Photo: Jim Hackley

Books, Articles and Films

I am Coyote

I Am Coyote by Geri Vistein

This historical story of Coyote’s journey through time, and more specifically since the European arrival to the present day. It is told from a young female coyote’s point of view as she disperses from her family home in Algonquin Provincial Park in Ontario, Canada. On her way, she meets her mate, and together they find their own territory in Maine. As they move through their lives, the reader observes their role as an important carnivore, so needed in the forests of the Eastern United States. Historically accurate and scientifically based.

Coyote America: A Natural and Supernatural History by Dan Flores 2016

Stepping back and taking a historical look at our human perspectives and the resulting behaviors toward carnivores gives us great insights to our own perspectives that we hold in our world today. This outstanding, newly published book ~one I have been waiting to see appear~ integrates every layer of understanding regarding our Native Wild Dog ~ Coyote. Highly recommended

Coyote Reader by William Bright

Written by an Anthropologist who has researched our Native American’s relationship with Coyote. In this book he brings together the mythical Coyote of Native American stories and the real Coyote. Excellent introduction to Native American Coyote myths.

Predatory Bureaucracy by Michael Robinson

Is a book EVERY American should read. It is a thorough historical perspective of predator control as it evolved in this country, and as it continues today. It is important for our generation today to learn about the atrocities heaped on our native carnivores, and with that perspective to seek solutions of respect and coexistence for the future.

Coyote The Barking Dog by Natalie Lunis

(children’s book) This is a newly published book (2012) that shares with children who Coyote really is. It is very well written with succinct information presented in an inviting and straight forward manner. Great photos of Coyote again introduce our children to this amazing carnivore.

The Voice of the Coyote by Frank Dobie (1949). Second edition 2006 Bison Books.

It is a classic, and is an outstanding book to introduce you to who Coyote is, in the setting of a historical perspective. Excellent!

The Coyote ~ Defiant Songdog of the West by Francois Leydet

Has been thoroughly researched by the author, who then takes you through historical and present day events in coyote’s struggle for survival. Excellent!

Daily Coyote by Shreve Stockton

Author was given a 10 day old orphaned coyote pups whose parents and siblings were killed by Federal Predator Control. She shares with the reader the behavior of a wild born Coyote that is rarely observed. * The author makes it very clear that her book is not about having a Coyote for a pet.

Coyote’s Guide to Connecting with Nature by Jon Young, Ellen Haas, and Evan McGowan

Is a wonderful book that parents and teachers can use to help their children be more connected and respectful of nature. And Coyote is the Guide throughout.

God’s Dog by Hope Ryden

Is the result of the author’s many hours and days and years of observing coyote behavior in the wild. It will give you a greater understanding of coyote’s complex social life and ecology.

Eastern Coyote ~ the Story of its Success by Jerry Parker

Is written by a wildlife biologist in New Brunswick, Canada who has been involved with extensive coyote research. If you want to read about some specific research regarding coyotes, this is the book.

Moon Song by Byrd Baylor

This beautifully illustrated book is written in poetic prose that is influenced by our Native Peoples’ understanding of Coyote’s deep connection to the Earth and Sky. A testimony of respect for God’s Dog.

Don Coyote by Dayton Hyde

Is written by an Oregon rancher, who understands that his ranch is an ecosystem. Essential book for all farmers to read.

At the Edge of the Forest by Jonathan London (children’s book)

Is about the wisdom of the child, and with it understanding and respect for the life of our carnivores.

Coyote Moon by Maria Gianferrari and illustrated by Bagram Ibatoulline. (children’s book)

Beautifully illustrated story depicting the challenges of a parent coyote to successfully hunt and feed her young pups. And the setting the author chooses is not in the wild, but in a suburban town.

Coyote’s Wild Home by Lily and Barbara Kingsolver (children’s book)

Pulitzer Prize winner Barbara Kingsolver and her daughter Lily Kingsolver, an environmental educator, collaborate on their first children’s book together. The enchanting story takes place in in a wild Appalachian forest. In addition to expressing the immense value of wild places, it poignantly interweaves our human experiences with those of our Native Wild Dog ~ Coyote.

Two Coyotes by Carol Carrick, illustrated by Donald Carrick (children’s book).

So rarely expressed in children’s books but so important for children to experience, is the relationship of the predator and his prey in the life of survival of wild carnivores. This beautifully illustrated book accomplishes this but at the same time shares the intimate life of Coyote mates and their support of each other in surviving.

Heart of A Lion by William Stolzenburg. A new publication in 2016

Cougars, our American lions, were once the most widely present of large mammals on both North and South America. But with the invasion of the Europeans in the 16th century, they were slaughtered in great number in North America especially, and then pushed into refuges in the Rocky Mountains.

But now….they are attempting to return to their rightful place in their homelands of the Midwest and the East. Their presence is greatly needed …along with coyote’s…. to recreate a lost, healthy, and balanced landscape once more. This is the story of one cougar and his attempt to travel East, but it is also the story of our cougars of the past and all those in the present time who are attempting to make the difficult journey.

Will we let them?

The Tiger by John Vaillant

I highly recommend this award winning book written by a master author. Often, books about carnivores are written outside the reality of life on this earth. This is not one of them. This is a true story taking place in far eastern Russia (a place on our Earth that many Americans don’t even know exists). It is the story of the Amur tiger, the largest tiger in the world. In this outstanding book, the author tells a true story that takes in the political and economic life of the Russians who live in the taiga, but also the Native people, who have lived there for thousands of years. As he tells the story, he discusses world views both of the Russians and of the Native people, and how these world views and the political and economic world they live in affect their relationship with the tiger…..and then what happens to the tiger as a result…but also what happens to them. What does this have to do with Coyote…..everything! Read on and you will see.

The Guardian Team ~ On the Job with Rena and Roo by Cat Urbigkit (children’s book)

This book is high on my list of favorites! It is written by a rancher in Wyoming, and tells the story of how her two new Guard animals ~ Roo, a wild Burro, and Rena a Guardian Dog ~ came to her ranch, and how she introduced them to each other, and to her flock of sheep. The book is full of photos that say everything! Her story is real, exposing children to coexistence with carnivores on our farms….which is not only possible, but in every way, preferable. By the way…adults can’t take their hands off this book either.

Farming with the Wild by Daniel Imhoff and Roberto Carra

This is a book that I would recommend to all our Maine farmers….and those who are not farmers as well. It is one they should keep, and refer to often. After tireless research all over our country, the authors share with you the outstanding work and vision of farmers and ranchers who seek to farm in cooperation with Wild Nature…..and the very inspiring results. These are accounts of real people affecting a whole shift of how we share the land with the wild and how the wild gives back to us in healthy diversity. And at the same time, economic success and community building results.

The Living Landscape by Rick Darke and Doug Tallamy

How do ecosystmes work? How can you come to understand the complex inter-connectedness of natural communities, where habitat and all the diverse life forms that require that habitat are continually relating to each other. This book, written by an ecologist and a landscape consultant, will guide you in creating a healthy biodiverse habitat of your garden and your property. Then you can sit back and truly watch what happens. Diversity, balance, and abundance of beautiful life….all created by means of the predator prey relationship that is complex and deeply interconnected with their habitat. Creating this kind of landscape on your property will help you to understand on the much larger scale the immense value of carnivores and their relationship to the whole community of life.

A Hunter’s Confession by David Carpenter

A newly published book written by a lifetime hunter. Relationships with wildlife and the land are the core of the book. He questions whether many of the unethical practices used today in the hunting community reflect respect for the lives of the animals the hunters are about to take. He beckons hunters to return to the ethical hunting practices that he learned from his father.

Changes in the Land Revised edition 2003, by William Cronon

A well researched historical account of how the Native Americans of North Eastern America used the land and related with the wildlife, and how the early European colonists did so. He describes the tragic breakdown of the complexity of the natural system as a result of European occupation of America. It gives us a much wider perspective of issues we are confronted with today.

Where the Wild Things Were: Life, Death and Ecological Wreckage in a Land of Vanishing Predatorsby William Stolzenburg.

I highly recommend this book written by a skilled and gifted writer. He takes you through many research experiences of leading conservation biologists and ecologists, who have explored carnivores, and how they dramatically affect ecosystems. But because of his unique manner of writing that tells it like a story, you will not want to put it down. Powerful book, bespeaking an American continent plundered of its predators…and the consequences.

Diversity of Life by E.O Wilson

Is a leading ecologist and at the same time a superb writer. As a scientist he writes with great depth regarding the amazing biodiversity of life on our planet that is ever evolving and recreating itself. To truly get a sense of what biodiversity is, read this book. As a writer he brings wonder and awe of the planet we are so deeply connected with. He helps us to understand that we are all connected with ALL life.

America’s Last Wild Horses by Hope Ryden

In this riveting and extensively researched book, the author traces the history of our Wild Horses here in the New World. Like Coyote, Wild Mustangs have suffered intense persecution and suffering at the hands of the greedy cattle barons whose only value was that of profit…at the expense and intense suffering of all other wildlife. Wild Mustangs, like Coyotes and wolves and grizzly bears have been pushed into small spaces and often the most uninhabitable and disconnected lands. Know that this is just not something of the past….it is happening right NOW.

Cougar ~ Ecology and Conservation edited by Maurice Hornocker and Sharon Negri

This book is an excellent resource of the latest research and findings on the American Cougar. It comprises articles written by biologists steeped in their research of this magnificent carnivore … our American Lion. In addition to the accounts of Cougar’s behavior and relationships, emphasis is placed on their importance and participation in healthy ecosystem processes. Stunning photos are included throughout.

The Conquest of Paradise by Kirkpatrick Sale

A meticulous historical account of the beginnings of European colonization of the American continent. The author describes in detail how Europeans treated the land and its wildlife of Europe, leaving an impoverished landscape where they themselves experienced great misery as a result. He then takes you on the journeys of Christopher Columbus, and describes the violence heaped on the life of the New World. It is important to look back at where we have come from to understand why violence to our wildlife and the land continue today …500 years later. Those same belief systems and values of Medieval Europe are still control laws and human behavior today. So what is our Vision for the Future?

Biodiversity and Native America edited by Paul Minnis and Wayne Elisens.

This is a scholary, yet intriquing book with contributions from several different authors. It is another valuable means of widening your view of our humanity, through the rich history of our native peoples lives, prior to the invasion by the Europeans. It is broad historical perspective that helps you understand how important the world views of your culture are…how your culture “sees” the land, “sees” your relationship to the land, treats the land, and the other intelligent, invaluable life that share it with us.

Empire of the Summer Moon by S.C. Gwynne

A newly published book about the last of our Native American tribes to stand up to the onslaught of European colonization of North America … the Commanches of the Great Plains. What does this book have to do with Coyote? Well, everything. He sets a mirror up for us to look into regarding our violent behavior as a human species. The Europeans treatment of the Native Americans, to hunt them down, subdue and take away their “wildness” mirrors so poignantly our civilization’s treatment of our wildlife, especially our carnivores today. There was no room for coexisting, there is none today. To understand and respect carnivores, we need to look at ourselves in the mirror. This book does that!

Early Maine Wildlife by William Krohn

Wlliam Krohn a wildlife biologist with the US Geological Survey, stationed at the University of Maine in Orono. The author has painstakingly researched historical documents that give us a window into how early settlers looked upon and treated our native Maine wildlife. It is quite an eye opener, and you come to realize, for example, why you and I will never have the opportunity to see caribou here in Maine again…what happened? And as you read the book, ask yourself if the attitudes about wild canines back then are the same as they are today, and if so, why?

Research Documents

The Ecology of the Northeastern Coyote
This is a link to a scientific paper written by Matthew Gomper of the Wildlife Conservation Society. It is an excellent introduction to the history and ecology of our eastern coyotes. Coyotes, who are now found from Nova Scotia to Florida, and exist at high enough population densities in virtually every region to have become an important component of the ecological community. Therefore solid understanding of coyote ecology is necessary for conservation planning at many levels.

Read Article Here

Coyote ~ A Wiley New Emblem for the Anthropocene: Why one of the Most Reviled Predators in North America could Change Conservation Forever
Studying predators from merely wildlife science data leaves so much important realities out of the picture. When we widen our perspective by means of the other sciences, a whole new understanding evolves. Anthropology and History are just two of these eye opening sciences that shed so much more light on our relationship with predators. This research thesis takes you back deep into history and guides you up through the present time. It leaves you with a great deal to think about!

Read Article Here

Long – term Pair Bonding and Genetic Evidence for Monogamy among urban Coyotes
“Until death do us part” has never been more truly lived than with Coyote mates. Over their long evolutionary path, they have developed social bonds that have kept them faithful to each other, despite the circumstances of their lives. Research has shown that high Coyote density and lots of food available in cities has not affected Coyote’s practice of strict monogamy.

Read Article Here

Outstanding Films

Penobscot Bay: an Ecosytem Colliding with the Antropocene.

This is an excellent filmed presentation by Professor Bob Steneck, from the School of Marine Sciences, University of Maine. Today, when scientists speak of large predators they most often are speaking of the terrestrial ones. Dr. Steneck’s presentation instead is of the large predator fish of the ocean and how we as humans have affected their numbers dramatically, and by doing so have changed the ecosystem of a marine habitat. Very enlighening with excellent historical references.

Cougar Response to Hunting

What happens when carnivores are hunted The following link is a film detailing the research of Dr. Robert Wielgus from Washington State University. This scientist discusses the results of an extensive research project regarding cougars and what happens when they are hunted. I share this with you, as so much of this applies to Coyotes as well. The simplistic concept that if you kill more, there will be less….and we will cease to be in conflict with them…..does not really happen in the real world.

Queen of the Sun: What are the Bees Telling us? 2010.

This outstanding documentary, filmed around the planet, focuses on “colony collapse” of the bees. Why are millions of bees dying around the world? In answering this question, the focus is on how farming is done around the world…….monocultures, pesticides, destruction of their habitat, and the manipulation of the bees’ life. What do bees have to do with Coyote? Over and over again it is stated in the film that the bees need habitat in order to forage and do their immensely important work on the planet. Coyote by balancing herbivore populations, keeps them from devouring the bees habitat. Look at all the connections!


This outstanding documentary portrays the cruelty toward wild Orcas by the billion dollar industry, SeaWorld. The producers of the film spoke of the orcas as having “great spiritual power not to be meddled with.” Posing as a fun filled experience for the “whole family,” SeaWorld causes untold misery to these wild Marine carnivores who swim the great oceans and live in tight knit families. Imprisoned by SeaWorld in cement tanks alone, they are made to perform ridiculous tricks. When parents take their children to such a place, they are teaching their children that it is OK to imprison powerful carnivores…take their life away……so the children can be entertained. Orcas, like Coyotes need to be given the respect that Nature has bestowed on them…….Confining their freedom either in a tank like Orcas, or a leghold trap, like Coyotes is against all the laws of the Universe. What can you do? DO NOT TAKE YOUR CHILDREN TO SEAWORLD!

The Botany of Desire

This outstanding documentary, based on Michael Pollan’s best selling book encourages the viewers to experience the world we live in from a vastly different perspective. So often biologists speak of the term “biodiversity” as central to the survival of life on our planet……and the role carnivores play in helping to shape that biodiversity. Over and over again you will hear the word “biodiversity” spoken in this film……and in the context of this film it will come clear to you how vital it is for survival of our planet’s life…including our own. Another excellent aspect of this film is that our behavior as humans is central to this film. What does this have to do with Coyote and all carnivores? Watch it…..and think about it!

The Future of Food

This provocative film is one that every American should see. Why? This film shows in real life stories how greed and government and the human arrogance of big corporations (who pretend that they can do one better than Mother Nature)…….is causing frightening results. What does this film have to do with Coyotes and other carnivores? EVERYTHING? It is for the same reasons……money, corrupt government, and human arrogance that keeps us behaving toward our carnivores in the same manner over the past 500 years…though our science is discovering amazing truths about them. SO…. this is how it was and is now…..BUT…. we want to create a more wonderful future. HOW TO DO THIS? Educate yourself and your children. Knowledge and understanding is very powerful. Your SILENCE will move the present into the future. So SPEAK UP TO LEGISLATORS. There is great power in your VOICE!