Die anpassungsfähige Natur des Kojoten
The coyote is one of the most adaptable and versatile carnivores on the North American continent. Much of this success is due to the coyote’s superior ability to exploit a wider range of food resources compared to other canids such as wolves. I compare and contrast examples of coyote social organization and space use from a number of different habitats across the continent. Studies from each of these habitat types document seasonal variations in food supply, group composition and behaviour.
Where ungulates are abundant in some prairie environments, coyotes hunt in packs. Where ungulates are less numerous, coyotes prey upon a wide variety of smaller game. In parkland settings, where ungulate densities are among the highest recorded in North America, differences in coyote diet were attributed to differences in social affiliation.
The ability of the coyote to both hunt for and scavenge food has led to complex interactions with many species, including man. These interactions occur across a wide range of environments, from pristine wild lands to densely populated cities. There have been significantly more interactions with people in recent decades as coyote range has expanded across North America. Recent studies in several major cities in Canada and the USA document a highly successful predator living in the heart of urban environments. This adaptive behaviour is not to be confused with habituation.
In urban environments, interactions between coyotes and humans have precipitated several instances of coyote aggression towards humans. Several cities now have public education programs in place to help residents live with coyotes and reduce anxiety levels among the general public. Coyotes are now so widespread that people in both rural and urban environments struggle to find ways to coexist.