FoGP Studies & Surveys
Natural History Studies and Surveys
[Study and Survey links are to Adobe PDFs]
In 2009, teams visited specific zones within Griffith Park to record echolocation activity using the “Anabat II” system, with data later analyzed to identify the species. Seven bat species were detected during the May to November period. The Bat Survey of Griffith Park set a baseline species list for the first time. The results also suggested Griffith Park may be important for sensitive or declining bat species.
The Griffith Park fire of May 2007 presented an opportunity to compare bird activity over the next two winter-spring periods, by surveying and comparing burned and unburned sites. Bio-monitoring report, Griffith Park Birds was presented to the Department of Recreation and Parks in 2009.
A Hollywood drama of butterfly extirpation and persistence over a century of urbanization examines historical field notes and specimen records since the early 1900s in Griffith Park, comparing them to recent surveys.
Connectivity (GP Wildlife Connectivity Study)
Initiated during the summer of 2011, the Griffith Park Wildlife Connectivity Study focused on the critical movement of medium to large-sized mammals across the Park’s perimeter.
In 2012, the researchers filed an important Study Update as a result of a mountain lion (later named P-22) being detected on February 12, 2012.
An informative article was published in WatershedWise.
Also see our dedicated webpage, P-22’s Decade in Griffith Park.
Early Connectivity Study trail-cam images (slideshows at bottom of this page):
Slide Show 1. Activity Near Mullholland Bridge. Selected photos from August 17, 2011 thru October 9, 2011.
Slide Show 2. Activity Near Westside of Ford Theatre Bridge. Selected photos from August 1, 2011 thru October 5, 2011.
Slide Show 3. Activity Near Eastside of Ford Theatre Bridge. Selected photos from August 1, 2011 thru October 11, 2011.
As part of Fern Dell revitalization planning work, a Wildlife of Fern Dell assessment was completed in 2014.
Flora of Griffith Park, published in Crossosoma, is the culmination of hundreds of hours of systematic flora investigation in the Park. A total of 423 native or naturalized species are described.
Rare Plants of Griffith Park, published in Fremontia, specifically focused on special flora of the Park.
A carnivore detection project in 2007 marked the first ever formal mammal survey of Griffith Park. Published in 2009, An Initial Carnivore Survey of Griffith Park documented diversity and density rates, suggesting avoidance areas used heavily by hikers and dogs, despite suitable habitat.
Because the Old Zoo is a special historic and natural area, with potential additional development, a Wildlife of Old Zoo, Griffith Park Study assessment was completed.
Preliminary Mammals & Herps
The purpose of A Preliminary Large Mammal and Herptile Survey is to provide baseline information on the presence of large mammalian and herptile (reptile and amphibians) species, including their distribution and habitat needs throughout Griffith Park. The survey was presented in 2007.
The Los Angeles Raptor Study was launched in 2017 as the “Griffith Park Raptor Survey” and has expanded geographically. The study engages trained community science volunteers across Los Angeles to monitor raptor nests (hawks, owls and falcons) from spring and into the summer, noting behavior and reproduction statistics, i.e., the starting date of incubation and the number chicks that eventually fledge.
The data is analyzed by FoGP’s consulting biologists to define trends, species by species, over multiple years regarding adaptations in our urban environment. A dedicated webpage, LA Raptor Study, provides complete program information.
Final Annual Study Results:
Western Gray Squirrel
FoGP supported a genetics study of Griffith Park’s Western gray squirrels, a species in dire jeopardy and in need of conservation solutions. Effects of urbanization on population genetic structure of western gray squirrels, was published in Conservation Genetics in 2020.
Previously, FoGP Scientific Director, Dr. Daniel S. Cooper, collaborated with Dr. Alan Muchlinski to look at population distributions from 2010-13. Recent decline of lowland populations of the western gray squirrel in the Los Angeles area was published in 2015.
EARLY CONNECTIVITY STUDY TRAIL-CAM IMAGES
Mulholland West Camera
Activity Near Mullholland Bridge.
Selected photos from August 17, 2011 thru October 9, 2011.
Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy Camera
Activity Near Westside of Ford Theatre Bridge.
Selected photos from August 1, 2011 thru October 5, 2011.
Ford Theatre Camera
Activity Near Eastside of Ford Theatre Bridge.
Selected photos from August 1, 2011 thru October 11, 2011.