The coyote (Canis latrans) are some of the most adaptable animals in North America and are commonly seen in Grand Canyon National Park. Because of their adaptability, widespread actions to try to eradicate the species in the 1900s failed while their relative, the Mexican gray wolf (Canis lupus baileyi), was extirpated from the region. This common predator may be seen traveling either alone or in packs in all the life zones of the park.
Identification: To distinguish the coyote from some of its close relatives in the park, look for these characteristics:
  • Dog-like appearance, considerably smaller than a wolf.
  • Weigh 25-35 lbs (11-16 kg).
  • Shoulder height from 16-20 in (40-50 cm).
  • Fur color varies from gray to reddish-orange.
  • Long, heavily furred tail.
Quick Facts about Coyotes:
  • Generally eat small rodents, carrion, and sometimes elk, deer, and pronghorn calves.
  • Coyotes can have a lifespan of over 10 years in the wild.
  • The extirpation of wolves likely has resulted in higher densities of coyotes than previously existed.
  • Coyotes are one of the few predators that have been known to kill California condors.

Last updated: August 18, 2015

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Grand Canyon, AZ 86023



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