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Grizzly bears, black bears, wolves, coyotes, cougars/ mountain lions,bobcats, wolverines, lynx, foxes, fishers and martens are the suite of carnivores that originally inhabited North America after the Pleistocene extinctions. This site invites research, commentary, point/counterpoint on that suite of native animals (predator and prey) that inhabited The Americas circa 1500-at the initial point of European exploration and subsequent colonization. Landscape ecology, journal accounts of explorers and frontiersmen, genetic evaluations of museum animals, peer reviewed 20th and 21st century research on various aspects of our "Wild America" as well as subjective commentary from expert and layman alike. All of the above being revealed and discussed with the underlying goal of one day seeing our Continent rewilded.....Where big enough swaths of open space exist with connective corridors to other large forest, meadow, mountain, valley, prairie, desert and chaparral wildlands.....Thereby enabling all of our historic fauna, including man, to live in a sustainable and healthy environment. - Blogger Rick

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Monday, May 9, 2016

Los Angeles has instituted a two year Urban Coyote Study and is seeking volunteers to gather skat so as to determine Coyote diets in SoCal...............A team of volunteers will walk about 30 locations such as Beverly Hills, Boyle Heights, Echo Park, Hollywood, Westlake and Griffith Park............The Los Angeles effort follows a similar study of Conejo Valley coyotes(The County directly north of L.A.; towns such as 1000 Oaks, Camarillo, Westlake Village), conducted between 1996 and 2004"............. "That research showed that those coyotes ate rabbits, pocket gophers, mice and wood rats, along with the occasional domestic cat".............Kevin Brennan is a wildlife biologist with the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, and an expert on coyotes here in Southern California..................... He says their population has exploded in recent decades, so much so that it’s hard to keep track of how many there are...................... "We can have populations that are anywhere from 12 to 20 times greater density in suburban settings than naturally occur in the wild"................ "It’s kind of like measuring hay in haystacks or sand on the beach"............... "But in California, we conservatively estimate that we have about half a million coyotes in the state"

Help wanted: Volunteers needed to gather L.A. coyotes' scat
Urban coyote team

Yes, you can volunteer to do your part for science — by wandering around Los Angeles, picking up poop.
The National Park Service is asking members of the public to join a two-year effort to collect the excrement, called scat, left by urban coyotes across the city.
Parks officials assure prospective volunteers: no experience is required.
The scatological survey will cover the urban zone from Boyle Heights to Beverly Hills. The goal is to assess the coyotes' diets.
"We hear plenty of anecdotal evidence about what coyotes eat, but it's actually never been studied in L.A. before," biologist Justin Brown said. "This study should yield basic ecology information about the urban coyote, which we hope will assist residents and policymakers in making informed decisions on coyote management."

A team of volunteers will walk about 30 locations such as Beverly Hills, Boyle Heights, Echo Park, Hollywood, Westlake and Griffith Park, Brown said.
Volunteers will be trained in how to identify and handle coyote scat, said Zach Behrens, a communications fellow with the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area.
Another team of volunteers will sift through the scat after it is dried and sterilized, working alongside scientists to identify what a coyote had digested, Behrens said.
;The time commitment for participating in each team is about one full day per month, with a minimum six-month requirement, Behrens said. Volunteers can join one or both teams, he added.

The Los Angeles effort follows a similar study of Conejo Valley coyotes, conducted between 1996 and 2004. That research showed that those coyotes ate rabbits, pocket gophers, mice and wood rats, along with the occasional domestic cat.
For more information, visit the scat survey's volunteer website.

Biologists Have Discovered Los Angeles's Urban Coyotes Are Neighborhood Stereotypes
For the first time ever, the National Park Service is studying the coyotes of urban Los Angeles—it's looked at the mountain coyotes before, but these are the first city-dwellers—and it's found they pretty much hang in their own neighborhoods, just like people. 

In May, the NPS outfitted two coyotes with GPS collars: C-144 is a two- or three-year-old female who "spends most of her time in the Westlakeneighborhood" and is raising "at least five pups," according to a release from the NPS. Young family living in Westlake? They right in. C-145 is a four- to eight-year-old male who lives in Silver Lakeand was later seen hanging out with a friend, which is kind of unusual coyote behavior. Aging dude prowling the streets of Silver Lake with a female friend? Sounds exactly right. These coyotes are true Angelenos, obviously.

NPS is hoping "to better understand how coyotes survive in one of the nation's most intensely urbanized areas" and has already been surprised at how much time the coyotes spend in the city (as opposed to parks or other open areas), but more than half of the locations their GPS devices have recorded were in developed areas so far. The rest were in vacant lots or parks; none were in the real wilderness. A biologist says "From just a few months of data, we now know that coyotes are persisting within home ranges that have high human densities and little natural habitat, which is quite remarkable.

C-144, the Westlake female, "is believed to have one of the most urban home ranges of any coyote ever studied and has already surprised biologists by crossing the 101 Freeway several times, near where it intersects with the 110 Freeway."
According to the NPS's new Gridlocked blog, both 144 and 145 "are persisting and behaving naturally, hunting prey, caring for their young and, at this point at least, avoiding conflicts with humans."
During the NPS study, one of the most surprising findings was the important sources of mortality for coyotes in the Santa Monica Mountains.  The number one source was vehicle collisions.  Roads have important impacts on wildlife populations.  They act as barrier to movement and gene flow, and also as a direct source of mortality. 
The surprising find was not the road mortalities but rather that the next most important source of mortality for coyotes in the study area are rat poisons.  Canids (a.k.a. dog species) are very vulnerable to the effects of anticoagulant rat poisons, the most commonly used method of rodent control worldwide. Coyotes are likely secondarily exposed to the poisons meaning that they are consuming the small rodent pest species that people are targeting with the poisons. These poisons have a delayed action so that once a small mammal eats the poisons, it can take up to 10 days for them to die.  Meanwhile the poisoned small mammals can continue to eat the poison bait accumulating more than a lethal dose of the poisons in their system.  Additionally, they can continue to move around their natural habitat and as they approach death become easy targets for predators.  . 

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