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.
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Flores Makes Coyotes Great Again
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.
- Edmund "Subject of choice: History. Along with politics, business, and science."
Very interesting and entertaining.