Canis latrans, aka coyotes, is from the canine species, looks similar to dogs, and the resemblance is so uncanny that many would mistake it as a German Shepherd at first glance. Only after looking closely and noticing the appearance, nature, and movement can one decide it’s not a dog but a coyote. More than the dogs, a coyote resembles the foxes and wolves the most, and why not when they are popularly known as the close relative of the wolves.
However, no matter how uncannily coyotes resemble the different types of canine species, they are considered a nuisance, a danger, and suggested to keep away from humans, children, and pets. Though considered a nuisance for human kinds, this particular breed isn’t known to live for too many years. Especially the ones that are living in the wild. How long do coyotes live, exactly then? Let’s get you your answer.
The Deciding Factor of a Coyote Surviving
Coyotes are seen everywhere. Unlike other wild animals, they are not too afraid to come in contact with humans. And humans also, due to coyotes’ resemblance to dogs, try to be friendly with them, giving them all the more reasons to roam freely everywhere. That is why you can see them in the cities, suburban areas, in the zoo, desert areas, in open spaces, in the woods, basically everywhere.
They can survive in all situations considering the variety of locations we have mentioned right now. However, how long, that’s the question. The factor that decides the lifespan of a coyote has to be where it is living. If it’s living in the wild, the lifespan will be certain years. And if it’s in captivity, like, say, in a zoo, the lifespan will be very different from that.
Diseases and Hunters – It can get affected with different diseases like distemper, rabies, mange or could be killed by hunters. Coyotes are known to be a dangerous source for spreading rabies among humans. So the death rate has to be high among the breed itself, too, even after the authorities take all the necessary steps to provide them with vaccination. And the areas that allow hunting coyotes will naturally have hunters hunting for coyotes and killing them not because coyotes are a nuisance but as their trophy.
Collision Mishap – Colliding with vehicles is also a reason that kills coyotes at a considerable number. After all, a coyote hardly knows how to cross the street safely. It’s a kind that comes near human abodes from the wild without any fear. As there is no fear, they tend to roam in the cities just like they would in the wild, on a heavy traffic road freely without realizing what hit them hard the next moment in the middle of the road. Almost up to 70% of coyotes die due to collisions with vehicles every year. The other factors are not as high as the colliding to vehicles mishap.
Malnutrition – Lack of food, as humans are specifically asked not to provide food to the coyotes as they will create a ruckus if they get too friendly with humans and get food from them, also causes coyote deaths. Coyotes could be such a nuisance that people are asked to keep their trash bin safe too from them. So, no easily accessible source of food means death due to starvation and malnutrition.
Hunts Alone – Another reason due to which coyotes face immense threat is that, unlike the wolves, they tend to not only roam alone but hunt alone too. So, even when hunting for food, they are risking their lives more than their close relatives. The struggle will be hard, and most likely, they will lose their lives, let alone getting food for themselves and their starving pups.
All these factors decide how long a coyote can survive or live. Therefore, it can be easily said that there is no specific way to determine the accurate lifespan of a coyote. Remove all the risk factors, ensure their safety and give them enough food, they can survive for a long time. Do nothing about the risk factors, and the lifespan gets short to shorter.
How Long Do Coyotes Live?
The Average – Before we get into all the different situations, let’s outright declare the average age of coyotes. The average age of a coyote will be 6-8 years. It’s just the average. We haven’t considered the adverse situations, the places they are living in, the threats they are facing, and all yet.
In Captivity Under Proper Observation – Researches and experiences by the experts say that when a coyote is kept captive, supposedly in a zoo, it can live more than a decade and a half, about 15 years. It could extend to even two decades and surpass a year or two more as well, nothing to be surprised about.
Not in Captivity and Under Proper Observation – However, when they are not under captivity or safe observation and roam freely, the lifespan is no more than three to four years. Passing even a year becomes difficult for a coyote, considering how coyote’s pups die at a very high rate. The moment a pup steps out of its home or den, death dangles on its head and unfortunately occurs sooner.
When in The Wild – In the wild, if a coyote is in a comfortable situation without much adversity, even then, it will not survive a decade. 7-8 years at max would be its lifespan if it can stay away from most of the adversities of the wild. Because honestly, it’s impossible to survive every adversity. They will have to face some, if not all.
A Considerable Lifespan in The Wild – The lifespan of coyotes living in the wild will increase and touch the decade mark or more if they manage enough food, ensured safety from hunters and other wild animals, and a lot of other factors, which is highly likely as no one will offer special treatment to the coyotes living in the wild. But it happens, though rarely, hence few coyotes in the wild can survive more than a decade.
However, there is a reason for the lifecycle difference between the zoo coyotes and the coyotes in the wild. It’s in the treatment they get. The two cannot be the same hence the difference in their lifespan too.
More coyote information at rocwildlife
Considering it’s a nuisance for humans, the less they survive, the better. However, if we consider coyotes a wild animal, which they actually are, then the lifespan is not that high. The number of grave risks above them and considering they receive very little help to zero help due to their nature is a little daunting.