The National Park Service (NPS) has been tracking coyotes in Los Angeles for some time, yet the pesky predators are still causing questions.
The Washington Post recently dug into the downtown Los Angeles ‘yote situation and released its findings in an extended feature that follows Justin Brown, a biologist at the NPS’ Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area.
The story tells of NPS researchers beginning to monitor coyotes in the city’s mountains in 1996 to try to learn how coyotes would respond to having their landscape increasingly urbanized. The story continues to last year when Brown became the lead of the L.A. Urban Coyote Program, a program that helps locals and lawmakers make decision about coyotes that live with citizens in L.A.’s most urban communities.
Brown’s work, according to the article, is done through tracking and observing coyotes — some tracked through collars, some not. There are some nights Brown doesn’t spot any coyote and others that he nearly can’t believe what he’s seen — like when he found a one-eyed female that crossed the 10-lane 101 freeway.
One discovery Brown has made, the story says, is some coyotes have become fully urbanized. The Post reports last year the NPS discovered one mother and her five pups denning in the Westlake neighborhood, which has virtually no grass. Another female was found in Westlake’s urban MacArthur Park.
Though coyotes appear to be comfortable around L.A., Brown explains in the feature that the predators seem to be more scared than anything. He added attacks are rare, and a study on Urban Coyote research says about a dozen coyote attacks have happened from 1985 to 2006.
Brown’s tale is an insightful look into the world of tracking collared and non-collared coyotes in Los Angeles. The full story is available here: www.washingtonpost.com/news/animalia/wp/2016/07/14/coyotes-have-adapted-to-the-streets-of-l-a-and-biologists-want-to-know-how/