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"These two black coyotes were photographed on a Wildlife Management Area in Florida.Black coyotes are uncommon everywhere and hardly ever seen in Florida—hunters occasionally post photos of dead animals, but photos of live black coyotes are extremely rare.A recent study at Stanford University on the genetics of melanism (black color morph) in wolves, coyotes and dogs, shows that the genetic mutation for melanism first arose in dogs some 50,000 years ago and was subsequently passed to wolves and coyotes."

Coyotes with odd coat colors could almost have domestic dog somewhere in their family tree, breeding between coyotes and feral dogs isn’t unheard of.

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A new University of Georgia study aims to understand how coyotes live in Georgia, South Carolina and Alabama (where they seem to be doing much better than in the West and the North). They’re trying to trap about 160 coyotes and fit them with GPS collars so they can learn how the animals navigate a human-dominated landscape.

How do they coyotes react to being trapped? Find out here.

Top image: Trapper Dan Eaton prepares to release an adult female coyote.

Bottom image: Biologists measure a coyote trapped outside Augusta, Ga.

Credit: Grant Blankenship/Georgia Public Broadcasting

I had come to the rural town of Salmon, Idaho—population 3,000—to enter as a contestant in the derby. Over the course of two days in late December, several hundred hunters would compete to kill as many wolves and coyotes as possible. There were two $1,000 prizes to be had, one for the most coyotes slain and the other for the largest single wolf carcass. Children were encouraged to enter, with special awards for youths aged 10–11 and 12–14 listed on the promotional flyer. The derby’s organizer, a nonprofit sporting group called Idaho for Wildlife, advertised that the event was to be historic: the first wolf-killing contest held in the US since 1974.

Read our undercover report from the Idaho Coyote and Wolf Derby

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Modest Mouse - Coyotes