A wildlife biologist has come away with photographic evidence of a bobcat in Debs Park, the sprawling, hillside park that borders Montecito Heights.
Miguel Ordeñana, who was involved in photographing mountain lions in Griffith Park, posted photos online of the bobcat that were recently taken by three cameras in the northern section of the park. Ordeñana, in his blog, said:
Although the park is smaller than most bobcat territories, it is larger than most city parks and acts as the local urban community’s major link to nature. Also, the picture validates the preservation of small fragments of habitat that historically have been disregarded as valuable carnivore habitat, especially if they are possibly linked to larger wildernesses. From an urban bobcat conservation standpoint, the presence of this bobcat is helping us learn about the potential value of small habitat fragments linked by the Arroyo Seco, the need to study the value of the Arroyo Seco as a wildlife corridor, and the ability of bobcats to adapt to the urban landscape.
Jeff Chapman of the Audubon Center in Debs Park, which worked with Ordeñana to help photograph the animal, said reports of a bobcat began to surface about a year ago but no one had proof. He said the bobcat that was photographed most likely traveled down the Arroyo Seco to reach the approximately 280-acre park, which is home more than 40 species of birds, as well as snakes, coyotes and other wildlife
“This was definitive proof,” he said of a bobcat in the park. “It’s pretty exciting.”
He advised park visitors to stay on trails and keep their dogs leashed.
View Ernest E. Debs Regional Park in a larger map Debs Park covers about 280 acres