Home Animals Coyotes in Arkansas (Diet, Lifestyle, Habitat..)

Coyotes in Arkansas (Diet, Lifestyle, Habitat..)

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coyote in city

Coyotes are a common species in Arkansas, where they inhabit the state’s forests, agricultural fields, and wetlands. Coyotes can be very resourceful animals capable of surviving in quite inhospitable territories by utilizing a wide range of food sources from hunting to scavenging on carcasses. Coyotes have become a serious problem in certain rural areas in Arkansas, as their population has grown dramatically since the late 1990s. Coyotes can cause significant damage to crops and livestock while negatively impacting other wildlife populations such as rabbits and groundhogs. 

coyotes in arkansas

Habitat

Coyotes are fascinating animals, and Arkansas is an ideal habitat for them. It’s primarily composed of deciduous forests, rolling hills and plains, with some parts having subtropical climates. Coyotes mainly inhabit woodlands as well as grasslands and desert regions scattered across the state. They prefer areas near water sources like lakes, streams, and rivers where they can find plenty of food in the form of small mammals like hares, prairie dogs, squirrels and other animals.

Diet

Coyotes generally consume a very varied diet. They feed on small mammals such as mice and voles, but also enjoy eating fruits like berries and apples, insects, reptiles and ground-dwelling birds. Plant matter such as grass or even corn may also be taken advantage of when the opportunity arises. 

Deer carrion can be an important food source for these opportunistic animals. The diet of coyotes largely depends on the season and availability of different food sources. As they are nocturnal animals, coyotes are known to scavenge pastures at night as well as hunt during both day and night depending on their needs in order to survive.

coyotes in wild

Colour

Coyotes in Arkansas can be identified by their fur which ranges from shades of russet tones like reddish-brown or grey to tawny colours such as yellow and greyish-white. Coyote pelts show more warm colours than cool colours, and these colours help the core species blend in with the natural environment. 

The colouring may vary across different regions in the state due to seasonal influences on habitats and diet. For example, coyotes living closer to grasslands will typically have more muted colours whereas those found deeper into the woods may have more vibrant colours. 

Size, Lifespan and Weight 

The average size of these creatures is between four and six feet long, depending on their age and gender. These animals live anywhere from ten to thirteen years but some can reach nearly fourteen years in age. The average weight of an adult coyote is only 30 pounds but this varies again depending on the sex of the animal and which specific breed it belongs to. 

Predators

In Arkansas, coyotes have multiple natural predators that keep their population in check. Birds such as hawks and owls help to keep their numbers low by stalking the smaller critters that coyotes feed on, thus competing with them for food resources. Large mammals are also a major threat to the coyote. Wolves, black bears and mountain lions all have territories that encompass significant portions of Arkansas and they often hunt coyotes both as prey and as competitors for food. Also, wild dogs like foxes can encroach on coyote territory and harass them or even kill them in order to take control of their hunting grounds. 

coyotes hunting

Reproduction

The breeding season for the coyote typically takes place from late winter through spring. As many as 15 or more topographical family units can inhabit the same territory, with a mated pair sharing their home range with several other adults and their offspring. This relative stability creates ideal conditions for raising pups since there are always adults around to guard them and teach them the skills they need to survive and thrive as adults. Litters are typically between four and seven pups, but some litters have as many as eleven. Pups grow quickly as they receive plenty of attention from their parents who feed, protect, and groom them until they are old enough to join the family hunts.

Hunting coyotes in Arkansas?

Coyote hunting is a popular pastime in Arkansas. The forests, mountains and plains of the Natural State provide ideal habitats for wild coyotes. With their keen senses, they roam freely and make a living off the land. Hunting coyotes provides an added challenge to seasoned hunters due to their skittish nature as well coyotes’ ability to blend in with their environment and remain undetected.

coyotes resting

Coyotes in northwest Arkansas?

Coyotes have become a familiar part of the Northwest Arkansas landscape. In recent years, the area has seen an increase in the presence of these wild animals. The coyotes are drawn to the area due to plentiful food sources, such as rodents and small mammals. Urban growth has also caused some changes in the habitat of coyotes, leaving them with limited resources within their habitat range. Therefore, they have had to take advantage of nearby urban areas and find food there instead of relying solely on hunting prey in their natural wooded regions. 

Shooting Coyotes in Arkansas?

In Arkansas, the debate surrounding shooting coyotes has stirred a lot of controversy in recent years. Some farmers argue that these animals steal livestock, while animal welfare activists insist that they need to be protected from hunters and poachers. The truth is, coyotes in this region are essential for maintaining a healthy balance in the ecosystem. While it’s true that some coyotes will prey on livestock, there are more humane ways to discourage this behaviour.

Black coyotes in Arkansas?

Arkansans were shocked to recently hear reports of black coyote sightings throughout their state. In the past, coyotes with fur shades of grey and brown had only been spotted in and around Arkansas, but more recently some individuals have reported seeing black coyotes. Some naturalists and wildlife experts are unclear on the origins of these creatures as there have been no previous cases known. It is possible that these could be hybrid coyotes created from a mix of a domestic dog, or perhaps a wild wolf amongst the strains already present in Arkansas.

References:

https://www.humanesociety.org/resources/what-do-about-coyotes

https://www.placentia.org/466/Be-Cautious-about-Coyotes

https://www.nps.gov/samo/learn/management/coyote-behavior.htm

https://cpw.state.co.us/documents/wildlifespecies/livingwithwildlife/coyote-exclusions-deterrents-repellents.pdf

Author Profile
Rahul M Suresh

Visiting the Zoo can be an exciting and educational experience for all involved. As a guide, I have the privilege of helping students and visitors alike to appreciate these animals in their natural habitat as well as introducing them to the various aspects of zoo life. I provide detailed information about the individual animals and their habitats, giving visitors an opportunity to understand each one more fully and appreciate them in a more intimate way.

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