Two L.A. Coyotes Are Now Wearing GPS Collars

The National Park Services is tracking the animals to learn how they’re surviving in L.A.’s urban landscape

If you’ve glanced out your window and noticed a coyote slinking down the street, you’re not alone. Research shows these wild dogs are not only surviving in L.A.’s dense urban environment, they’re thriving: the coyote population is growing. We already know how coyotes work, but where in the city do they really hang out? The National Park service has launched an effort to find out.

Using GPS collars, the NPS is now monitoring coyotes’ activities and locations. So far, only two canines—one male and one female—are sporting the high-tech accessories. The female, a mother of an estimated five pups, has been recorded crossing the 101 Freeway multiple times since May 5.

Researchers at the NPS put together a map to track the two coyotes around L.A.
Researchers at the NPS put together a map to track the two coyotes around L.A.

Photograph courtesy National Park Service

KPCC reporter Jed Kim recently followed a team with the NPS in tracking, observing, and catching the coyotes in order put the collars on. Justin Brown, an ecologist with the NPS, told Kim coyotes often come into nonviolent contact with humans, cutting in and out of the street to avoid them.

Brown also told KPCC this new study will help the NPS get an idea of how many coyotes call L.A. home: “[Coyotes] are territorial, you know that there will only be a certain number of animals in that home range. And so you then you can estimate that out by saying there’s x number of home ranges in this area.” Brown is holding off on more capture attempts until September, so as not to risk accidentally catching a pup.