canis latrans

Canis latrans mearnsi

Canis latrans mearnsi, also known as the Mearns coyote, is the sub-species of coyote native to the American Southwest. It is one of the smaller sub-species of coyote: 18-21 inches tall, 42-50 inches long, and weighing 15-25 pounds (20-40 pounds less than some of its northern relatives). It ranges in color from gray to light reddish brown, making it well-camouflaged against desert soil.

Its range extends from extreme southern Utah and Nevada in the north, southeastern California and northeastern Baja California on the west, west of the Rio Grande in New Mexico on the east, and northern Sonora and Chihuahua in Mexico on the south.

Their diet consists mainly of rabbits and rodents, but they will also eat carrion, birds, reptiles, and scorpions. In the autumn, they eat prickly pear tunas, the fruit of the prickly pear cactus. They will also eat "backyard" fruits like figs and grapes if they are available. In and near cities, coyotes will also eat garbage and small domestic animals that have been left unattended.


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