The National Park Service is asking members of the public to join a two-year effort to collect coyote excrement across Los Angeles.
Parks officials say no experience is required for the scatological survey, which will cover the urban zone from Boyle Heights to Beverly Hills, the Los Angeles Times reported. The goal is to assess the coyotes' diets.
"We hear plenty of anecdotal evidence about what coyotes eat, but it's actually never been studied in L.A. before," biologist Justin Brown told The Times. "This study should yield basic ecology information about the urban coyote, which we hope will assist residents and policymakers in making informed decisions on coyote management."
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A team of volunteers will walk about 30 locations such as Beverly Hills, Boyle Heights, Echo Park, Hollywood, Westlake and Griffith Park, Brown said.
Volunteers will be trained in how to identify and handle coyote scat, said Zach Behrens, a communications fellow with the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area.
Another team of volunteers will sift through the scat after it is dried and sterilized, working alongside scientists to identify what a coyote had digested, Behrens told The Times.
The time commitment for participating in each team is about one full day per month, with a minimum six-month requirement, Behrens said. Volunteers can join one or both teams, he added.