Coyotes were once sequestered in the western United States, southwestern Canada, and Mexico. Today, their populations have expanded to include all of North America except Hawaii and the extreme northern regions, as well as all of Central America. Where these clever canines are most abundant is another question entirely.
Coyotes are most commonly found in the West with the highest populations in California, Oregon, and Arizona. In the South, coyote numbers are highest in Texas. Continuing eastward, coyote populations become smaller and smaller, with the lowest population in Deleware of just a few hundred coyotes.
Come along with us as we go over each of the regions in the United States and discuss where coyotes can be found in each state. We’ll also discuss what habitats coyotes use and what predators, if any, are present to help keep coyote populations in check.
- Coyotes live in every state in the United States except for Hawaii.
- The highest population of coyotes is located in the West – California, Oregon, and Arizona.
- Coyotes are highly adaptable, making it possible for their populations to spread across the nation and increase despite habitat loss.
1. Coyotes Of The Wild Wild West
The West is where it all started! The western and central regions of the United States are where the coyotes were native before expanding to the Atlantic coast.
Coyotes occupy every state in the west except for Hawaii. Western coyotes are considered the smallest in size when compared to southern or eastern coyotes. If you’re not sure whether you have coyotes living near you or not, you can read about the signs that you have coyotes nearby here.
The West is home to a lot of other big predators like mountain lions, wolves, grizzly bears, polar bears, and black bears. This helps keep coyote populations in check, but their numbers are still high in the Wild West!
* Estimates were found outside of scholarly or government resources
Washington State provides a variety of attractive habitats for coyotes. Dense forests are available for cover, open fields to hunt for mice and just enough suburban and urban territory to keep a coyote well-fed.
While there is no hard evidence to back it up, it’s estimated that there are around 50,000 coyotes in Washington state.
Washington is one of the few states where coyote and wolf territories have the potential to overlap. Unfortunately, wolf populations in this state are too fragmented to make an impact on coyote populations.
Some reports and sources put the number of coyotes in Oregon at around 300,000. Oregon is another state that has plenty of rich habitats that are attractive to coyotes:
- Eastern Oregon: prairies and rangeland
- Central Oregon: deserts
- Western Oregon: coastal region and the Cascade Mountains
Coyotes in Oregon are smaller than eastern coyotes, weighing in at around 22 to 30 pounds. They also have a host of predators to compete with, including cougars, black bears, wolves, and bobcats.
Oregon State University states that cougars are responsible for up to 25% of coyote fatalities per year.
Coyotes in California are slightly smaller than those in Oregon, weighing around 22 to 25 pounds. They are found in every area of the state except deep into urban cities.
The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Forest Service tells us that anywhere between 250,000 to 750,000 coyotes are living in the state of California.
Even in Arizona’s hot and dry climate, coyotes have learned to adapt. A typical Arizona coyote weighs around 20 to 30 pounds which is pretty typical for western coyotes. Coyotes that live in the desert regions of Arizona are even smaller, weighing between 15-25 pounds!
It’s estimated that around 200,000 coyotes live in Arizona, occupying environments such as the Sonoran Desert, grasslands, and suburban neighborhoods. They’ll also sneak into public parks and golf courses when they can.
On the complete opposite end of the spectrum from Arizona, Alaska contains plenty of water sources and a beautiful variety of habitats including coastal regions, tundras, marshes, lagoons, mountains, rainforests, and boreal forests.
Unlike many of the states in the West, coyotes are relatively new to Alaska. Unfortunately, this makes pegging a population count very difficult and no information could be found specifying a number.
Alaskan coyotes range from about 22-33 pounds but have been reported up to 50 pounds, making them larger than most western coyotes. Alaska is full of prey species for coyotes to go after, but they must compete with some ferocious predators:
- Black bears
- Polar Bears
- Grizzly Bears
Since there are so many top predators to compete with, coyotes mainly inhabit only a few regions in Alaska including the Kenai Peninsula, Copper River Valley, Sustina Valley, and Matanuska Valley. Very few coyotes live north of the Yukon River.
Coyotes are one of the few animals that have expanded their territories and increased their populations despite humans encroaching on their territory.
With that being said, Hawaii is the only state in the United States that does not have any coyotes!
Let’s hope it stays that way as the coyote would have devastating effects on the local wildlife.
Coyotes do not have as many limitations in New Mexico as they do in Alaska. They are widespread throughout the state, taking advantage of all habitats including deserts, cities, plains, marshes, and forests.
It’s estimated that around 125,000 coyotes live in the state of New Mexico. They weigh the same as most western coyotes, averaging between 25 to 30 pounds.
In New Mexico, coyotes must compete with bobcats for prey and are also in danger of becoming prey to black bears and cougars.
Colorado is known for its beautiful mountain range—the Rocky Mountains. It is also home to plains, forests, and shrublands where coyotes find themselves at home.
In Colorado, coyotes are mostly found in the front range areas of the state which includes quite a few big cities like Denver and Colorado Springs. If you’d like, you can read more about the ways that coyotes end up in cities here!
Colorado is one of the states that coyotes originated from, but unfortunately, there is no recorded data about the population size for the state.
Coyote populations are affected by many things in Colorado, including big predators like mountain lions. Coyotes will try to scavenge food from mountain lion kills and sometimes run into a very angry big cat!
Coyotes in Utah have adapted to desert, wetland, and forest habitats. Even though there are alpine environments in Utah, coyotes aren’t big fans of high elevations, and there is little prey for them in the mountains.
Utah is another state that has little information on the total number of coyotes in the state. However, the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources says that coyote populations are the most abundant in the southwestern portion of the state. This is because it overlaps with the mule deer population in Utah.
Utah coyotes weigh between 25 and 45 pounds on average and have to stay wary of black bears and mountain lions. They mostly compete with foxes for food. When a sly fox encounters a cunning coyote, the coyote usually wins.
It’s not hard to envision a coyote howling at the moon in the middle of the Nevada desert.
Home to Sin City, Nevada is also home to around 55,000-110,000 coyotes. Some even live right in Las Vegas!
Coyotes inhabit four main areas in Nevada:
- Residential areas
Nevada coyotes range in weight from 15 to 46 pounds on average. Coyotes compete with both bobcats and several species of foxes for food in Nevada and are once again put in the crosshairs of mountain lions and black bears.
Idaho is home to four species of canines including wolves (the largest), coyotes, red foxes, and kit foxes (the smallest). Coyotes in Idaho typically average around 20-45lbs and are considered common to see and hear around the state.
Idaho’s coyote population numbers 52,000 at the low-end estimates.
These numbers are similar to Washington state. What do they both have in common? Wolves. Wolves help keep coyote numbers in check and may account for the smaller population in Idaho.
Coyotes will venture into almost any environment in Idaho, but they cross territories with wolves in central Idaho. Coyote populations are most likely smaller in this region. Other than that, they have grasslands to the south, forests to the north, and deserts and wetlands dotted in between.
Wyoming is packed full of as many beautiful landscapes to rival Alaska. With the Grand Tetons, Yellowstone, and Devil’s Tower, it’s hard to beat!
The University of Wyoming tells us that an environmental assessment was performed by the USDA which found coyote populations to be around 59,000 in 1994-1995 in Wyoming.
However, those estimates are higher now, with sources saying the population is closer to 86,000 coyotes nowadays. Coyotes in Wyoming usually weigh close to 30 pounds.
Wyoming is yet another state where coyotes must be on careful guard for prowling wolves. Wolves typically live in the forested areas of Wyoming, which coyotes avoid, preferring shrublands or edge environments.
Coyotes in Montana utilize the vast prairies and brush grasslands as prime prowling grounds. They also trot along woodland edges and rocky fields. These western coyotes typically weigh 28-30 pounds but have been reported as heavy as 46 pounds.
Unfortunately, there are no population estimates for coyotes in Montana. However, the Montana Field Guide reports that coyotes are ranked as S5 in the state, meaning they are “common, widespread, and abundant” in the state.
Wildlife Services eliminated 7,965 coyotes in 2018 in Montana alone, suggesting that the populations are rather high across the state. This is despite the rough winters in Montana, where average temperatures are in the 20s in winter. To learn more about coyotes in winter, check out our article on the places coyotes go during the winter.
2. Coyotes Live In The South, Too
States in the south have a wide variety of prime habitats for coyotes. Some of the most prominent environments of the South include:
- Coastal regions
- Grass prairies
- Mountain ranges
As we continue eastward, coyotes increase in size, though southern coyotes are still smaller than eastern coyotes. Compared to the West, southern coyotes occupy more swamps, piedmont, and coastal regions, as these features dominate in this region.
A study published in the Journal of Ecology and Evolution hypothesized that coyotes in the Southeast are genetically different than those in both the West and the Northeast.
|270,000 – 540,000*
|53,000 – 160,000*
|13,000 – 70,000*
|20,000 – 40,000
|11,000 – 12,000*
* Estimates were found outside of scholarly or government resources
Everything is bigger in Texas, but this isn’t quite true for a coyote. Texas coyotes weigh in at around 25-40lbs.
Coyotes are found statewide in Texas, and population estimates put them at around 270,000 to 540,000. The high end of those estimates is typically referring to the time directly after pups are born.
Coyote populations are denser in southern Texas, and they are rarely found in the central heart of Texas. Coyotes have to be wary of cougars and bears in Texas, and they compete with bobcats and the endangered ocelot for food sources, especially in southern Texas.
Oklahoma is home to a variety of habitats that coyotes can use including foothills, prairies, scrubland, and swamps. There are also plenty of forests to give them their favorite edge environments.
There is little information about coyotes in Oklahoma. No population estimates are out there, and there is no information about the size of the average Oklahoma coyote.
What we do know is that coyotes compete with bobcats and foxes in Oklahoma with the only larger predator being the black bear.
Coyotes are considered widespread throughout Oklahoma, suggesting that their population numbers are stable in the state.
Coyote coloration will vary depending on what kind of environment it lives in. Arkansas coyotes tend to be gray and cinnamon-colored. Coyotes in this state love to strut around farmland and pastures where small rodents are plentiful. They also utilize forest edges in Arkansas.
Hunting rodents is one of many daytime activities that coyotes participate in. Check out our article on where coyotes go during the day for a better picture of the habits of these wily canines.
Coyotes are somewhat new to Arkansas, having spread statewide back in the 1960s. In Arkansas specifically, they help control Canada Goose populations but tend to be detrimental to melon crops.
There are no credible sources concerning coyote numbers in Arkansas, however, some sources put their densities at 1-3 coyotes per square mile.
Arkansas is 53,179 square miles, so we can put the coyote population somewhere between 53,000 and 160,000 coyotes.
As we move further east and further south, coyotes are becoming more of an invading species than a native one. Coyotes showed up in Louisiana around the 1950s and have since spread far and wide in the state.
Coyotes in Louisiana are most abundant in the northern and central regions of the state, but population numbers couldn’t be located for Louisiana. The average weight of a Louisiana coyote is around 20 to 35 pounds.
Louisiana is an interesting state for coyotes, as they live alongside the extremely rare red wolf. The red wolf population is so low that it interbreeds with coyotes. Scientists aren’t entirely sure if a purebred red wolf exists anymore.
Like Louisiana, coyotes are not native to Mississippi and moved in alongside humans with the elimination of native wolves.
There is little information to be found about the Mississippi coyote other than they are abundant in the state.
Mississippi is home to forests, swamps, and prairies that are good territory for coyotes.
Coyotes in Alabama are larger than their western cousins. Females typically weigh around 25-30lbs while males can reach up to 45lbs.
No data exist to estimate the coyote population in Alabama, but they are present in every county in the state, suggesting their numbers are high and stable.
Georgia is another state that used to be home to red wolves. As they disappeared, coyotes flocked to fill the void and now occupy the entire state of Georgia. They’re literally everywhere!
Coyote populations in Georgia number around 340,000 even though coyotes are not native to Georgia.
The main prey of coyotes in Georgia is white-tailed deer, but they also prey on a significant amount of rodents to help keep the population down. The average weight of a Georgia coyote is around 30 pounds. As you can see, the further east we go, the bigger they get!
You may be noticing a trend here, but coyotes are everywhere! The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission backs this up by telling us that coyotes occupy all 67 counties in Florida.
That being said, there are no official counts of coyote populations in Florida. But some online sources put them at somewhere around 13,000 to 70,000. In Florida, coyotes use beaches, forest edges, and citrus farms to navigate through the state.
Like many other states on our list, coyotes are abundant and occupy every county in South Carolina. Their favored habitats in the state are suburban areas, swamps, forest edges, and the mountainous regions in the northwest corner of the state.
There are no population estimates available for the state of South Carolina, but every year around 30,000 are eliminated in the state by hunters, so it is safe to say the population is far above this number.
Coyotes in North Carolina typically weigh between 20 and 45 pounds. Similar to South Carolina, North Carolina provides mountain regions and coasts for coyotes to roam. Coyotes also enjoy the Piedmont region.
No credible sources could be found for the number of coyotes living in North Carolina, however, some estimates put them at around 50,000 or more in the state.
North Carolina is another state where coyotes and red wolves have hybridized.
The Great Smoky Mountains may be the most remarkable habitat found in Tennessee but coyotes also prowl around farmland, urban areas, and open fields.
There isn’t a whole lot of information out there about the number of coyotes in Tennessee, but they are considered locally common.
Kentucky is one of the few states where coyotes do not occupy every single square inch of the state. The eastern side of Kentucky contains mountains where coyotes do not range.
Besides this, coyotes will live in any other habitat Kentucky has to offer:
- Forest edges in the southeast
- Prairies in the north
- Rolling hills in the south
- Swamps to the west
The University of Kentucky reports that a typical coyote population is one coyote per 1-2 square miles. In Kentucky, this equals roughly 20,000-40,000 coyotes in the state.
Coyotes can be found in every county in Virginia. The majority of the state is covered in forests, giving coyotes the perfect environment along its edges. Virginia also has various wetlands and urban/suburban areas that coyotes call home.
Some sources put the population of Virginia at above 50,000, but there are no official population counts for the state.
Coyotes may have a smaller population here as they must compete with bobcats and foxes for food.
The ‘70s was a monumental decade for West Virginia—it was the first time that a coyote was spotted in the state! Since then, coyotes have dispersed and now cover almost the entire state.
Population estimates put them at around 11,000-12,000 in West Virginia. Coyotes are a relatively new addition to West Virginia and do not have super high populations.
One of the reasons is that the habitat is poor. West Virginia has huge swaths of forests, which is great for most animals, but not so great habitat for coyotes that prefer edges and fragments.
3. The Midwest Has Lower Coyote Populations
Ah, the midwest! Halfway between the West and the East and the perfect stomping grounds for clever coyotes.
The Midwest typically has smaller populations of big predators to keep coyotes in check, and in some states, coyotes are the top predators. Coyotes are amazingly adaptive, which is why they’ve spread all across the Midwest (and everywhere else!). If you’re curious, you can read more amazing coyote facts here.
Without further delay, let’s get into the specifics of coyotes in the Midwest. There is more than just snow and corn in this area!
|70,000 – 75,000**
|77,000 – 154,000
|150,000 – 300,000
|14,500 – 40,000*
|14,000 – 20,000*
|No data (>8,600)
* Estimates were found outside of scholarly or government resources
**Estimates are outdated and most likely higher
North Dakota coyotes typically roam around the many open prairies, the edges of forests, farmland, grasslands, and human-populated areas.
There is little information about the number of coyotes in North Dakota. However, they are considered abundant and have rebounded since a near collapse in numbers in the 1950s.
Coyotes were once present only on the western side of South Dakota and the border of the Missouri River on the east side. Now, these cunning canines can be found throughout the entire state.
The University of South Dakota estimates coyote populations in 1995 were around 70,000 to 75,000. Their populations have only increased since then, but there are no recent reports of their population numbers.
Coyotes in Nebraska usually weigh between 20 and 35 pounds. Their populations are denser on the western side of Nebraska and in the sandhills of north-central Nebraska.
The University of Nebraska-Lincoln tells us that coyote populations probably number around 1 to 2 coyotes per square mile, giving Nebraska a coyote population of around 77,000 – 154,000.
Coyotes must compete with bobcats and foxes in Nebraska and can become prey to bigger predators like mountain lions. Some wolves and black bears have been sighted in Nebraska as well.
Kansas is filled with prime coyote habitat: prairies, grasslands, forest edges, and ranching land. Coyotes are abundant in Kansas and live throughout the entire state.
Even though mountain lions and black bears also reside in Kansas, their populations are too low to affect the clever coyote!
Kansas State University estimates that there are between 150,000 and 300,000 coyotes in the state. Populations are likely on the low end early in the year before pups are born and higher right after pups are born.
Northern and western Missouri is where most coyotes live in the state. They do not occupy the entire state, but their numbers are steadily increasing each year.
No hard numbers are available for the number of coyotes in Missouri, but the population apparently doubled in 2021. This is most likely due to there being no big predators in Missouri except the black bear.
Coyotes in Iowa usually weigh between 30 and 35 pounds, making them slightly bigger than those in the far western states.
Iowa is another state that has little information on its population numbers, but they are expected to be high since coyotes have no natural predators in Iowa.
A few gray wolves have dispersed into Iowa from the Great Lakes, but these populations are very small and have little effect on coyote populations.
In Minnesota, coyotes used to be more abundant in the south where there were vast prairies. As those were converted to farmland, coyotes hitched a ride with the local rodent population and preferred the forested areas and edges where their prey was abundant.
There are no solid numbers for the coyote population in Minnesota. However, The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources says there is about one coyote per every 3-6 miles in Minnesota. This gives us a total population of around 14,500 – 29,000 coyotes in the state.
That being said, other reports put their populations even higher, around 40,000. Wolves are also present in Minnesota, which helps keep coyote populations down, especially in the northern area of the state.
Like Minnesota, Wisconsin has a population of wolves in the north that keeps coyote numbers low in that area. Otherwise, coyotes are quite common across the entire rest of the state.
A publication in 1987 from the Eastern Wildlife Damage Control Conference put coyote populations in Wisconsin at around 14,000. This number has most likely gone up through the years, with reports of 17,000-20,000.
Like much of the country, coyote numbers are steadily increasing in Illinois. These wily canines can be found throughout the state, even in the large city of Chicago where their numbers are rumored to be in the thousands!
Coyote populations are estimated to be over 30,000 in the state. This is over double their population estimates in 1987, which were around 12,500.
The prairies and forest edges of Illinois are a coyote’s favored habitat, but they also prowl around golf courses and parks within the cities.
Coyotes can call Indiana ‘home’ and really mean it! Indiana is one of the states where coyotes originated from. They were once sequestered to the northwest and central areas of the state, but as wolves were eliminated, these sneaky canines expanded outward.
There is no data on the coyote population in Indiana, but coyotes are considered common and are being spotted in every type of habitat available in the state, including urban and suburban environments.
Coyotes might not be native to Ohio, but they sure have made themselves at home! Coyotes can be found in all 88 counties in Ohio and are considered quite common.
While no population counts could be found for Ohio, the Ohio Department of Natural Resources notes that their population numbers are leveling off, with most coyotes living on the western side of the state.
Coyotes compete with foxes and bobcats in Ohio, though bobcats tend to keep to the southeastern side of the state.
Michigan contains several environments that coyotes find suitable including grasslands, forest edges, swamps, and coastal lakes.
Unfortunately, there is no information on the current coyote population in Michigan, but a 1987 report from the Eastern Wildlife Damage Control Conferences put their population at 25,000 at the time.
Michigan is also home to wolves and black bears, which help keep coyote populations in check. Bobcats and foxes are common competitors for the same food, especially bobcats as their populations are somewhat high in Michigan compared to other states where these two critters coexist.
4. Coyote Populations Are Lowest In The Northeast
Coyotes are relatively new to the northeast but are far bigger than their western cousins. The reason is that, long ago, they interbred with wolves. Most of today’s eastern coyotes have some wolf genes in them.
Today, wolves and coyotes do not interbreed, and wolves will most likely try to eliminate a coyote if they see one. Except for a few lonesome male wolves dispersing from their birth colony, there are no wolves in the northeast, which is why coyotes are thriving at the moment.
Populations are lower in the northeast compared to anywhere else in the U.S., but despite this, coyotes are nowhere near endangered. For my debunked myths about coyotes, be sure to check out our guide on 10 common coyote myths.
|60,000 – 70,000
|20,000 – 30,000
|12,000 – 15,000
|4,500 – 8,000
|3,000 – 5,000
* Estimates were found outside of scholarly or government resources
Like many other states on our list, coyotes occupy the entire state of Pennsylvania and use almost any habitat available. Coyotes in Pennsylvania weigh between 35 and 55 pounds, with females being on the low end and males on the high end.
Coyotes in Pennsylvania are more common in the northern portion of the state and prefer brushy areas, forest edges, and agricultural fields.
No official population counts could be found, but in 2019 an estimated 40,000 were eliminated in Pennsylvania via open season.
The Pennsylvania Game Commission estimates this number is around 60% of the young coyote population. Considering this, population numbers are likely much higher, somewhere between 60,000 to 70,000.
New York may be the city that never sleeps, but the city is only a small portion of the state.
The Adirondack mountains in the north, coastal areas in the southeast and northwest, and agricultural land dominate the rest of the state, providing coyotes with plenty of opportune habitats.
Coyotes have established populations in every part of the state except New York City and Long Island. The SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry estimates that there are between 20,000 and 30,000 coyotes in the state of New York.
Coyotes in New York can get pretty big, with upper estimates at around 60 pounds and lower estimates at around 35 pounds.
Coyotes have been in Maine since the 1930s and are now considered abundant across the entire state. The Maine Department of Inland Fisheries & Wildlife puts coyote numbers around 12,000 in the state of Maine.
Another source quoting from the same department put their numbers at 15,000 in 2019, suggesting the population numbers are increasing.
Like other northeastern states, coyotes tend to be larger in Maine, weighing 30-45lbs. They take advantage of agricultural lands, forest edges, and urban/suburban environments in Maine.
Coyote populations in Vermont are smaller than most states mainly because the state itself is small, measuring only 9,616 square miles (compare that to New York at 54,556 and Pennsylvania at 46,055).
The Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department puts coyote populations between 4,500 and 8,000 in the state. Coyotes are rarely seen in urban settings in Vermont and instead prefer forest edges, pastures, agricultural fields, wetlands, and suburban neighborhoods.
Another small state, New Hampshire has a widespread coyote population that inhabits every county in the state.
A news article quoting the New Hampshire Fish and Game puts coyote numbers around 4,500 in the state in 2020. New Hampshire coyotes are large, with males weighing in at 48 to 60 pounds. This is probably attributed to past interbreeding with Canadian gray wolves.
The first coyote was spotted in New Hampshire in 1944, and since then they’ve slowly crept over the entire state, occupying farmland as readily as urban habitats.
Like most states in the northeast, coyotes are a relative newcomer to the area. It’s estimated that they arrived in the 1950s from Vermont. Today, coyotes are widespread throughout the state except on the islands (Nantucket and Martha’s Vineyard).
A news outlet quoting the Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (MSPCA) put coyote numbers around 12,000 in 2022.
Rhode Island is the smallest state in the United States, but despite this, coyotes have still made themselves at home here. In fact, coyotes can be found everywhere in Rhode Island except Block Island.
Coyotes were a little late to the party in Rhode Island, showing up in the late 1960s. Since then, they’ve expanded and filled a niche left behind when wolves were extirpated from the state. Nowadays, coyotes only have to worry about black bears and the occasional bobcat in Rhode Island.
There are no population estimates for coyotes in Rhode Island, but they are considered widespread.
Coyotes moved into Connecticut around 1958 and have since expanded across the state, making themselves at home in suburban neighborhoods, farmland, brushy fields, and along forest edges.
Boston University tells us that Connecticut is home to around 3,000-5,000 coyotes. Coyotes live alongside bears, foxes, and bobcats, all of which may compete for the same food sources.
Coyotes in New Jersey weigh in at around 20 to 50 pounds, with some reports as high as 55 pounds.
A January 2022 report from the New Jersey Fish & Wildlife put coyote populations at around 3,000 in the state.
If it seems like this number is low, it is because coyotes did not enter New Jersey until recently, 1939, to be exact. Coyotes can be found in every county in New Jersey, but not all municipalities.
Of all the states so far, Maryland is the state that has most recently gained a coyote population. These cunning canines didn’t show up in Maryland until 1972.
The area with the highest coyote numbers is located along the western portion of Maryland.
There are no official population estimates in Maryland, but a news report from October 2020 suggests their numbers are “in the thousands”.
The Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is working with trappers to estimate coyote sightings to help with population counts, but the numbers just aren’t out there yet!
Like Rhode Island, Delaware is an extremely small state with only three counties. Coyotes have been captured on trail cams and observed on roadsides in all three counties, but there are no official population numbers in Deleware.
A 2014 news report quoting state wildlife officials put coyote numbers around 100 individuals in the state of Deleware.
This isn’t too surprising since Deleware was one of the last states that coyotes colonized in the United States.
Coyotes are not only found in the United States but in Canada and Central America as well. Coyotes are very widespread in Canada, and the Fur Institute of Canada tells us that populations range from .01 to 2.3 coyotes per square kilometer.
With a total of 9,984,670 square kilometers of land, this equals roughly 100,000 to 23,000,000 coyotes in Canada. The low-end and high-end estimates are highly unlikely, with actual coyote populations most likely numbering in the low millions.
What About Coyotes In Central America?
Coyotes are considered widespread in Central America, though little could be found concerning actual population numbers. Coyotes were originally found in Mexico but have since expanded south and are now knocking on the doorstep of South America.
Wrapping Things Up
Whew! We went over a ton of information in this article. Let’s do a little recap to clearly define the 5 most common places where coyotes live based on their population numbers.
- West: Anywhere from 1,118,000 to 1,673,000 coyotes live in the West. Unfortunately, no data could be found for Alaska, Colorado, Utah, or Montana, so the number is likely much higher.
- South: 837,000 to 1,292,000 coyotes call the south their home. Data is missing from Oklahoma, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and Tennessee, so take that number with a grain or two of salt!
- Midwest: Around 407,100 to 670,600 coyotes live in the Midwest. We couldn’t find estimates for North Dakota, Missouri, or Ohio.
- Northeast: The northeast is home to approximately 120,100 – 148,600 coyotes. Rhode Island was the only state where no data could be found.
- Canada: While it would be impossible to include every region of Canada in this article, we found that an approximate overall coyote population in Canada probably numbers in the millions.
Overall, more coyotes are found in the West than in the East, with high population numbers in California, Oregon, Arizona, and Texas.
Coyotes are far more likely to live along forest edge environments, brushy fields, prairies, and savannahs compared to dense forests.
Coyote numbers are kept in check by wolves and mountain lions in many of the western states. As we move east, fewer and fewer wolves and mountain lions are found, which suggests that coyote numbers may continue to increase in the eastern portion of the United States.
Hinton, JW, Heppenheimer, E, West, KM, et al. Geographic patterns in morphometric and genetic variation for coyote populations with emphasis on southeastern coyotes. Ecol Evol. 2019; 9: 3389– 3404.
KARKI, S.M., GESE, E.M. and KLAVETTER, M.L. (2007), Effects of Coyote Population Reduction on Swift Fox Demographics in Southeastern Colorado. The Journal of Wildlife Management, 71: 2707-2718.
Lombardi, JV, MacKenzie, DI, Tewes, ME, Perotto-Baldivieso, HL, Mata, JM, Campbell, TA. Co-occurrence of bobcats, coyotes, and ocelots in Texas. Ecol Evol. 2020; 10: 4903– 4917.
Thornton, D.H. and Murray, D.L. (2014), Influence of hybridization on niche shifts in expanding coyote populations. Diversity Distrib., 20: 1355-1364.
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