The coyote interacts with many different species in a variety of ways.
Heupel, Eric. “Red Wolf Papa”. (image). <>.  Accessed 15 April 2009.Coyotes can interbreed and produce viable offspring with both red and gray wolves and even domestic dogs.  They compete for food with other predators, including black bears, grizzly bears, bobcats, rattlesnakes, foxes and wolves in northern territories.
Many of these same animals are often responsible for killing coyotes.  Coyotes that are killed by other predatory mammals are not usually attacked as prey, but rather in defense of a food source or a territory.  Even elk can be a danger to the coyote, as their kick is strong enough to smash the skull in a single blow.  Unlike their wild counterparts, urban coyotes aren’t as wary of humans and will often come right to the door of a house if they know they can find garbage, pet food, or small edible pets there.  Cats and small dogs are easy prey.

Dawley, C.  “Bull Elk”. (image). <>. Accessed 15 April 2009.Coyotes will often use snow or running water to assist them in hunting larger prey, but more often any deer or elk that are consumed died first from natural causes.  Predation on deer and elk populations improves the overall health of the herd by culling old and sick animals, and limiting the number of juveniles that reach maturity.  This natural control of population size also means that there is more food available to the surviving members of a herd.

Lamb, S.  “Badger”. (image).  <>. Accessed 15 April 2009.
Another tactic coyotes use in hunting is following a badger into a ground squirrel colony.  The badger will begin digging into the burrow of the ground squirrels, effectively flushing them out of a second entrance where the coyote stands waiting.

Coyote "Control"

The coyote's greatest enemy is the human.  Spanish settlers were the first to treat the coyote as a pest, and this view has continued ever since then.  The coyote has gained a bad reputation as a danger to livestock, though research has shown that few coyotes actually prey on domestic animals.  Most ranchers that have reported losing animals to coyotes have lost less than one percent of their herd.  Coyotes are often blamed for the killing of livestock that is done by other predators such as coydogs (a cross between a coyote and a domestic dog).  These animals are often indistinguishable from a distance.  Stories of coyotes decimating populations of sheep, calves or chickens are propagated largely to justify methods of coyote control.  The bounty system, in which hunters are paid per coyote scalp, is now illegal in most places, but several Canadian municipalities found loopholes and still compensate hunters for their troubles.
Von Canon, C. “Coyotes hung on a fence”. (image). <>. Accessed 15 April 2009.Eradication programs were begun as ranchers moved into the western prairies of the U.S. and Canada.  Not only were these animals shot on site, but many ranchers would inject strychnine into animal carcasses that they came across so that if a coyote were to feed on the carrion they would be poisoned and die.  Leg hold traps, putting cyanide into active dens, and removal of pups from the dens were all used as methods of reducing the coyote population.  All use of poison on public lands was outlawed in 1972, but coyotes are still hunted extensively with guns, traps and dogs.  It is estimated that in the past fifty years over five million coyotes have been killed as part of different predator control projects.  Coyotes are currently also hunted for sport, and for their thick pelt.

Aerial gunning, or shooting coyotes from a helicopter is also a common practice in western parts of the United States and Canada.  This practice, as well as most other efforts at coyote control, is not even remotely cost effective.  Oftentimes tens of thousands of dollars are spent to capture or kill an animal that has caused only a few hundred dollars in livestock damage.

Some ranchers have begun using “taste aversion” collars on their sheep to deter coyotes.  The collar contains a leather pouch filled with an unpleasant tasting chemical, so that when the coyote goes for the throat of the animal for the kill, instead it bites this pouch and becomes ill.  This in turn creates an aversion to attacking sheep in the future.  Other more humane methods of keeping coyotes at bay include a siren and strobe scare device called Electronic Guard, or a propane cannon Neumann, J. “Rooster Gets Down”. (image). <>. Accessed 15 April 2009. that accomplishes its purpose in a similar way.  Guard dogs are also used to watch over herds, but the method that is currently the most inexpensive and requires substantially less effort on the part of the rancher is the use of donkeys.  A donkey is fiercely territorial, and will protect herds of up to 150 animals from coyotes.  Llamas can also be used in a similar manner.  Finally, the simplest method of protecting sheep from coyotes is disposing of carrion in ways that coyotes are not able to get it.  With less food available, coyotes leave the areas and livestock predation decreases significantly.
The coyote population is still the highest that it has ever been, showing that this animal is able to adapt to a variety of conditions when it is pushed from its primary habitat.  When coyote populations are reduced by hunting and trapping, they compensate by having larger litters and multiple breeding females instead of the single alpha.  The result is the opposite of what was desired – the coyote population rises.  There are now more coyotes in Texas alone than there were in all of North America in 1492.  If coyotes were simply left alone, a single female per pack would have a litter of normal size, and the population would eventually drop and stabilize.