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Is Echo Park and Silver Lake development crowding out coyotes?

Echo Park coyote |Courtesy National Park Service

Echo Park coyote | Courtesy National Park Service

In an opinion piece for the L.A. Times, author Diana Wagman says that the “rampant” development of once empty hillsides and lots across Echo Park and Silver Lake may explain the growing encounters between coyotes and humans and their pets. Near her Echo Park home,  Wagman says that a tree-shaded property once occupied by a single home and a coyote den is now the site of three new houses packed into the same lot. Down the street, an open hillside where coyotes once roamed is now a housing development.  Says Wagman:

“Now that empty space is gone and so is the band of coyotes, but to where? They skitter from one backyard to another, in and out of the park around Dodger Stadium, along the last few overgrown edges of the hills. They don’t run away as fast when you yell at them or turn on the deck lights. They’ve learned to scavenge and live off human refuse and the neighborhood cats because, basically, their territory has been overtaken … If every empty lot is gone — and with it the living space for the coyotes, and their easy access to gophers, rats, mice and lizards — then is it any wonder those coyotes are killing our pets, settling in in our backyards and eating out of our garbage cans? Griffith Park and Elysian Park can only absorb so many more coyotes.”

Wagman said that development rules in hillside areas should save room for wildlife “so we can re-establish peace between humans and coyotes.”

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9 comments

  1. Gentrification’s a b*tch, ain’t it?

  2. Bruce Brook Pfeiffer

    Should there be an ORGANIZED effort to leave food out for the coyotes? While I don’t relish the though of the additional expense on my budget that that would represent I prefer it to the coyotes eating our beloved pets. I assume regular dog food would be the appropriate food for the coyotes. My neighbor leaves out cat food which I’ve taken issue with with her but she has cats so that is the food she has on hand and since the coyotes seem to relish it she is sticking with the cat food diet.

    • This is exactly how to habituate coyotes and teach them to lose their natural fear of humans. Rather than protecting your beloved pets, you are putting them in danger by feeding coyotes. Wildlife experts advise that you never leave pet food out, to secure all trash cans and composting bins and to actively haze coyotes when you see them by making loud noises (yelling , banging pots, shaking a can of coins. air horns, etc) so that they remember to stay away from humans (and their pets).

      • Correct advice! Echo Park newbies need to be educated.

        • If that’s the case, I suggest purchasing a wrist-rocket and hazing local coyotes with a stinging reminder about the folly of risking direct encounters with humans. I’ve been doing it for years and like everybody claims, coyotes are smart and steer clear of turf claimed by another “alpha predator.”

  3. I think setting aside land for coyotes and other wild life, is a great idea! I have another great idea. Let’s tear down your house, Diana Wagman, and set up a cute little coyote colony right there on the newly vacated lot! I’m sure your little piece of heaven would be perfect. Obviously Elysian Park, the land around the Silverlake Rez and Griffith Park are too small and already over crowded with people and dogs. We could seize land from nice land owners through eminent domain. No one would mind. Every body could get behind that. Problem solved. With their own specially designated colony, with high protein coyote food supplied by new local taxes, pets could roam freely without fear of being eviscerated. Where do i sign?

  4. After seeing what happened to Kim Gordon, I think we should be looking at any and all options..

    • Maybe we can setup a wall of speakers outside the Whole Foods entrance and blast Glenn Branca at 11… that should confuse and deter even the hungriest of coyotes.

  5. It’s a shame that varmint hunting is not allowed, at least that’s how other places deal with the same problem.

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