Coyotes arrived in 1970s. They're now in all 67 counties.
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — As part of a natural migration to the eastern United States, modern coyotes began arriving in northwestern Florida in the 70s and can now be found in all 67 counties.
However, fossilized skull fragments show coyotes were once in the region much earlier, researchers say.
The bushy-tailed omnivores are highly adaptable animals that are now located in every state but Hawaii.
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission says coyotes help maintain balanced ecosystems by controlling the populations of rodents and smaller predators, such as foxes, opossums and raccoons, which naturally occur in higher densities and can quickly overpopulate areas.
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