U.S. Department of Agriculture: Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service


Date of this Version

February 2004


Published in The Biology and Conservation of Wild Canids.


The coyote, is an opportunistic, generalist predator that has expanded its distribution to most of North America and is probably one of the most widely researched canids. Yet, its typically nocturnal, secretive behavior mean there have been only two studies-both in Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming-based on direct observation of wild coyotes (Camenzind 1978b; Bekoff and Wells 1986). The coyote population in YNP has not been persecuted for several decades, and thus is tolerant of humans to an extent that has facilitated our studies of how coyotes deal with fluctuations in temperature, snow depth, snow-pack hardness, and food availability (e.g. Gese et al. 1996a-c). This chapter synthesizes the findings of over 2500 h of observation on coyotes in the Lamar River Valley, YNP, Wyoming (Gese et al. 1996a-c; Gese and Ruff 1997, 1998; Gese 2001b).