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Wild Ideas: Coyotes

The yips and howls of coyotes can make your spine tingle, with excitement for some and apprehension for others.

With a Latin name that translates to "barking dog," coyotes live up to the reputation of being the most vocal of north American mammals. Coyote vocalizations are complex and include yelps, yodels and screams.

The irrepressible coyote uses yips and howls to take a head count. If howls go unanswered, it triggers a response for females to produce more young. Five to six pups in a litter is normal, but when populations are suppressed, litters can be as high as 12 to 16. Coyotes live in every state in the continental U.S. and set up shop throughout Arkansas by the early 1960s. 

Whether you love them or loathe them, one thing is certain: coyotes are here to stay.