Where Do Coyotes Live? (US States & Countries)

Coyotes live in every corner of North America; from the entire expanse of the United States and well up into Canada and down south into Mexico as well as other Latin American countries. These animals live nowhere else. However, recent migration records indicate that they are continually moving south every year.

In other continents, there are no coyotes and none have had an introduction to other areas of the world. This is because every other place has its own version of wild dogs, whether that be wolves, jackals, or foxes, among others.

How Many Coyotes Are There in The US?

No one knows exactly how many coyotes there are in the US. Indeed, with as quickly as they reproduce it would be difficult to maintain a precise record. However, guesstimates place them somewhere between one million to 10 million. What compounds this is the fact that not every state records its population of coyotes down to the last detail.

If you look around online, there’s an information bubble claiming more coyotes are in existence today than there were during the signing of the US Constitution. But there’s no way to verify this since nobody was conducting a nationwide coyote census at the time. Also, sightings of coyotes do not equate to an entire population.

Are Some Areas Overpopulated by Coyotes?

While coyotes are prevalent in every state within the US, some places have more coyotes than others. For instance, Kansas contains massive coyote populations. In Kentucky, there are concerns that they’re overrunning the state en masse. But, in places like Rhode Island and Delaware, coyote numbers are low.

Since the 1960s and 1970s, many coyote populations exploded and began migrating north, east, and south. The reason for this burst in coyote numbers is entirely due to the eradication of wolves throughout the United States. Therefore, coyotes have full reign over the entire expanse of North and Central America.

Which Us States Have the Most Coyotes?

Every state in the continental US has a sizable coyote population. They are prolific fixtures in places like Arizona, Kansas, California, New Mexico, Kentucky, Colorado, South Dakota, North Dakota, Idaho, Wyoming, and Texas. But, their numbers are also quite large in Illinois, Wisconsin, Michigan, and Tennessee.

US States that Have Coyotes

All 49 states within the US have at least 50 coyotes, usually more. But, because of how frequent and quickly they breed, with several pups per litter, it is difficult to get an exact number in any given state. They are so plentiful, that there have even been sightings in Washington DC as recently as 2018.

Alabama

Foxhunters introduced coyotes to Alabama more than 50 years ago. Ever since, they have infiltrated urban, rural, forested, and suburban areas. While an estimated population for coyotes in Alabama is difficult to come by, they definitely range throughout the state. This is probably due to how the law classifies them as legal game for hunting.   

Alaska

Coyotes migrated to Alaska in the early 1900s and they inhabit much of the mainland areas within the state. The Alaska Game & Wildlife Department does not have an estimated population number. However, they do know they are dense mostly in the southeastern region of the state. They live in much of the valleys around Copper River, Matanuska, the Kenai Peninsula, and Susitna.

Arizona

Arizona is one of the notorious states for being home to many native populations of coyotes. Indeed, they are the state’s most prolific predators. They live in every corner, nook, and cranny of the state. Estimates place the population around 200,000 per the Arizona Game & Fish Department.

Arkansas

Arkansas classifies coyotes as “nuisance wildlife” and therefore allows permit hunting. Because of this, there is no estimate for their populations since they live all over the state. Regardless, they are prolific and have been natives of Arkansas for centuries.

California

Coyotes are long-time natives of California with estimates placing them somewhere between 250,000 and 750,000. According to the California Department of Fish and Game, they inhabit about 90% of the state. While they do frequent urban areas, they usually avoid major metropolitan locations like Los Angeles.

Colorado

Another state coyotes inhabit wholesale is Colorado. There is plenty of game for them to eat like pheasant, rabbits, deer, antelope, and others. It seems as though the eastern side of the state has a thicker and denser population of coyotes than the western side. Having said that, no one has an estimate for how many reside in the state.

Connecticut

Migrating from the Great Lakes within the United States and Canada, coyotes flourish in Connecticut and have done so since the 1930s. But, they are not nearly as populated here as they are in other states. Estimates place them somewhere in the range of 3,000 to 5,000.

Delaware

Delaware is the latest and most recent site for coyotes. Within the last 10 years, they’ve begun to inhabit all three counties that comprise the state. While their populations are small, with estimates between 50 and 100, their numbers continue to grow at an exponential rate annually.

Florida

Coyotes are so prevalent in Florida, they inhabit all 67 of the state’s counties. This has been a recent development in the state’s history since it’s been 12,000 years that the coyotes called Florida home. Their reintroduction in 1997 places their population today around 13,000 to 70,000 statewide.

Georgia

Georgia has a thriving population of coyotes. Estimates place their numbers somewhere around 90,000. They have lived in this state for decades and cover a wide range of habitats, with numbers greatly increasing in urban and suburban areas.

Idaho

Idaho is no stranger to the coyote, especially around their denning and mating seasons. Estimates place their numbers to well over 56,000 individuals. They cover every inch of the state and have lived in Idaho for many generations.

Illinois

Coyotes are the largest wildlife predator throughout the state of Illinois. There are at least 30,000 to 85,000 of them but that number is probably much higher. Aside from the areas surrounding Chicago being prime real estate for coyotes, there are a number of wildlife preserves and plentitudes of farms where coyotes can be found.

Indiana

There are no exact estimates given for the number of coyotes living in Indiana. However, the Department of Natural Resources recognizes their existence in every part of the state. Some of the first recorded populations of coyotes in Indiana are from 1816, though it’s likely they lived there long before that time.

Iowa

Coyotes have lived in Iowa for centuries with estimates placing their numbers somewhere between 12,000 and 13,000 individuals. They reside in all 99 counties and their numbers continually grow, according to the Department of Natural Resources. This is mostly due to the vast farmlands and open fields available.

Kansas

Kansas takes a lion’s share of coyotes, with estimates placing them between 350,000 and 400,000. This is essentially the basis for their native homelands. Plus, there are plenty of remote and hidden caves for them to inhabit. State officials say this number is triple that of what was in existence in the 1980s.

Kentucky

While no one knows how many coyotes there are living in Kentucky, there are concerns that the animal population is growing rapidly. The pace is so fast that a census is next to impossible to compile. But, they’ve inhabited the area for several generations, with plenty of areas to which they can adapt.

Louisiana

Louisiana does not know how many coyotes they have but they do recognize an increase in their numbers over the course of several decades. They aren’t native to the state, with sightings and reports beginning in the 1950s. But, today, they inhabit every county in some capacity.

Maine

Even though there are coyotes throughout the entire state of Maine, they seem to thrive best in the northern part. However, it’s not uncommon to see them in major city centers as well. Scientists estimate their population to be around 12,000.

Maryland

No one knows how many coyotes reside in Maryland. But, the state does recognize their speedy growth in population since the first report of them came in 1972. So, while they are new to the state, they tend to be larger than their western cousins from places like New Mexico and Arizona.

Massachusetts

There are coyotes throughout Massachusetts except on Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket. Other than that, they thrive in mostly urban and suburban areas. State officials place their population around 11,500.

Michigan

Michigan burgeons with coyotes. Anywhere there’s a forest or plains-like area, there’s bound to be a group of coyotes nearby. No one knows how many there are and some believe it would be folly to guess. This is because many coyotes traverse borders between Canada, Wisconsin, and Indiana.

Minnesota

The Department of Natural Resources in Minnesota places their coyote population around 40,000. There has been a marked increase of coyotes throughout the state, but especially in the southern half. They tend to frequent areas that border woodlands and farmlands.

Mississippi

No one can say how many coyotes there are in Mississippi, but they are quite abundant in every county. There aren’t many reports of sightings before 1965 when they seemed to pop up in vast numbers overnight.

Missouri

The Missouri Department of Conservation doesn’t have an estimate for how many coyotes are in their midst. But, they do recognize how common these prairie canines are to the state and how quickly they are multiplying throughout every county.

Montana

Because of the immense and sheer size of Montana, no one knows how many coyotes live there. This is partly because of the border shared with Canada, where the wild canines tend to roam between the two places. But, they are plentiful and many ranchers actually use them to their advantage.

Ranchers in Montana have figured out a way to keep the coyotes happy to the point where they don’t bother their livestock. But, they will keep their distance while helping them control populations of other pests like prairie dogs, weasels, moles, and rabbits.

Nebraska

Nebraska is a very long, flat state with plenty of burrows, holes, caves, and other nooks that make a perfect den for coyotes. These creatures have existed for so long in this state that no one knows how many there are.

Nevada

Coyotes are notorious inhabitants of the entire state of Nevada. Estimates place their population somewhere in the ballpark of 55,000 to 110,000. There are plenty of mountain ranges with small game and other plants they like to eat, so it’s a very ideal spot for them to thrive.

New Hampshire

The Fish & Game Department of New Hampshire surmises that the coyote population there is around 4,500. The first verified account of a coyote sighting was in 1940. However, there was a noticeable increase beginning in the early 1970s.

New Jersey

30 years ago, New Jersey estimated its coyote population to be around 100 individuals. However, that number has grown in surprising ways to around 3,000. This means 100 new coyotes come into the mix each year. They cover every inch of the state and inhabit anywhere they can find a home.

New Mexico

No one knows how many coyotes live in New Mexico. They are a natural part of the ecosystem and there are plenty of ancient Native American legends about them. This means New Mexico is part and parcel of the coyote’s habitation of North America.

New York

There are about 20,000 to 30,000 coyotes in the whole state of New York. However, while none is living in NYC or Long Island, a few coyotes accidentally wander into these metro areas from time to time.

North Carolina

There are coyote colonies in all 100 counties across the state of North Carolina. State officials place their population at an estimated 45,000. But, unlike other states, this number tends to stay at the same rate year after year; there isn’t much of a dramatic increase or decrease in their numbers.

North Dakota

According to the Department of Game & Fish in North Dakota, the entire state is abundant with several subspecies of coyotes. In fact, they don’t know how many because of how they travel between Canada, Wisconsin, and Minnesota due to avoiding gray wolf territories.

Ohio

Since coyotes migrated to Ohio in 1919, they’ve come to inhabit all 88 counties throughout the state. No one knows how many there are but they love to frequent grasslands and broken forests that border farms, homesteads, and ranches.

Oklahoma

There is an overabundance of coyotes in Oklahoma. It is one state they’ve inhabited for centuries and they cover every corner. These wild canines love the vast farming and available small game that roam the state.

Oregon

A great many coyotes live in Oregon. State officials estimate their numbers to be somewhere in the ballpark of 300,000 individuals. There is a wide range of climates within the state, making it a very ideal living area for coyotes.

Pennsylvania

There are an estimated 100,000 coyotes throughout the entire state of Pennsylvania. However, they seem to be more prolific in the northern half.

Rhode Island

You can find coyotes living throughout Rhode Island except on Block Island. Other than that, no one knows how many inhabit the state.

South Carolina

There is a study underway to determine how many coyotes inhabit South Carolina. But, estimates place them at around four or five per square mile which would mean there are around 350,000 of them.

South Dakota

Coyotes are so integral to South Dakota, it’s the official state animal. While there are no estimates to show how many there are, they do reside in the western ⅔ of the state.

Tennessee

The Wildlife Resource Agency of Tennessee doesn’t know exactly how many coyotes reside within its borders. However, the Farm Bureau notes that they did make an appearance starting in the early 1960s and have slowly migrated east ever since.

Texas

Coyotes are endemic to Texas, taking over much of the territory from what the red wolf once dominated. No one knows how many coyotes there are. However, sightings are becoming more frequent around major city centers like Austin and Dallas.

Utah

There are no estimates available for how many coyotes live in Utah. But, they are quite common there. With plentitudes of protected forests, national monuments, and salt flats, there are a host of places where they can inhabit and thrive rather well.

Vermont

State officials and rangers surmise there are anywhere between 4,500 and 8,000 coyotes throughout Vermont. They inhabit wetlands and forests as well as cities, villages, and farm towns. There are plenty of rabbits, squirrels, and other vermin for them to eat, which helps keep other pest populations down.

Virginia

There are at least 50,000 coyotes in Virginia but probably more according to the estimations studied by Virginia Tech. While they do inhabit every area around the state, they are most prolific with large social structures west of the Blue Ridge Mountains.

Washington

Preferring the edges of forests and open habitat areas, there are many coyotes that call the state of Washington home. However, no one has tried to estimate how many there are. That said, some locals place their numbers somewhere in the range of tens of thousands.

West Virginia

Over the course of 100 years, coyotes have found their way into West Virginia. Estimates place their numbers somewhere between 11,000 and 12,000. They tend to love the edges of forests, especially farmlands that border woodland areas.

Wisconsin

Coyotes love their Wisconsin home where there are plenty of forests, woodlands, marshes, and open prairies. There are estimates that some 17,000 to 20,000 coyotes live throughout the state with most densely populating the northern half.

Wyoming

Wyoming is a large, mountainous state that also has plenty of forests and flatlands for coyotes. No one knows how many inhabit the area, however. There could be as little as 10,000 or as many as 150,000. Since Wyoming borders several native coyote states, they likely travel between these places.

US States that Don’t Have Coyotes

There is only one US state that doesn’t have coyotes and that’s Hawaii. But, technically speaking, it isn’t a state within the continental United States. The only way a coyote would end up in Hawaii is if someone imported it there.

Local authorities in Hawai go to great lengths to protect their unique ecosystem, however, and introducing coyotes might spell disaster for local wildlife.

Are There Coyotes in Canada?

Every province in Canada has coyotes and they are quite widespread. Many of the ones that reside in the southern half of the country traverse the borders into the United States as well as Alaska. At one time they relegated themselves to woodlands and open plains. But, in recent years, they’ve begun to move into urban areas.

Alberta

It’s likely there are some 100,000 to 150,000 coyotes in the entire province of Alberta. They are so prevalent that government officials attest to locals trapping 20,000 to 30,000 of them each year.

British Columbia

While we don’t know the whole population of coyotes throughout the entire province of British Columbia, there are estimates of 2,000 to 3,000 in the southern half. They frequent urban areas, where there’s food and other means for coyotes to thrive.

Manitoba

No one has yet documented or researched how many coyotes live in Manitoba. However, sightings of them are prevalent in Winnipeg; especially in the winter when they’re most active.

New Brunswick

Due to the heavy snowfalls and forested areas of New Brunswick, the coyote population there tends to fluctuate. Estimates place their numbers somewhere in the ballpark of 10,000 to 15,000 but there very well could be many more.

Newfoundland & Labrador

The government in the province of Newfoundland and Labrador say that there are around 5,600 coyotes. They consider the animal to be native to the land, having naturalized themselves there for several decades.

Northwest Territories

Due to the vast expanse of wildlife and land in the Northwest Territories of Canada, no one knows how many coyotes reside there. However, coyotes have made this area their home for generations.

Nova Scotia

Officials in Nova Scotia place coyote populations around 8,000 individuals. They are rather new to the area with the first trapping of one occurring in 1977.

Nunavut

While coyotes are a recognized animal in the Nunavut territory, no one knows how many of them there are. Having said that, sightings are rather frequent and there are plenty of places for them to create sizable dens to house large packs of coyotes.

Ontario

No one has yet tallied the number of coyotes that live in Ontario. However, they do inhabit a large swath of land in the southern section of the province. They’ve lived in the area since the earliest parts of the 20th century.

Prince Edward Island

Coyotes fill the entire province covering Prince Edward Island. In fact, their populations are self-limiting with little to no concerns about their numbers overtaking the area. Provincial officials estimate there are around 2,000 coyotes and this number stays rather steady.

Quebec

While there are thousands of coyote sightings each year throughout Quebec, no one knows how many there are. Recent efforts to control their numbers in the province have resulted in a reduction in their appearances. But, the coyotes in Quebec tend to be more aggressive, with several reports of attacks and biting in 2020 alone.

Saskatchewan

Coyotes are long-time residents in the southern half of Saskatchewan. Estimates place their numbers in the range of around 100,000.

Yukon

For over 100 years, coyotes have inhabited areas around the Yukon. Residents often report sightings of them in their backyards. However, no one has a guess as to how many there are.

Are There Coyotes in Latin America?

There are healthy populations of coyotes throughout Latin America. In fact, some researchers postulate that the coyote originated in Mexico, self-naturalizing in the western US around the 1700s.

Regardless, coyotes have called Mexico home for a long time. The densest populations live in the areas around Jalisco, Michoacán, and Guerrero.

Coyotes have been migrating south since the 1970s starting with Belize. There are coyotes as far south as Panama, with the first sighting in 2013. But there are many coyotes living throughout Central America. Costa Rica reports having them, mostly in their wild forest preserves and deserts.

There are also many coyotes in El Salvador, but other predators such as mountain lions, bobcats, wolves, and panthers are natural enemies. Therefore, no one really knows how many coyotes there are. There are sightings of coyotes in Guatemala, Nicaragua, and Honduras, but estimates tend to be low.

Have Coyotes Been Introduced Outside the Americas?

To date, no coyotes live in any other place outside North and Central America. This is due to their classification as an invasive species in many areas. While coyotes are adaptable to a number of climates and terrain, it would probably be disastrous to introduce them to other places.

This is because most areas already have their own versions of wild dogs and canines, which serve the same purposes as coyotes. They help maintain and control rodents alongside serving several other delicate ecological balances.

With coyotes classified as a pest or an invasive species, it wouldn’t make sense to naturalize them on another continent. If you require further proof, just look at what happened in Australia when they imported European rabbits in the 18th and 19th centuries. While coyotes aren’t rabbits, the potential ecological disaster posed would be comparable.

Are There Coyotes in Europe?

There are no coyotes in Europe. However, there is the Golden Jackal, which is a very close cousin. The European Jackal and the Golden Jackal (which is a subspecies of the European Jackal) are native to the Mediterranean region of Europe in places like Italy and Greece. They do not yet inhabit places like France, Germany, or the UK.

Although jackals are moving in that direction more and more every year, their movements are somewhat slow. Like coyotes, jackals will avoid wolves and their territories; and wolves are plentiful throughout Western Europe. However, in the British Isles as well as in Scotland and Ireland, foxes and a few species of wild cats are more common. While there are some wolves, they are very few in number.

Are There Coyotes in Australia?

There aren’t any coyotes in Australia, there they have dingoes that are close cousins to coyotes. In fact, dingoes only live in Australia and are the country’s top predators. What’s interesting, though, is that dingoes may very well be the world’s oldest and most ancient wild dog.

Like the coyote in North America, Australians have a bittersweet love/hate relationship with dingoes. On the one hand, they are notorious for absconding with pets. But, they are an invaluable asset to controlling the abundant rabbit populations that tend to decimate the country.

Is a Dingo the Same as a Coyote?

A dingo isn’t the same thing as a coyote. They have entirely different genetic make-ups, habits, and physical characteristics. What sets dingoes apart from coyotes is the fact that dingoes were once domestic canines that returned to a feral state. Coyotes are completely wild.

However, dingoes are very much the same as coyotes in their social structure, general behavior, and hunting patterns. They live in packs that dominate the landscape and are opportunistic hunters, scavengers, and all-around tricksters.

Are There Coyotes in Africa?

Africa does not have coyotes. Instead, they have several species of wolves and jackals. These animals serve the same purposes as the coyote in North and Central America. They eat rodents and other prey that would take over huge swaths of land if left unchecked. Jackals and wolves in Africa live in dens and are opportunistic hunters.

Are Coyotes and Jackals the Same Thing?

Jackals and coyotes are not the same things although they are cousins. Jackals mostly live in Africa and are much smaller than coyotes. However, coyotes have a weaker bite than jackals. But, they both serve the same purposes in their respective lands and keep rodent populations down. This is invaluable to farmers and the locals, preventing diseases from becoming rampant.