Throughout the continental United States and large portions of Canada and Central America, changes people make to the landscape such as the clearing of forested land and the extermination of larger predators like gray and red wolves have made the environment perfect for the adaptive coyote. Coyotes have rapidly taken advantage of these environmental shifts and expanded into new areas, now including all 67 counties in Florida and even Key Largo. Each year more people in Florida catch a glimpse of a coyote crossing a road or running across open fields, or notice coyote scat along a hiking trail–and farmers and ranchers are seeing signs of coyotes on their farms.
As coyotes become a fixture of the Florida landscape, potential grows for conflict with humans. Coyotes are in Florida to stay, and understanding the agricultural community’s perception of their influence on livestock and wildlife is important to developing effective policies for coyote management. This 4-page fact sheet written by Raoul K. Boughton, Bethany Wight, and Martin B. Main and published by the Wildlife Ecology and Conservation Department provides results of ongoing statewide surveys of ranchers in Florida regarding the influence of coyotes on their operations.