Coyote love lasts a lifetime

Only about  5 percent of mammal species are truly monogamous. Among members of the canine family, most— including foxes, wolves, and jackals— form strong pair bonds, but are often observed “cheating” on the side. Not so with the coyote. It is one of the only mammal species known to form truly faithful, monogamous pair bonds that last a lifetime.

Photo courtesy of For Fox Sake Wildlife Rescue

Coyotes normally find a mate in late adolescence, when youngsters first set out on their own away from their parents. Once mated, the pair will work side by side to raise their young each year, and may raise as many as ten litters in their lifetime together.

Just like humans, coyotes grieve for their lost mates and may never recover from the loss. A widowed coyote with pups is very unlikely to be able to raise the pups alone. Without a partner to help defend the home, the widowed coyote may lose its den, kills, and hunting grounds to rivals. They are condemned to live a life alone, as an adult coyote will rarely be able to find a new mate.

Please be kind to your wild neighbors. They have loved ones who need them!

6 thoughts on “Coyote love lasts a lifetime

    • Most don’t realize it, but many animals, including birds, are monogamous. We have a pair of Carolina wrens that nest on our porch every year. They also mate for life and roost with each other for body heat in the winter. If one were to die during the winter it’s mate would likely perish.

    • One day, I looked out in the yard while we were eating lunch and saw what looked like a yellow lab. At first I thought it was Autumn, but quickly realized it was a coyote that was after our free-ranging chickens. I went out and it took off. We never lost a chicken to a coyote in the 9 years we lived there. Foxes, on the other hand…

  1. If, by “be kind to your wild neighbours”, you mean not being cruel, then I’m all for it; but if that means anthropomorphising and ‘taking care’ of them then I am definitely not in favour. Wild Animals are perfectly capable of taking care of themselves and do not – and this applies to coyotes in particular, who are extremely intelligent – I repeat, do not need our help, other than to be left alone.

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