Coyote America by Dan Flores

Rating Now: 10/10
Max Rating: 10/10

Summary

The Native American people who lived on the continent before European discovery had a close relationship with coyote considering them to be more intelligent than humans. One indigenous saying posits “the only thing smarter than a coyote is god“.

It should be no surprise that if native Americans revered coyote, Anglo-Americans revile them.

For decades, coyote have been persecuted with poison, rifles, traps, and everything that humans can throw at them. In spite of our best efforts, coyote have thrived and even increased their range.

Humans are the dominant predator on the species, but the coyote has been nearly as successful at least in the United States. There is a coyote within 1 mile of every human in the U.S.A. Many of these coyote live in cities where they thrive alongside humans.

For anyone who has an interest in the natural world and especially the native fauna of the United States, this is a fantastic book.

Key Takeaways:

  • Coyote are the only other species besides humans that can hunt solo or as part of a pack. This flexibility has led to their success.
  • Every year approximately 500,000 coyotes are killed. That is ~ 1 per minute and they have almost no protections and are among the most persecuted
  • U.S. government attempts to eradicate coyote reached biblical proportions. In 1890s Montana, 2/3 of the state budget was spent on bounties for 850,000 coyotes
  • Native Americans believed coyote was one of the most holy of all animals. Anglo-Europeans believed the animals were as strange as the people who worshipped them
  • 13% of coyote pups in rural areas survive while 61% survive in the cities
  • Only 1 – 2% of coyote diet consists of cats and other pets

Implementation:

  • Avoid killing coyote – I have little interest in killing something unless I plan to eat it. Now I have even more respect for coyotes. In my hunting excursions I will likely avoid any coyote that I see.

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* The time of life I read a book impacts the score. My Rating Now is how valuable the book was currently. However, at a different part of my life it might receive my Max Rating. Sometimes they are one and the same.

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