What is the source of the pressure that has caused coyotes, which were once essentially diurnal, to adjust to a more nocturnal behavior?
Coyote is the common name for a New World canine, Canis latrans, that resembles a small wolf or medium-sized dog and is characterized by a narrow, pointed snout, grayish brown to yellowish gray fur on the upper parts and buff or white colored fur below, reddish brown forelegs, and a bushy, black-tipped, tail. Also known as prairie wolf, the coyote is native to western North America, but now extends throughout North and Central America, ranging in the north from Alaska and all but the northernmost parts of Canada, south through the continental United States and Mexico, and throughout Central America to Panama (Tokar 2001). There are currently 19 recognized subspecies, with 16 in Canada, Mexico, and the United States, and three in Central America (Postanowicz 2008).
Yet, despite being extensively hunted, the coyote is one of the few medium-to-large-sized animals that actually has enlarged its range since human encroachment began. They are remarkably adaptable mammals, and reflect the reality that humans often cannot control nature as they desire (Nash 2003).
Coyote attacks on humans are uncommon and rarely cause serious injuries, due to the relatively small size of the coyote. However, coyote attacks on humans have increased since 1998 in the state of California.
Fatal attacks on humans are very rare. In 1981 in Glendale, California, however, a coyote attacked a toddler who, despite being rescued by her father, died in surgery due to blood loss and a broken neck