This intelligent, social animal is found from Costa Rica through most of continental U.S.A. and Canada to northern Alaska. In Canada its range extends across most of southern and central Canada, and in western Canada as far north as Yukon. The range of this very adaptable carnivore is expanding, especially eastward.
Size varies tremendously throughout its range, with the larger animals being more northerly. Weight ranges between 8 and 20 kg (18 to 45 lb.). Body length is 1 to 1.35 m (3 to 4.5 ft.), and the tail is about 40 cm (16 in.).
The coyote feeds mainly on small mammals such as mice and hares, carrion and some vegetation. Occasionally, a pack will try its luck hunting deer, but a single coyote is not usually successful when hunting a deer on its own. Coyotes are preyed upon by wolves, cougars and bears.
Humans have employed a variety of devices against the coyote, including bounties and poison. More recently, the cougar's value as a predator of agricultural pests is being recognized.