MS-LS2-1 (Middle School)

Analyze and interpret data to provide evidence for the effects of resource availability on organisms and populations of organisms in an ecosystem.

Why do people hunt and trap coyotes in Illinois?

What reasons might people have to hunt or trap coyotes? Who can hunt or trap coyotes? What regulations govern coyote hunting and trapping and who enforces the regulations? What benefits are there to humans or to wildlife for regulated hunting or trapping programs? Has the coyote population been affected by hunting or trapping? What Illinois rules and regulations today keep the population stable? What laws ensure the humaneness of trapping?

What else can be learned from trapping coyotes?

In addition to learning about the habits and movements of coyotes, wildlife biologists often gather other data on animals they trap and release.

Click on the Information icon (i) for each coyote in the Visulization Tool. What data was collected? What samples were taken?  Why do you think this data is important to wildlife biologists? How might the data assist the Department of Natural Resources in establishing rules and regulations for hunting or trapping coyotes?

Finding food

What do coyotes eat? What types of food are the coyotes likely to find in each of their territories? What food sources might be present that habituate coyotes to humans? How do wildlife biologists verify what coyotes are eating in a given territory? Create a food web or chart for a coyote. Or, create a Coyote Cafe Menu!

Establishing coyote territories and the effects of human impact

Examine the territories of the coyotes in the Visualization Tool. Do you think there are physical boundaries that define their territory? Do you think there are social boundaries (interactions with other coyotes or humans) that define the territories? Why might a coyote use a smaller or larger territory than a coyote in a different area? How do coyotes identify their territories or recognize territories of other coyotes? Do coyotes defend their territory?