The Importance of Mentoring and Adaptability among Fisheries Professionals: Learning Survival Skills from Coyotes
Wayne A. Hubert, Paula Guenther, and Diana Miller
We live in the West where we routinely see and hear coyotes. Without a doubt, their ability to adapt to changes in land use, human encroachment, and climate has allowed them to become one of the most successful species in North America (see Box 1). We have to admire them. Coyotes begin their lives as part of a family group, often called a pack. Family groups are often made up of parents, the new litter of pups, and older siblings. Through this family group, pups learn survival skills. Probably the most important survival skill is the ability to hunt for prey. This is learned by observation of adults and older siblings. Coyotes generally hunt alone for whatever small prey may be available. However, pups are also taught how to cooperate as a group to hunt for larger prey. From cooperative group behavior, the whole pack benefits.