Compassionately communicating why coyote fur is inherently inhumane to someone who has it draped around their neck isn’t always easy, particularly when the fur and fashion industries have retorts at the ready. But we at The Fur-Bearers believe that education is the key to reducing and ultimately ending the cruel fur industry in Canada – and we want you to be ready to talk fur with these fast facts to respond to fur-promoters, and why coyotes are just awesome:
- Coyotes’ diets are good for our ecosystem. Having a coyote is kind of like having a teenage boy in your ecosystem. They eat a lot of the stuff no one else wants, and make sure things don’t go to waste. Coyotes will most often eat fallen fruits and veggies, rodents (mice, rats, etc.), and carrion (animals that have already died). Multiple studies (Alexander 2011, Gehrt 2006) have confirmed that domestic animals like cats (not necessarily depredated) make up less than 1.6% of the average coyote’s diet.
- Coyotes parents love their pups – and both parents play an active role. Unlike many species, including domestic dogs, the male partner of a breeding pair stays throughout pregnancy and birth of pups, and assists in rearing duties (coyote pairs are also monogamous). The pups then stay until they’re old enough to seek out their own territories and mates, or sometimes stay on a couple of years longer (we did say they’re a bit like teenagers). This is one of the reasons trapping of coyotes is so dangerous – the disruption of this social unit can have wide-ranging implications, and create conflict itself.
- Coyotes have unique voices. Known as North America’s song dog, coyotes have an incredible range of vocalizations for many different situations – from locating family members to telling another coyote to stay out of their territory to a variety of other theorized social behaviours. This research could play a role in ending conflict (along with many other available non-lethal solutions) with farmers and other landowners – by literally talking back to coyotes!
Coyotes are pretty awesome – and that’s just another in the long list of reasons to #MakeFurHistory.