City Attacks Coyote Problem
May 16, 2019
Culver City and Loyola Marymount University have teamed up to "Study and Manage" the coyote problem in Culver City. The city council on a 4-1 vote approved a contract with Loyola Marymount University.
Residents in Carlson Park have documented over 50 cats that went missing last year. The problem is city wide and many communities throughout Southern California have been reporting the same problem. It was acknowledged that coyotes have been around for many years and have ventured into neighborhoods in recent years due to the drought which eliminates sources of food and water for the animals.
Dr. Eric G. Strauss, PHD from the LMU/LA Center For Urban Resilience made the presentation noting that the agreement was spilt into 3 years with a review at the end of each year.
Dr. Strauss focused on geographic areas stating that the coyotes are "highly mobile animals it's not unusual for them to travel up to 10 miles a night. The coyotes that are creating trouble in your back yard may not be living in your backyard."
California has the highest level of human conflict with the coyotes of any state according to Strauss.
Among the initial solutions presented were repairing holes in fences, especially along waterways where the coyotes tend to travel and placing cameras at strategic locations to observe and identify the movement of the animals.
The program is broken down into 3 phases:
Short-term: identify problem coyotes, fix fence holes, interview key stakeholders (residents).
Mid-term: determine coyote behavior and demographics, better understand public perceptions and knowledge regarding coyotes.
Long-term: collaborate with other coyote researchers, involve the community in the science.
Speakers were split on the effectiveness of the program. The split appeared to focus on the amount of money being spent on a "study."
Vice Mayor Goran Eriksson, the lone vote against the agreement, stated there was too much money being spent on the study and that we should involve the county and all our neighbors to develop a comprehensive regional project.
Councilman Thomas Small commented that we are "extremely lucky to have this team here that we have."
On Monday May 20 the city begins the budget process for Fiscal 2019-20 with a budget study session. The City Manager will present his Proposed Budget followed by a presentation of the proposed budget for each city department by its department head.