MAY 22, 2018 04:22 PM PDT

Research Illustrates Coyote Expansion Across North America

WRITTEN BY: Anthony Bouchard
4 5 157

A clear majority of mammal species have been in decline throughout North America over the last several decades, but one of those in particular seems to defy these odds: the humble coyote.

The coyote quickly expanded across the North American continent, and continues to move into South America.

Image Credit: Pixabay

Citing a paper published in the journal ZooKeys by researchers from the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences and North Carolina State University, coyote populations exploded across North and Central America over the last 10,000 years.

Upon studying more than 12,500 records including archeological and fossil records, museum specimens, peer-reviewed reports, and game department records, the researchers uncovered further clues about where coyotes originated and how they moved across the North American landmass.

As it would seem, coyotes inhabited a more substantial portion of North America early on than initially thought. From 1900 until 2016, coyotes migrated as far North as the state of Alaska and as far East as the Eastern coast.

"The expansion of coyotes across the American continent offers an incredible experiment for assessing ecological questions about their roles as predators, and evolutionary questions related to their hybridization with dogs and wolves," said study lead author James Hody.

"By collecting and mapping these museum data we were able to correct old misconceptions of their original range, and more precisely map and date their recent expansions."

Related: Here's what you should do if you encounter a coyote

But how did coyote populations expand so quickly in recent years amid declines of so many other mammal species?

The most likely answer lies with human-related behavior, such as agriculture and forest fragmentation, forced them outside of their typical comfort zone and into new habitats. One might also attribute hybridization with dogs and wolves as another factor.

The research sheds light on much of the coyote’s migratory past and where they could be heading next. As of now, all signs suggest that they’re beginning to trek into South American territory with no indication of slowing down.

Without a doubt, coyotes have proven their resourcefulness and adaptability to various environments.

Source: EurekAlert

About the Author
  • Fascinated by scientific discoveries and media, Anthony found his way here at LabRoots, where he would be able to dabble in the two. Anthony is a technology junkie that has vast experience in computer systems and automobile mechanics, as opposite as those sound.
You May Also Like
JUN 20, 2018
Cancer
JUN 20, 2018
Peruvian Plant's Unique Anti-Tumor Biological Mechanism Discovered
Plagiochiline A is a molecule that exhibits antiproliferative properties and is cytotoxic. New research outlines the unique biological mechanism valued as possible cancer therapy target.
JUN 25, 2018
Plants & Animals
JUN 25, 2018
Koko, the Sign Language-Capable Gorilla, Passes Away
The Gorilla Foundation has regretfully announced the death of one of the world’s most iconic Western lowland gorillas this week, a 46-year-old specim
JUL 16, 2018
Plants & Animals
JUL 16, 2018
Endangered Sea Turtle Found Dead Via Beach Chair
In an unfortunate turn of events this weekend, Alabama-based animal conservationists report finding a deceased Kemp’s Ridley Sea Turtle on the shore
JUL 16, 2018
Earth & The Environment
JUL 16, 2018
Do you know what your sunscreen is doing to coral reefs?
Hawaii Governor David Ige has signed into law a ban on the sale, offer, or distribution of any sunscreens containing oxybenzone or octinoxate. That means t
JUL 27, 2018
Plants & Animals
JUL 27, 2018
Orca Mother Still Mourning a Deceased Calf After Several Days
Given just how intelligent killer whales are believed to be, it shouldn’t come off as much of a surprise that they’re one of the few creatures
AUG 15, 2018
Plants & Animals
AUG 15, 2018
Even Newer Pesticides Threaten Bees, Study Finds
Bees and other vital pollinators have experienced significant population declines in the face of widespread pesticide usage, especially in the case of neon
Loading Comments...