Only a few decades ago, Wile E. Coyote in hapless pursuit of Road Runner may have been the most readily conjured image of Canis latrans, the coyote, for most city dwellers. But increasingly, residents of urban and suburban areas are having firsthand experience with coyotes in their own yards, parks and neighborhoods.
Coyotes now inhabit every state in the country except Hawaii, eating mostly rodents, rabbits, and fruit while making their homes between apartment buildings and in industrial parks and popular recreation areas in metropolitan areas from New York City to Chicago to San Francisco. Recent research suggests that coyotes could prove to be just the first of a wave of larger carnivores — bears, cougars, and wolves — moving into residential areas.
A version of this article appeared in print on 10/30/2012, on page D3 of the NewYork edition with the headline: As Coyotes Encroach on Cities and Towns, Human Responses Vary.