Coyote (Canis latrans)
Although the predatory habits of coyotes have brought them into direct competition with people, they are very wary of humans and will avoid people if possible. In Nova
Scotia, their main diet includes deer and snowshoe hare. As well, they eat field mice,
blueberries, woodchucks, porcupines, insects, birds and garbage. Primarily nocturnal,
coyotes rely on their acute hearing and sense of smell.
First recorded in Nova Scotia in 1977, the Eastern coyote is the newest large mammal resident and is now widespread across the province.
It is considerably larger than its western counterpart, and has a darker, coarser coat. They also run in larger, more organized packs. Coyotes are as big as a medium-sized
dog and range in colour from cream to almost black. The most common colour is tawny-grey with a black swath along the middle of the back from shoulder to tail. In the Maritimes, a reddish shade is common. Adults weigh approximately 16 kg, with males sometimes exceeding 25 kg.
Coyote pairs often mate for life. Five to 7 pups are born in late April or early May. Both parents look after their young, which are born blind and helpless. Young coyotes
are fully grown at one year, but often do not reach sexual maturity until their second year.