Management Tools to Promote the Coexistence of L.A.'s Nesting Raptors and Herons

Project Summary

Raptors and colonial waterbirds are large, charismatic species that are at or near the top of the food chain. Both groups had human-driven population crashes in the 19th and 20th centuries. A subset of these species are urban tolerant and have recovered (to the point of creating human-wildlife conflicts in some situations), while others are apparently not tolerant of human activities and have not recovered in the Los Angeles region. This project takes on two main efforts to describe and log past and present dynamics of species response to urban disturbances. First, the project conducts a historical analysis of the nesting raptors and colonial waterbirds of the Los Angeles area to identify potential urban-tolerant and urban-intolerant species, and to identify ‘filtering’ processes related to urbanization. Second, researchers will create a database of behavioral and ecological traits that can be used to rank species in terms of their tolerance to various types of human disturbances. This database can be expanded as more data are collected and will be immediately useful for ongoing management both in response to expected changes in water regimes, habitats and as L.A. expands to accommodate 1.5 million more people in the coming years.

Research Team

Daniel Blumstein
Ecology & Evolutionary Biology, Life Sciences

Pamela Yeh
Ecology & Evolutionary Biology, Life Sciences

Dan Cooper
Ecology & Evolutionary Biology, Life Sciences

Other Collaborators

Cooper Ecological Monitoring, Inc.