The coyote is a true wolf; and the wolves are connected with the jackals by a small intermediate species in India. Formerly the coyote ranged eastwardly throughout the prairie east of the Mississippi, but farmers gradually killed it off. On the sparsely settled plains, however, it survives from the Arctic Circle to the tropics in several species, and continues to maintain itself because its natural enemies have been killed off, and because it is extremely clever in dodging new perils. It is far more destructive to the ranchman's chickens, pigs, and lambs than even the big timber wolf, but, on the other hand, benefits the industry by aiding him in exterminating troublesome gophers, prairie dogs and rabbits.