Book Review of “Coyote America: A Natural and Supernatural History”
Paraphrasing a reader: “A wonderful book on coyotes, which covers several broad themes: coyote resilience, coyote individualism, coyote biology (including a little evolution, the science of which is easily understood), coyotes and people (in the broad sense—native American tales, coyotes in the city and more).
Much of the book deals with the persecution of coyotes. Flores discusses a century of shooting, poisoning and cruelty—still going on—a taxpayer subsidy of biological bigotry against predators. The wasted cost of the eradications is exceeded only by the scale of its failure because eradications have: (1) increased coyote numbers to an all-time high, and (2) pushed coyotes beyond their native deserts into areas across the continent where they were never found before.
Flores thinks this is because coyotes function very well as individuals and as groups. They quickly adjust to an area’s ecological possibilities. They are resilient because they evolved alongside wolves, which preyed on coyotes. Historically coyotes had to cope with that. When wolves were eradicated from most of the United States, new territory and food sources opened up for coyotes.
Flores thinks coyotes resemble humans in terms of their ability to be flexible and cope with stress. Native Americans believed they were mankind’s spiritual brothers whose potentials, strengths and character flaws mirror our own.”
This book can be purchased on Amazon.com
“A masterly synthesis of scientific research and personal observation.” –Wall Street Journal
Legends don’t come close to capturing the incredible story of the coyote In the face of centuries of campaigns of annihilation employing gases, helicopters, and engineered epidemics, coyotes didn’t just survive, they thrived, expanding across the continent from Alaska to New York. In the war between humans and coyotes, coyotes have won, hands-down. Coyote America is the illuminating five-million-year biography of this extraordinary animal, from its origins to its apotheosis. It is one of the great epics of our time.