COYOTE #1: BIG MAMA
She was the first coyote captured on the project, on
March 22, 2000, and has become the signature coyote
of the project.
she was originally captured, she was 1-year-old and
She weighed 29 lbs, and was in excellent
health, if not a little on the small side.
In coyote years, she was a teenager.
We tracked her movements over portions of 5 cities
for the next 8 to 9 months, as she floated across
the landscape looking for a territory.
Eventually, she settled down with an uncollared male
during early 2001, and started the Meacham Pack.
She was recaptured on April 12, 2004 (after months
of trying on our parts) as a mature, pregnant
Again, she was in excellent health, weighing in at
One of 7 pups from Big Mama and Coyote 115’s litter
She was an alpha female until her death in 2010, and
we were fortunate to follow her every year.
She was obviously very street smart, given that her
territory covers many, many busy roads. I once
watched her cross 8 lanes of traffic on I-290 when
she was a yearling, and all of us have watched her
and her mate cross roads regularly at night.
COYOTE #115: BIG MAMA’S MATE
We were not able to capture Big Mama’s first mate
prior to his death (likely from a vehicle), but we
captured her second mate, Coyote #115, on February
18, 2004 (thanks to Bill), at the peak of the mating
Coyote #115 was in excellent condition at 40 lbs.
He remained with Big Mama constantly until her death
They were similar to many married couples,
where at times they are inseparable, and other times
they take short breaks from each other, but they
defended the same territory together continuously
since #115’s capture date (over 4 years).
Over that time, they had at least 4 litters
together, with both parents helping to raise the
for images of Coyote #115 and Big Mama’s
COYOTE #434: THE RUTH MACINTYRE COYOTE
Coyote #434 is a good example of how human
behaviors, such as feeding wildlife, can result in
coyotes becoming a nuisance.
#434 was captured in a marsh surrounded by a
subdivision and miles of urbanization, on Feb. 18,
She was a young female, approximately 10 months old,
and weighed 13.1 kg.
Although this was the peak of the breeding season,
she was not in breeding condition.
A GPS collar was placed on Coyote #434, which means
that she was located by satellites on an intensive
schedule (at times, this was every 10 minutes, other
times every hour).
She remained in the marsh and a woodlot, using a
powerline easement as a corridor, while continuing
to avoid homes and yards.
Her lack of use of these human-related areas
was not the result of physical structures keeping
her out; she strongly avoided these areas despite no
fencing or other barriers.
She was apparently part of a coyote pack, and other
coyotes were also observed using the marsh with her.
This continued until August 2010, when she
began to separate from her family.
She completely separated from the group by the end
of August, and was a solitary animal during
September and October 2010, during which she moved
over a large area and through multiple cities.
November 3, 2010, we received a request from The
Illinois Department of Natural Resources to follow
up with a woman complaining about a coyote (Coyote
#434) that had been appearing in her backyard each
morning for the past week.
Coyote #434 after collar blow off in area of
In this case, we were able to document the creation
of a ‘nuisance’ coyote, Coyote #434, and could
confirm that it was the behavior of people (by
feeding wildlife) that changed the coyote’s
to learn more about Coyote #434′s home range and
LINCOLN PARK ZOO COYOTE
Coyote #441 is the most urban coyote we have yet to
Coyote #441 was captured near the Lincoln
Park Zoo in Chicago on March 10th, 2010.
At the time of capture, she was a subadult
in excellent condition, weighing 11 kg.
A GPS collar was placed on her and we
recorded her locations until November 2010 when her
collar blew off.
It is unknown whether she was a transient or
pack coyote and whether she had successfully given
birth to and reared pups.
Area near to the capture site of Coyote #441
Territories for Coyote #441
home range in downtown