How do you recognize coyote droppings?


Quick Answer

Coyote droppings are similar to the droppings of their close relatives, domestic dogs. They are usually several inches long and cigarlike in appearance. The ends of the droppings are often tapered, and the bulk features numerous twists. In contrast to many other wild animals, coyotes often deposit their droppings in obvious places, such as in the middle of roads and trails, so that other coyotes notice it.

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Full Answer

The diet of a coyote heavily influences the characteristics of the droppings. For example, when coyotes consume a high percentage of mammals, their leavings often contain fur and bones. Additionally, the droppings of mammal-eating coyotes are often very dark due to the coagulated blood of their prey. When coyotes feed on insects, fish, berries or other prey, evidence, such as exoskeletons, scales or fruit seeds, is usually apparent. Fruit is normally present in spring and summer droppings, while animal remnants dominate winter droppings. The presence of such items often helps to distinguish the scat of coyotes — who subsist on wild food sources — with that of domestic dogs. Domestic dog scat does not include the remnants of prey, although fur may be present if the dog grooms himself regularly and swallows some of the hair.

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