©️Johanna Turner

Research Project | 2022

Intersecting effects of urbanization, diet and rodenticides on local coyote health

La Kretz Postdoc Sarah Helman is investigating the intersecting effects of urbanization, diet and rodenticides on local coyote health, working in collaboration with the National Park Service, the Urban Nature Research Center at the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County and the Jamie Lloyd-Smith Laboratory at UCLA. As urbanization becomes increasingly pervasive, it is crucial to understand and mitigate anthropogenic impacts on wildlife health. Coyotes are found throughout the diverse urbanization matrix of the greater Los Angeles region, and therefore represent an ideal study system for investigating human impacts on local wildlife. Sarah’s research will assess infections in coyotes at different levels of urbanization relative to rodenticide exposure and diet composition. By assessing anthropogenic impacts on coyote health and comparing rodenticide levels before and after a recent rodenticide ban (The California Ecosystems Protection Act, AB-1788), this work will inform future policy and planning efforts, with direct applications to urban pathogen control, conservation and wildlife management.