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Griffith Park Science & Natural History

Welcome to the Griffith Park Natural History Survey (GPNHS), a joint project of Griffith Park supporters, and the Los Angeles Department of Recreation and Parks (RAP).

Griffith Park is L.A.’s largest park, covering more than 4,300 acres of rugged chaparral and sycamore-lined canyons at the eastern end of the Santa Monica Mountains. Before GPNHS was founded in early 2007, scientific data about wildlife and flora of the Park was almost non-existent. GPNHS and this website were established to help remedy this situation. In 2007, under the supervision of GPNHS’ scientific advisor Daniel C. Cooper, President of Cooper Ecological Monitoring, Inc., a series of surveys were initiated to study bird, herptile and mammal populations in the Park. Reports from these projects can be seen and printed from the “Species Info” section of the site.

Friends of Griffith Park continues to sponsor various scientific surveys and studies [PDF] within the Park and the updated list is available for viewing.

Shortly after the surveys began, Griffith Park was engulfed by the devastating May 2007 fire that burned over 800 acres, causing the closure of large areas throughout the Park. Subsequently, GPNHS was encouraged by RAP to continue our surveys, and Dan Cooper was invited to join the Fire Recovery Task Force. Dan was given the task of assessing the damage to wildlife, and developing a comprehensive Griffith Park Wildlife Management Plan.

RAP made a wise decision to develop such a program, which represents the first ever wildlife plan for the Department. See the Griffith Park Wildlife Management Plan.

Organizations who have supported the Griffith Park Natural History Survey since its origin include:

A newsletter story printed on GPNHS’s Fifth Anniversary is here.

GPNHS is dedicated to implementing these programs. Details of how you can help are described in the Support Us section of this website. Or send an e-mail with any comments or questions.

Griffith Park view

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Header photo: Desert cottontail (Sylvilagus audubonii) © Kathryn Louyse, all rights reserved