If the ubiquitous coyote is indeed the trickster of Native American folklore, the lawyers for 14 environmental groups have taken a page from that rascal’s playbook. The usual culprits are on record here, such as the Center for Biological Diversity, The Rewilding Institute, the Sierra Club, WildEarth Guardians, as well as Great Old Broads for Wilderness, Plan B to Save Wolves, etc. They have petitioned Debra Haaland, secretary of interior, and Martha Williams, director of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS), to designate coyotes as “endangered” throughout the lower halves of Arizona and New Mexico.

Coyote

Fourteen environmental groups are seeking protections for coyotes on the grounds they are too difficult to distinguish from Mexican gray wolves. Coyote are slender with a pointed muzzle and relatively longer, more pointed ears than wolves. They typically weigh 20 to 45 pounds, and possess legs and feet that are more delicate.

Since coyotes expanded their range considerably after the 19th century and may be found from Central America, throughout Mexico, north through Canada to Alaska, and from coast to coast in the United States they would hardly seem to need such a label under the federal Endangered Species Act (ESA). The fact they are steadily increasing this distribution as humans alter the landscape only adds to the confusion.

Mexican gray wolf

Mexican gray wolf

Map of Mexican Wolf Experimental Population Area

Map of Mexican Wolf Experimental Population Area.

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