We Must Stop Killing The Wolves!!!

It is well documented that where the wolf, who is afraid of humans, are killed off, the coyote grows to the size of the wolf, and packs up like the wolf. However, unlike the wolf, the coyotes are not afraid of man kind. This means that they will, and have come in where we live. The coyote, when packed up is extremely dangerous to all of us. I have even seen them in the city where I live.
doctorirwin doctorirwin
46-50, M
2 Responses Dec 15, 2012

Hi. Thanks for keeping the tone friendly...we're definitely on the same side! In the fall and winter it's true that in some locations groups will be bigger, maybe focusing on congregations (yards) of deer. Also, the pups from that year are as large as the adults, so pack sizes often are highest then. But, in general (and I definitely won't say never), coyotes eat many different types of prey...mostly smaller animals...that don't require coordinated pack-style hunting like wolves. And, although wolf packs can get to be very large--20 plus animals--you'd probably never see this with coyotes.

Clearly coyotes are more adapted to living close to humans, and are definitely in our suburban and urban areas--I have colleagues who study them in Chicago and LA!

But, the absence of wolves does not make coyotes bigger, nor does it make huge pack sizes in coyotes more likely. Further, we'll never have wolves back in many places where coyotes exist, so arguing that wolf recovery will help with urban coyote issues doesn't hold up. And, there is no reason to fear packs of vicious coyotes in cities preying on people. It's sheer folly. We really need to focus on protecting wolves for their own sake and their role in nature, not by creating fear stories and demonizing coyotes, another important carnivore species that deserves and needs to be in our ecosystems.


Hi! I'm a lover of wolves myself, and a wildlife biologist. Unfortunately (although well intentioned), this comment is quite inaccurate. Coyote body size is mediated largely by the prey species they've evolved to eat. In the northeast, hybridization between coyotes and gray wolves has resulted in a coyote species that is larger, but it's not due to the lack of wolves. Also, coyotes don't really form large packs like wolves, but are typically just the mated pair and pups, with maybe a few yearlings sticking around. This too is because coyotes aren't really pack hunters. Again, there are certainly exceptions, but regardless it's not because of the presence/absence of wolves. This comment isn't intended as an argument, or to dismiss doctorirwin's concerns about wolf hunting. It's just important that science continues to be used to justify our arguments, not misinformation. In my mind there is no justification for hunting carnivores, and wolves serve an important role in shaping ecosystems (see examples from Yellowstone). Cheers!