Coyote America: A Natural and Supernatural History

Coyote America A Natural and Supernatural History Finalist for the PEN E O Wilson Literary Science Writing Award A masterly synthesis of scientific research and personal observation Wall Street JournalLegends don t come close to capturing the incredi

  • Title: Coyote America: A Natural and Supernatural History
  • Author: Dan Flores
  • ISBN: 9780465052998
  • Page: 342
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Finalist for the PEN E.O Wilson Literary Science Writing Award A masterly synthesis of scientific research and personal observation Wall Street JournalLegends don t come close to capturing the incredible story of the coyote In the face of centuries of campaigns of annihilation employing gases, helicopters, and engineered epidemics, coyotes didn t just survive, they tFinalist for the PEN E.O Wilson Literary Science Writing Award A masterly synthesis of scientific research and personal observation Wall Street JournalLegends don t come close to capturing the incredible story of the coyote In the face of centuries of campaigns of annihilation employing gases, helicopters, and engineered epidemics, coyotes didn t just survive, they thrived, expanding across the continent from Alaska to New York In the war between humans and coyotes, coyotes have won, hands down Coyote America is the illuminating five million year biography of this extraordinary animal, from its origins to its apotheosis It is one of the great epics of our time.

    One thought on “Coyote America: A Natural and Supernatural History”

    1. If you weren't aware that the American War On Coyotes has been going on for longer than Vietnam, had more casualties than the Civil War, and was even more futile than the War On Drugs, you're in for a surprise.I must admit to a certain fondness for coyotes. When I lived in Texas, I loved hearing their howls at dusk, their shapes framed against stark treeless hills and tall houses. I think they're gorgeous creatures, as far removed from the Looney Toons Coyote as a bean sprout from a redwood. Whi [...]

    2. Dan Flores writes in Coyote America "I have borne witness to certain truth about coyotes as neighbors: you do not see them as much as hear them." I live in an area where there is a large coyote population, I hardly ever see a coyote but I hear them all the time. Dan Flores has written a richly detailed look at the America conservation movement and its attitude toward the coyote for the last century and half. A native of North America, the coyote has a rich history, which today continues to grow. [...]

    3. I have to give this book five stars for the impact it had on my understanding of the human species' drive to destroy what it doesn't understand or appreciate. The book functions as both an ode to the intelligence and beauty of the coyote but also as a mournful dirge to America's deeply dysfunctional relationship to nature. It's unbelievable that the country still kills 500,000 coyotes a year, despite the awareness that such wholesale slaughter causes coyote families to produce larger and larger [...]

    4. Dan Flores has done something fascinating in this book, rehabilitating the image of a persecuted carnivore lowest on our opinion roster of animals, including cockroaches and rats. He makes the case that coyotes should be America’s national avatar, displacing the bison or buffalo. Extremely clever, adaptable, and pioneering, the coyote was designated a principal deity by American Indians--North America’s oldest deity, responsible for creating all of North America.Flores tells us that coyotes [...]

    5. To me Konrad Lorenz's essay "The Taming of the Shrew" in his collection King Solomon's Ring is a wondrous example of great field biology writing. In it, Lorenz delights in describing the behavior of the water shrew, and he does so with meticulous, loving detail, and through this tiny lens, focused on one tiny animal, I can't help but be struck with wonder about how beautiful and complicated the natural world is.In contrast, Coyote America is filled with breathless anecdote and extends in every d [...]

    6. Not a super fast read, but short enough that I wanted a bit more. I mean, it had lots of history, biology, philosophy but it could have used just a couple more Coyote Trickster tales. It did have plenty of statements that make me feel outraged at how much taxpayer money has been spent murdering coyotes in a futile attempt to eradicate them, when the truth is that their population would stabilize at a reasonable level if they didn't have to over-breed and over-migrate to try to find a safe place [...]

    7. Coyote America is a super interesting book that examines the science, history and cultural "markers" of our American original, the coyote. They look like smaller wolves, but they're smarter. And like the author, I thought they were a southwestern/ desert animal. So I was shocked when I first saw one in Ohio in the early 90's. I spent hours pouring over field guides, and was wavering between a fox and some kind of a stray sheep dog. I finally went to a ranger, and they pulled out a picture.I was [...]

    8. Numerous authors have already delved into the cultural and scientific research on the coyote, a uniquely American animal. Flores lists these works in his extensive bibliography and mentions some of them in the text of his book. In COYOTE AMERICA he documents a long history of destructive and inhumane government policies driven by that familiar triumvirate: fear, greed and hubris. The “conquest of the west” has a familiar ring. Paired alongside it was the “war on predators.” (The metaphor [...]

    9. Forced to describe Coyote America in one phrase, I'd call it a celebration of the resiliency of the underappreciated canine that has inhabited North America far longer than Europeans. Though the book does begin with an appreciation via Native Americans, much of the book is basically a history of the coyote and the lack of appreciation of, and persecution of, the wolf's diminutive cousin. Once mankind had essentially won the battle against wolves in the lower 48 states, we turned our attention an [...]

    10. Coyote deserves better.I like coyotes. I like the animals. I like the idea of them--existing by their wiles in the shadow of humans. I like the representations. Speaking of wiles, I like Wile E. Coyote. I wanted to like this book. But it just never added up.Flores was one of the scholars to bring environmental history into the academy, though he was never as famous as William Cronon or Donald Worster. Broadly speaking, this book is an example of environmental history: how humans have thought abo [...]

    11. This enjoyable and easily readable book looks at the coyote, from prehistory when it split with the grey wolf line and trotted across the Bering landbridge to form the jackal tribe, to modern times when, with wolves almost extinguished, it has free rein to reproduce in almost every American state. I learnt a lot and have to admire the resilient dog which is the target of persecution by farmers and city dwellers alike. Coyotes prey on rodents and rabbits, keeping down pests, but are considered pe [...]

    12. This depth for the coyote is well worth the read. And I did know before reading this that how you pronounce it (the word coyote) may relate how you feel about their permanent fixture. This holds so much of the literal, myth, history, use as a avatar for this American animal- it gets the 3 stars. But other than that, the verbose language, the heavily judgmental balance for observation, and other asides quite apart from the natural world analysis? It's overlong. Also, IMHO, this puts the survey in [...]

    13. Coyote America looks at the history of coyotes and their relationship with wolves and humans. Flores provides answers to why coyotes are so wide ranging, adaptable, and comfortable in urban areas. Coyote America includes an extensive bibliography and index, which I will be perusing for further reading. I learned quite a bit, even if much of it was disturbing and disheartening. While there are no graphic descriptions, this book discusses extermination and culling; if you are sensitive, this might [...]

    14. Is the coyote howl beautiful or “blood curdling”, or nothing at all? How you answer that will likely determine what you think of this book, or even if you might read it.Maybe it is the reverse of “familiarity breeds contempt” , but my unfamiliarity with wild predators makes them all the more fascinating. However stacked against a 100 year war of eradication against coyotes (and other species) my view seems pretty irrelevant. Part of the book is obviously about the uniqueness of the coyot [...]

    15. For much of the 20th century, Americans waged all-out war against animals they thought might threaten the livestock industry, primarily wolves, foxes, buffalo, and coyotes. The goal of the ranchers and government agents was complete eradication of any species deemed undesirable. Strychnine was thrown out like candy. Kill a horse, lace the body with strychnine, wait for the wild animals to come to the feast, and watch them die. The buffalo fell, wolves and foxes were eliminated, but the coyote li [...]

    16. This book is filled with biology and research on America's very own Prairie Wolf. It delves into the mind and psyche of this mysterious four legged creature that Americans in 49 states must call a neighbor.But I, unlike the the author, do not chose to give this creature a big ol wet kiss and a hug. I do agree that nature is a balancing act and predators are an essential part of that balance but I no more want coyotes living on my yard than I do rattlesnakes or Nile Crocodiles.I know of two diffe [...]

    17. Oy. Where to begin?I think the manner in which we have treated coyotes is a pretty decent demonstration of the immoral disregard we have had for our native land. The mass killing of predators in this country is a blight on our collective soul. To think we are God, and believe ourselves capable and privileged enough to interfere with the natural world to benefit our own bottom line is inconceivably naïve and wildly reprehensible.“Only within the moment of time represented by the present centur [...]

    18. This was a decent read that reinforced a lot of things I had heard about coyotes or had previously learned about the evolution of wildlife management; the frustrating thing is that even though we know better (through good science), people still hold ridiculous beliefs about how to “manage” predators and the environment. It was definitely a frustrating read at times because people can be so difficult to educate, but it made me want to learn more about predator-friendly ranching, and the stuff [...]

    19. Overall, I loved this book, which left me with mind-opening ideas and inspiring factoids, as well as, of course, a new, deepening appreciation for the wild creatures that reflect our view of ourselves. Sometimes I skimmed bits, as the points were belabored with repetitive statements and stories - but I would read the book again(and continue to tell everyone around me why coyotes are so cool).

    20. A great book covering everything coyote! It spans everything from Native American beliefs about coyotes to the decades long attempt to exterminate them. Did you know that within the city of Los Angeles there are are more than 5,000 coyotes? Did you know that decade after decade the Federal Government (at the behest of cattle and sheep owners)?

    21. Fun, fast book about the cultural and natural history of the coyote in America. Very happy to be hosting Dan Flores at Northland College next week--he's won the Sigurd Olson Nature Writing Award with this title for 2017.The introduction is especially nice, offering an overview of all the most important issues in the book, the human-coyote connection, that the coyote's story is a sort of manifest destiny in reverse, etc. Thinking about assigning the Intro in American Environmental History.

    22. This book is quite educational, although I would warn that the title is a bit misleading. Coyote America: A Natural and Supernatural History seems to suggest, if the title and the first chapter are any indication, that this is about the natural history of coyotes as well as the history and anthropological implications of the Coyote figure, who holds an extremely important place in American Indian and Mesoamerican cultures. The first chapter talks a lot about Old Man Coyote and includes several t [...]

    23. Before Europeans started populating this continent's mythology with the likes of Johnny Appleseed, and Paul Bunyan, Native Americans had developed a cosmology with nary a homosapien in sight. Deep in the mind of myth many creatures great and small like Turtle, Crow, Bear, and Salmon were hard at work creating a landscape and ecology they were willing to share with humans. Simultaneously on the fringes, and at the center of this epic creativity prowled, danced, and howled the clown, the shape-shi [...]

    24. The introduction, probably the most interesting chapter in the book, describes how the coyote was originally a prairie animal but followed man across the rest of North America. It joined the Aztecs in the city o Tenochtitlan, where a suburb was named Coyoacan - place of the coyotes. It was called coyotl (COY-yoht) in the Nahuatl language. Over time, the coyote's range extended to both coasts and north as far as the Arctic. A small wolf - C. edwardii - evolved in North America around 3 mya, and f [...]

    25. I enjoyed the unusual, effective format, and both the complementary and elucidating effect of combining natural and supernatural (myths and folklore) information. I learned a great deal. Even as a sheep shearer who visits many ranches in the West, I was unaware of many things, such as the amount of federal funds spent on totally ineffective coyote population control (eradication) methods. Anyone who has spent anytime observing coyotes -- like many ranchers -- knows that killing them only increas [...]

    26. A fine, loving look at a wonderful part of wild America. I love the idea of ki-yoh-tee even though I grew up in the Rocky Mountains where the insist they are ki-yotes. I also love the irony of sports teams called the Nevada Wolfpack, the Washington State Cougars, and the Montana State Bobcats all of whom have been under attack like the Coyotes, but where is the team called the Coyotes.

    27. A very insightful book or should I say biography of the coyote. If there is one animal that exemplifies American exceptionalism it's the coyote. They even have their own reverse American manifest destiny. Native Americans revered it but we Christian Europeans have proceeded to kill it in the most horrific ways. And it has defied us in all our attempts and science. It's a resilient survivor who is unfortunately still under attack. The concerted attempts to extinguish it have lead to its spreading [...]

    28. I started this as a read-aloud with the kids, but we gave it up because it was a little dry and long-winded for that purpose. I went ahead and finished it on my own, though, because it was still interesting. The reason that coyotes have moved in to urban areas over the last 50-100 years or so? Leash laws and the lack of roaming dogs in the cities. Huh. The reason Red Wolves are so hard to re-introduce into the wild, and why the Red Wolf breeding program at Point Defiance isn't as successful as h [...]

    29. I don't think any Native people were consulted while writing this. Too often Native beliefs and folklore as recorded by white men decades ago was leaned on heavily to construct the "mystic" heritage of the coyote. The colonial and late aspects of white man's relationship with the coyote was enjoyable and well researched, but every so often a ham-handed clunker would disrupt the rhythm. A lot of times Americans was used to mean white people in America. I think this book would have benefited from [...]

    Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *