State Animal of South Dakota

State Animal of South Dakota

Coyote Is The National State Animal of South Dakota. The coyote (Canis latrans) was Accepted as the official State Animal of South Dakota in 1949. Governor George T. Mickelson signed the legislation, the coyote, (Canis latrans,) was adopted as South Dakota State Animal. Native to the desert southwest, the coyote (also called prairie wolf) now ranges from Alaska, throughout most of Canada and the USA.

The howl of the coyote is known as “the song of the west”, It one of the few wild animals whose vocalizations are commonly heard. South Dakota State Animal Coyote has a range of distinctive sounds it uses to communicate with pups and other adults including barks, yips. As with all canines, coyote or Canis latrans they also use body language (ears, tail, facial expressions) to get their point across.

State Animal of South Dakota coyote mates for life. Breeding occurs in early spring. A litter of 5-10 pups is born after a 60-65 day gestation period. The male coyote tends to the female during her late pregnancy and while she stays with the pups in the den until their eyes open. Both parents spend the first summer teaching the pups basic hunting and survival skills and by late summer or early fall, the litter begins to disperse and go their own way. State Animal of South Dakota Coyotes was first reported in Connecticut in the mid1950’s.

Since then, they have expanded their range and are now an integral part of Connecticut’s ecosystem. They are well established throughout the state, including lower Fairfield County, and thrive in urban and suburban areas close to people. Coyotes do not live in packs. South Dakota State Animal live in family units consisting of an adult pair and they’re young, which may stay with the parents for up to two years. Coyote protects its territory from other canids, including coyotes and foxes. The law designating the coyote as the official South Dakota State Animal is found in the South Dakota Codified Laws, title 1, chapter 1-6, section 1-6-8.


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