MS-LS2-2 (Middle School)

Construct an explanation that predicts patterns of interactions among organisms across multiple ecosystems.

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!

Map yourself: Technologies to track people

Create a visualization map that tracks your activities at regular times throughout the day or week. When designing a wildlife tracking program, researchers need to determine several things. For example, the tracking collars on the coyotes in the Visualization Tool send signals at the same specific times each day to mark the animals' location. Why do you think those times were selected? How many times and at what specific time(s) of day will you document your location? Why? 

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?

How have society’s attitudes towards, and treatment of, coyotes, changed or remained the same?

How have coyotes been viewed through history?  How have attitudes towards them changed, or stayed the same?  

What characteristics and behaviors of coyotes that you observe on the Visualization Tool, or discover in other research, might influence these attitudes? 

How have coyotes adapted to co-exist despite human presence and human pressures?

Interview family members or friends to obtain their opinions about coyotes. What influenced their opinions? Have they ever seen or heard a coyote?