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Park Hike Will Focus on Tracking Predators

September 13, 1997|LISA FERNANDEZ

Learn Sunday how National Park Service scientists are using remote cameras to capture and document the movements of bobcats, coyotes, gray foxes and other animals at Cheeseboro/Palo Comado Canyons.

Participants, who are advised to wear hiking shoes and bring water, will go out with ecologist Ray Sauvajot and Arthur Eck, superintendent of the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area, to track the animals using radio telemetry devices.

Although it is unlikely that any animals will be spotted during the outing from 2 to 4 p.m., visitors should be able to see bobcat signals transmitted over tracking machines, Sauvajot said.

For the past year and a half, park service scientists have studied the distribution and status of predators in the recreation area as part of an effort to understand and protect park resources, said spokeswoman Jean Bray.

Sauvajot, the head of the animal tracking team, said the study aims at figuring out how urban development is affecting the animals and the best way to protect wildlife.

An updated report of his findings could be ready in four to six weeks, he said.

The study is made possible by grants and partnerships from Canon USA, the National Park Foundation, Southwest Parks and Monuments Assn., UCLA and the University of Massachusetts.

To get to the site, take the Ventura Freeway to the Chesebro Road exit. Turn north on Palo Comado Canyon Road, then right on Chesebro. Go north one mile to the park entrance. Turn right and follow the road to the parking lot. Meet at the upper parking lot. Parking is free.

For information, call the park service's visitor center at (818) 597-1036 Ext. 201.

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