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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
:confused: Folks,

I'm new to this forum, but at the risk of being incredibly boring, thought I would ask a question about coyotes that someone else has looked into as well.

For years, I have heard of the "Montana Pales" and "Kansas Reds", but paid little attention to it. Now that some events sparked my interest, I have discovered through a little research that some sources report that there are 19 subspecies of coyotes, 16 in North America. I live in Colorado and am told that there are 3 of those subspecies here, not counting the 2-legged kind.

I discovered that the Northeastern states have a larger coyote that may be a hybrid with the red wolf and as such run about 25% larger than the coyotes in the plains.

I have tried to find photos that show distinct differences in these species, and really can't come to much of any conclusion from these photos. Other than boring papers claiming that the subspecies exist predominantly by location, I still don't see much difference.

So, I was curious as to whether or not any of you have any references showing the distinct differences in these subspecies.

Let me know if you will.

Thanks.
 

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I have noticed that most everything I have read out of a Textbook about these Critters has proven to be wrong or misleading. The ones here in Kentucky seem to be a lot darker than those out West; bigger also. But the next one I see will probably prove me wrong. There has been a Huge color variation among the ones I have killed in the last 2 years. The more I learn, the more I realize I don't know NOTHING>>> JR
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Do you know what subspecies the texts claim to be predominant there?
I would like to see a photo or 2 if you have time.

Thanks.
 

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JRinKY, Do you remember back in the 70's when the feds released red wolves in Land Between the Lakes? There was some publicity about it then. Some sort of an experiment to test their survivability. That winter both Lake Barclay and Kentucky Lake froze over and the wolves left, of course. The timing was not too far off to when we started hearing reports of coyotes and coydogs over much of the state.

I grew up in Shelby County, which at that time was the top dairy county in the state, and it was the dairy farmers that first knew that coyotes were around. The coyotes were active when the farmers got up for the morning milking before daylight, so they heard the high pitched barking and the group howls. At that time the state fish & wildlife folks denied that the coyotes were there. The farmers knew better, which was proven over time. By the late 70's, deer hunters were shooting coyotes fairly regularly from tree stands during the firearms deer season.

When do you remember first hearing about or seeing coyotes in KY?
 

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Mebbe I'm wrong, but didn't the DNA testing of the red wolves turn out to make them purely a plain old coyote? I remember there being a fuss about the USFWS trying to pull one over everyone's eyes. I think that was in NC, but I don't remember all the details.
As far as 19 subspecies, I dunno about that, either. Lots of color phases exist, just about anyplace. When growing up in Missouri, I've seen the yaller ones and the red ones, and black ones, and gray ones, all in the same county, mostly in the same township.
 

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Steve

I've been hunting coyotes for nearly 40 years, mostly in Kansas, and I've seen colors range from quite dark, to white. Now, the white one was quite rare and not an albino, mostly they run from grey to, I guess, a rust color and although, I have no scientific proof, I've been told that seasons and what they eat sometimes dictate colors. I've never seen a black one, but people have told me stories about seeing them, and I seem to remember someone on this board showing a picture of one. My guess would be, that the suckers are just as individual as people.


Molon Labe

Kim
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Coyote subspecies

:eek: Nothing surprises me... That is kind of my question. That would explain why some references do not reference one called C.L. "vars"
It seems that biologists/scientists change their minds like we change hunting socks.

But the list of subspecies in texts goes something like this, if interested (and it varies based on references):

1 C. latrans cagottis (Hamilton-Smith) (Mexican coyote)
2 C. latrans clepticus Elliot (San Pedro Martir coyote)
3 C. latrans dickeyi Central America
4 C. latrans frustror Woodhouse (southeastern coyote)
5 C. latrans goldmani (Belize & maybe Yucatan?)
6 C. latrans impavidus Allen (Durango coyote)
7 C. latrans incolatus Hall (northern coyote)
8 C. latrans jamesi Townsend (Tiburon Island coyote)
9 C. latrans latrans (plains coyote)
10 C. latrans lestes Merriam (mountain coyote)
11 C. latrans mearnsi Merriam (Mearns coyote)
12 C. latrans microdon Merriam (Lower Rio Grande coyote)
13 C. latrans ochropus Eschscholtz (California valley coyote)
14 C. latrans peninsulae Merriam (peninsula coyote)
15 C. latrans riviveronis (Florida)
16 C. latrans texesis Bailey (Texas plains coyote)
17 C. latrans thamnos Jackson (northeastern coyote)
18 C. latrans umpquesis Jackson (northwest coast coyote)
19 C. latrans vigilis Merriam (Colima coyote)

Thanks.
 

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I'm not one to compare animals to humans... but look at us

We range from tall to short, slim, heavy... hair colors vary alot if we have any LOL
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Point taken...

But then everyone tells me I'm a breed of my own.
 

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I know the old guy who used to buy my fur could look at a coyote and tell you where you shot it +/- 50 miles. He bought upwards of 5,000/year, so looked at a bunch of pelts. I once called-in and killed 2 sets of doubles near the continental divide. When I took the pelts in, Charlie looked me in the eye and said "you been hunting that Crooked Creek country again haven't you?"...absolutely amazing. I never considered it might be different subspecies. I do know those 4 coyotes had similar, bur different pelts compared to what we kill on the desert around here.
 

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That's just great

Just when I thougght I had it all figured out, here comes some scientist to confuse me! Again!!

OK, what the Sam Hill have I been shooting out here in the California desert, species #20? Or are these really space aliens disguised as coyotes???
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
As I understand it, there's a species that is supposed to be predominantly in Death Valley as well. But don't look to me for advice, I was the confused one who asked the question. I would just like to know as much as that Idaho fur buyer.

Thanks for that response by the way.
 

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Va. Coyotes

This coyote was shot by me in Nebraska



This one is colored a lot like a dog but the Zoo Biologist told me for sure it was a coyote. It was shot by me in Va.



This one shot in Virginia by me.



This one was also shot in Va. by me.



I'm not sure about sub-species but this is several examples of coyotes or possibly a coyote/???? cross bread.
________
home made vaporizer
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
No doubt about the interbreeding - In northern Colorado, it is supposed to be the mountain coyote. Farther north, the coyotes, apparently of the same subspecies get predominantly lighter and lighter in color.

I guess we need a government grant to compile our own study on the subject, since their study they published was a little lacking.

A few million bucks ought to start us out.
 

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Oh Boy.....I like that idea. We could a goverment grant to cover ammo, rifles, varmintmobiles, etc. Geta big salary, like the wolf reintro people, and all we have to do is shoot coyotes, keep track of where we shot them, and take pics.......
Yee haww!!!.
 
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