JACKSON, Wyo. — The Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem is home to foxes and coyotes, which are members of the canid family along with wolves.
Buckrail photographer Nick Sulzer recently captured these photographs of a coyote and fox in Grand Teton National Park.
According to the National Park Service (NPS), the coyote is a common predator in Greater Yellowstone, often seen traveling through open meadows and valleys. Wolves and coyotes are more closely related both genetically and physically than wolves and foxes. Coyotes are adaptable, which helped them resist widespread efforts early in the 1900s to exterminate them in the west, where other mid-size and large carnivores such as cougars and wolves were eradicated.
Coyotes also face threats from humans. According to the NPS, they quickly learn habits like roadside feeding. This may lead to aggressive behavior toward humans and can increase the risk of the coyote being hit by a vehicle. Several instances of coyote aggression toward humans have occurred here, including a few attacks.
Learn more about coyotes here.
According to the NPS, most foxes in the lower 48 states, especially in the eastern and plains states, are a subspecies of fox from Europe introduced in the 1700s and 1800s for fox hunts and fur farms. The foxes that survived the hunt or escaped the fur farms proliferated and headed westward. The fox can be distinguished from a coyote by their reddish yellow coat that is somewhat darker on the back and shoulders, with black “socks” on their lower legs.
Foxes are not often seen because they are nocturnal, usually forage alone and travel along edges of meadows and forests. During winter, red foxes may increase their activity around dawn and dusk, and even sometimes in broad daylight, says the NPS.
Learn more about foxes here.