National Park Service ecologists are studying two coyotes that have taken up residence a stone’s throw from the skyscrapers of downtown Los Angeles, it was reported Wednesday.
The ecologists are wondering if these adaptable doglike creatures can make it in the heart of L.A., and so far, the answer is yes, the San Gabriel Valley Tribune reported.
In late May, National Park Services scientists trapped and outfitted two coyotes with GPS collars and tracked their whereabouts into the highly urban Westlake district just west of downtown. A female coyote, about 2 or 3 years old, liked city living so much she had her babies there, the newspaper reported.
Dubbed C-144 because she’s the 144th coyote tracked since the NPS began studying her kind in Southern California, she is raising her five pups in the neighborhood, Justin Brown, a biologist for Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area, told the Tribune. She is believed to have one of the most urban home ranges of any coyote ever studied, according to the NPS.
“She is right next to downtown. It is crazy there is a coyote there,” Seth Riley, a wildlife ecologist with the NPS who heads the research team, told The Tribune. “She is going across First Street, using the neighborhood vacant lots and hillsides. And she has crossed the 101 Freeway a bunch of times into the Echo Park area.”
The other coyote, a male between 4 and 8 years old, prefers Silver Lake, both the lake environs and Silver Lake Heights east of Hollywood and west of the 2 Freeway, the Tribune reported.
At first, Riley and his team thought the coyotes only were passing through city neighborhoods on their way to the mountains, Sepulveda Basin or Griffith Park for food. But more than two months of tracking data show them living along roads and in high-density residential areas.
“We now know that coyotes are persisting within home ranges that have high human densities and little natural habitat, which is quite remarkable,” biologist Brown told the Tribune.
—City News Service