes is quite extensive. Eighty percent of their diet is rodents. However, they will eat pretty much whatever they can find. Watermelons are also a food source for this omnivorous and carnivorous species. As one of my sources puts it, the coyote takes what it can get (Jones, 1999). Sheep, road kill, insects, domestic cats, apples and your garbage are all viable meals for the coyote. In essence, the coyote is a scavenger, an omnivore, and a carnivorous animal that will sometimes hunt in packs of ten to fifteen (Gilbert, 1991, p. 71).

Since the coyote will eat just about anything, its habitat is also thought to be just about everywhere on the Western side of the world. The coyote's habitat ranges from the tropics of Central America to the mountains of Alaska. They also inhabit the deserts of the southwestern United States, and the plains and forests of the Midwest. Like the wolf and the lion, the coyote prefers to live in a self made den. It can tunnel this den in the side of a hill or under a tree (Jones, 1999).

Based on the research, it appears that the coyote's biggest competitor is also its biggest benefactor. Gilbert explains that human development has aided the coyote by unknowingly removing many of the predators that once competed with the coyote. The mountain lion and the wolf are thought to be the only two animals (besides humans) that will kill a coyote. However, by aiding other animals and keeping them from extinction, we are also regulating the population of coyotes. For example, when the wolf was returned ...

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