With its uncanny night howls, unrivaled ingenuity, and amazing resilience, the coyote is the stuff of legends. In Indian folktales it often appears as a deceptive trickster or a sly genius. But legends don't come close to capturing the incredible survival story of the coyote.
As soon as Americans - especially white Americans - began ranching and herding in the West, they began working to destroy the coyote. Despite campaigns of annihilation employing poisons, gases, helicopters, and engineered epidemics, coyotes didn't just survive, they thrived, expanding across the continent from Anchorage, Alaska, to New York's Central Park. In the war between humans and coyotes, coyotes have won hands down.
Coyote America is both an environmental and a deep natural history of the coyote. It traces both the five-million-year-long biological story of an animal that has become the "wolf" in our backyards and its cultural evolution from a preeminent spot in Native American religions to the hapless foil of the Road Runner. A deeply American tale, the story of the coyote in the American West and beyond is a sort of Manifest Destiny in reverse, with a pioneering hero whose career holds up an uncanny mirror to the successes and failures of American expansionism.
An illuminating biography of this extraordinary animal, Coyote America isn't just the story of an animal's survival - it is one of the great epics of our time.
©2016 Dan Flores (P)2016 Blackstone Audio, Inc.
Subject of choice: History. Along with politics, business, and science.
Absolutely. I hear these creatures howl all summer on the golf course near my house. I rarely see them. This books gives great insights into why Coyotes are in your backyard, and why you do not need to fear them (so long as you keep Fluffy inside). The books makes the case that Coyotes are a great American animal that should be cherished; a resilient animal that we should respect. For the most part it succeeds in making this case. I didn't give it a full five stars because at points it gets a bit preachy. It takes a stance on the side of environmentalists in the fight against ranchers of coyotes- a stance I tend to agree with, but also find a bit more nuanced than Flores may let on. Still, this book is informative and worth the listen. I am new to the idea of "Natural History" books and cannot wait to read more of them.
I got through it in two long car rides. I could see someone powering through this in a day.
Really interesting history and biological discussion of the American Coyote. I enjoyed most this book, except for the political and heavy handed biometric bits. I'm a deer hunter, and would never shoot a coyote unless from necessity. I enjoy watching them through my binoculars and have almost no fear of them, but they are also animals and the author almost anthropomorphizes them on several occasions. All in all, I would recommend as a good book on an intern overlooked part of Americana.
Practicing Idealist, Dabbling Realist ;)
I thought I was going to get some info on behavior, breeding, territory . . . the usual educational stuff.
Nope - there's all that and more. First of all, the narrator was great! Some of these non-fiction audio books get stuck with dry monotone-ish readers, but this narrator was really into the book and made the audio book a pleasure.
Secondly, what in the world did they forget to teach me in history in school? A lot. I must have gotten the redacted version of western history. Along with the story of coyotes comes the story of the West. And, while some of it isn't pretty, it is by knowing things that we can change things for the better.
The book starts with a great foundational introduction, covering geological, geographical and species across time and lands. And we get some entertaining Native American coyote mythology, and the situation of urban coyotes in New York and Los Angeles (I think Chicago too), and then in the middle of the book we go back to the plains and deserts and even Yosemite and there is a whole lot of information on what's been going on - been done - to animals, millions and millions of animals and most of us have no idea about it. Killing of coyotes has been honed to a science, but studies that include examination of stomach contents and scat have shown what percentage of what animals coyotes really eat and while being blamed for many kills, not all kills attributed to coyotes are correct.
It appears that a lot of the coyote killing is not for correct reasons, or even effective due to how coyotes breed, but it does make certain people feel better. And provides jobs.
Studies are shared - layman level. And we consider the types of people who interact with coyotes. And, near the end we go back to the Greater Los Angeles area and see how coyotes are doing. Especially interesting to me also, near the end, was the discussion of hybrids, the red wolf, wolves, and the results of genetic studies. And, Wiley Coyote was not left out . . .
This is a science book for layman, but written in a very interesting and entertaining style. I learned a lot - kind of a Coyote 101 experience. If you are a person who lives in an area where there are coyotes, where you can hear them if not see them, you may especially enjoy this book too.
Great book and great narration. If you're like me and have overlooked coyotes my entire life as a crafty pest, then this will complete change your mind. Brilliant book
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