Coyote America: A Natural and Supernatural History
"A masterly synthesis of scientific research and personal observation." -Wall Street Journal
Legends 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 t ...more
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 ...more
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. ...more
In contrast, Coyote America is filled with breathless anecdote and extends in every d ...more
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 live ...more
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 ...more
The coyote, when the first Europeans arrived, was found only in the South-West of North America. Now it has spread to all parts of the continent – in spite of concerted efforts to exterminate it! From shooting, to traps, to using poisons such as strychnine, all with the support government support; the coyote has thrived in the North American landscape and now inha ...more
I was ...more
The “conquest of the west” has a familiar ring. Paired alongside it was the “war on predators.” (The metaphors roll o ...more
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 ...more
I liked Flores's premise that coyotes and humans have a connection because we're so similar in so many ways; that the way they've managed to survive and thrive despite the all-out war waged against them can offer us hope in our own difficult times; that they're beneficial and inspiratio ...more
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 coyote, and p ...more
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 ...more
Five stars because the rest of the book outweighs my complaint with the mythology th ...more
The buffalo fell, wolves and foxes were eliminated, but the coyote li ...more
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 d ...more
I came to the book with a deepening understanding of how my family's heritage of surviving the second longest genocide in history shaped our behavior and thinking. Reading the portions about how the coyote has also been shape ...more
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 century h...more
Flores is the author of eight books, including: Horizontal Yellow: Nature and History in the Near Southwest (1999); The Natural West: Environmental History in the Great Plains and Rock ...more