"On the Prowl" Coyote (Canis Iatrans)
Point Reyes National Seashore, California
This beautiful coyote was on the prowl for its next meal, as it scanned the landscape for a potential victim. I encountered him just off the road and quickly pulled over and grabbed my camera. I slowly made my way to a good vantage spot and fired off a few shots before he took off.
Point Reyes National Seashore is one of my favorite places on the planet. It was established to preserve and protect wilderness, natural ecosystems, and cultural resources along the diminishing undeveloped coastline of the Western United States. Located just an hour’s drive from San Francisco, the Seashore is a sanctuary for myriad plant and animal species. As wild land habitat is lost elsewhere in California, the relevance of the Point Reyes Peninsula increases as a protected area with a notable rich biological diversity. Over 45% of North American avian species and nearly 18% of California’s plant species are found in the park due to the variety of habitat and uniqueness of the geology. Thirty-eight threatened and endangered species exist within its environs.
The coyote is a member of the dog family and is native to California. Its name comes from the Aztec word for species, “coyotl”. The coyote was called “song dog” by American Indians and the scientific name Canis latrans means “barking Dog.” Coyotes contribute many beneficial aspects to our ecosystem as they are helpful to farmers, ranchers, gardeners and home owners. Coyotes kill destructive, vegetation eating rodents as they are 80% of a coyote’s diet. Natural rodent control is always preferable to man-made poisons and inhumane traps. Coyotes also eat insects and have saved many farms from insect invasions. Humans however are the coyote’s chief enemy. It has been estimated that 30 to 50 percent of all adult coyotes die each year from human-related causes. Education is the solution to coexistence.
AntelopeCaliforniaCanis latransCoyoteMammalNaturePoint Reyes National SeashoreUnited StatesWildlife