CURes Research Expands to Studying Coyotes in the Long Beach Area

CURes’ Senior Research Scientist, Dr. Peter Auger, and his undergraduate research students have just embarked on a new wildlife management research project regarding coyotes.

Currently funded by a one-year grant from the City of Long Beach, the research project, “Wildlife Services Coyote Management Project”, aims to develop a long-term coyote management program for the Long Beach Animal Care Services Bureau. The research team will first assess existing data related to coyote distribution that has already been collected by local city wildlife officials. This assessment will be augmented through additional field data recovery on coyote abundance, movement and distribution, through the deployment of game cameras. Analysis of coyote dietary components through scat collection will be performed. Researchers from CURes also hope to be able to identify individual coyotes through genetic analysis of scats. The eventual goal will be to collect enough field data to then begin a projected Year 2 Study for targeting the capture, radio collaring and tracking of target study site coyotes.

The City of Long Beach has been instrumental in providing extensive historical and current data going back several years, of coyote sightings and coyote interactions with pets and humans, as reported by local citizens and verified by Animal Care Services when possible. This has been an ongoing citizen science effort. A goal of the CURes research team is to continue that community outreach by keeping the public informed of the progress of the project through ongoing blog posts, data sharing, and public information forums. As stated by Dr. Auger, “this is a great collaborative project between CURes and the City of Long Beach, and an extraordinary opportunity for undergraduates to get involved in a community research project that involves studying a beautiful and often times mysterious animal in its’ natural habitat.” The research will also help students explore the key urban dilemma of human-coyote coexistence.

Updates will be posted on this blog and the project website.