Coyotes have an advanced social structure that helps them use strength in numbers to hunt for food, find shelters, and expand territories. However, not all coyotes join a pack, some remain solitary.
Do Coyotes Usually Travel in Packs?
Coyotes sometimes travel in packs. Not all coyotes join groups or packs, some stay solitary. However, many coyotes join packs for reasons such as benefiting from the safety that it provides, cooperating together to bring down larger prey, and expanding their territory and hunting grounds.
Working together is always a helpful way to face challenging situations. Because coyotes are social, they are able to communicate their needs and wants to each other, and form bonds and relationships.
When this type of social structure has a hierarchy, there are some coyotes that will not make the pack. They will be kicked out of the group, or will not even want to join the others because they prefer to be alone.
Let’s take a closer look at the traveling patterns of coyotes, why they sometimes travel in groups, and how traveling in packs can help them expand territory and find areas more plentiful with prey animals.
Do Coyotes Have a Travel Pattern?
Coyotes tend to be creatures of habit. They usually keep to their home range, which is around 1,600 acres. However, some coyotes are more nomadic and will cover much more territory. These transient coyotes can travel up to 10 square miles (0r 6,500 acres) as part of their home range.
The coyote’s travel pattern will often closely match the abundance of a food source. If their main food source is on the move, they will sometimes follow the source. If there is a lack of food sources, they may also cover more territory, searching for better hunting grounds.
A biologist from Akron, Ohio, has teamed up with others in the area to track local coyotes with GPS tracking and radio transmitters. Her information uncovered, that coyotes in packs tend to get along well. They contribute in many ways such as hunting, raising young, and more. Source.
Do Eastern Coyotes Travel in Packs?
Eastern coyotes sometimes show a little bit of a different behavior than other coyotes. They are slightly different because of their crossing with wolves in the distant past. Although they do have a pack mentality sometimes, not all Eastern coyotes stay in a pack.
Just like with other coyote hierarchies, there are coyotes that will not be welcomed into the pack. These coyotes will remain solitary for most of their lives or until they mate or their social status changes.
Do Florida Coyotes Travel in Packs
Florida is home to a large population of coyotes (13,000 – 70,000 coyotes. Source.) Sometimes animals will behave differently in different regions. In Florida, if one of the animals a coyote preys on starts to move around, then there is a chance that the coyote packs will travel around as well.
These movements may just be in their regular home range, or it could move them out of their home range if a food source completely disappears from the area. This can happen from diseases, migrations, and more.
How Big of Packs Do Coyotes Travel In
Coyote packs and groups consist of the alpha male and female, their pups, and others who help raise the young, hunt for food, and defend territory. There are usually around 6 adults and 6 pups. This means there could be as many as 12 coyotes living together at one time.
Sometimes they will all inhabit a large den with multiple entrances. Other times they will occupy multiple dens in one small area.
Do All Coyotes Travel in Packs
No, not all coyotes travel in packs. There are many coyotes that choose not to join groups and prefer to keep to themselves. These coyotes usually do everything alone, from hunting to defending territory. These transient coyotes tend to cover more ground than those in packs.
There are also those coyotes who get kicked out of the group and have to go on to find another group, a mate, or live alone. These coyotes do not travel in packs, however, they may cross into the territories of other packs.
Are Coyotes Dangerous in a Pack?
In the wild, a pack of coyotes is far more dangerous than a solitary coyote. The pack is able to better defend territory, and even take territory from other coyotes or animals. This makes them dangerous to other predators whose territory overlaps or is overtaken by coyotes.
In an urban area, there is less of a threat from a pack of coyotes, because they tend to avoid human activity. Coyotes that wander into a neighborhood, are most likely transient coyotes who are just passing through.
With humans developing more and more, coyotes have less of their natural habitat and have started to adapt to the change. If you see one, or many coyotes, then you should get you and your loved ones/pets to a safe location.
How Far Do Coyotes Travel in One Day?
Coyotes generally travel around 2-3 miles per day. They are constantly on the hunt for prey. Groups must be able to make enough kills to feed the entire pack, so traveling daily is a must.
Males generally travel more than females. Their home range expands to around 10 square miles, while the female’s home range stays at around 6 square miles. The males do most of the hunting, and the females hunt and raise the young.
See our article Do Coyotes Live in Packs here.
Frequently Asked Questions
Coyotes are nocturnal, so they do most of their traveling at night. Coyotes will travel anywhere between 2-3 miles per day, in search of food and shelter. Some coyotes are crepuscular and will also travel in twilight hours, and in rare cases during the daytime.
Many coyotes are solitary animals that travel alone. However, there are also many that join groups, and form packs. The coyotes that travel alone tend to travel greater distances than the coyote packs.
How far a coyote will roam will depend on how far it has to go in search of food. In areas where food sources are scarce a coyote will have to cover much more ground in order to find enough food. You can expect them to roam at least a few miles per day.
Coyotes that mate will travel in pairs. Sometimes they will be part of a group or sometimes they will be a solitary pair who travels and lives together until they have a larger family of their own.