Global Warming & Coyotes By Ryan Marshall & Campbell Duncan

Global Warming is the term used to describe a gradual increase in the average temperature of the Earth's atmosphere and its oceans. The scientists think this change is permanently changing the Earth's climate. In fact, scientists from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate, who conduct research on Global Warming, have recently predicted that the average temperatures on the Earth could rise by 1.4-5.8 Degrees Celsius by the year 2100.

Global Warming occurs when Carbon Dioxide and other air pollutants and Greenhouse gasses gather in the atmosphere and absorb sunlight and solar radiation that otherwise would bounce off the Earth's surface into the space. This causes for the heat to be trapped and make our planet to get hotter. This is known as the Greenhouse effect.

Global Warming has a significantly negative impact on the environment and wild life. Global Warming puts natural resources in jeopardy. Climate change is altering key habitat elements that are critical to wildlife's survival. Wildlife depends on healthy habitats. They need the right temperatures, fresh water, food sources, and places to raise their young.

Coyotes (Canis latrans)are found in all parts of the United States, except for Hawaii. Coyotes are also found in Mexico, Central America, and most of Canada.

The coyote population is spread throughout these areas. Coyotes can live in various habitats including plains, forests, mountains, and deserts. They can be found in rural, suburban, and even urban areas. Coyotes are known for how well they adapt to different habitats. The temperatures in the areas where coyotes can live vary from extreme cold like in Canada to very hot like in the Sonoran Desert. The vegetation and natural resources in coyotes' habitats vary as well.

Wildlife has been impacted by Global Warming's affect on the Earth's rising temperature. Climate changes have been altering the wildlife's main habitat elements, such as the right temperatures, fresh water, sources of food, and places to breed and raise their young. Coyotes have been responding to climate change by migration, adaption and interbreeding. More specifically:

  • Migration: Global Warming causes droughts. Severe droughts stress and kill vegetation on which many animals, particularly herbivores, rely for food and shelter. This affect the prey of carnivores like coyotes. Like many other predators, coyotes shift or relocate to areas where there is better food.
  • Adaptation: Global Warming impacts natural habitats of wildlife. Coyotes have to adopt to their changing environment. One of the examples could be the adaptation of their diet. When migrating to larger populated areas in search for food, coyotes find "easy meals" like garbage and outdoor pet food. Also, when moving closer to urban areas in search of food, coyotes lose their instinctive fear of humans. They become more likely to attack.
  • Interbreeding: Global Warming and climate change have been identified by scientists and conservationists as major "contributors" to species to interbreed to survive. Coyotes are not an exception. The coywolf has been found north of the Great Lakes in the US. They have about 10% of genes that belong to domestic dogs and about 25% of genes that come from wolves. The combination of coyote's stealth and wolf's robustness has helped coyotes and wolves adapt to a rapidly changing landscape and environment.





Created with images by skeeze - "coyote wildlife nature"

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