Raptors (e.g. hawks, owls, falcons) are large, charismatic bird species at the top of the food chain. They experienced human-driven population crashes during the 19th and 20th centuries. While a subset of these species has recovered in the Los Angeles region, others have not — and are intolerant of urbanization and other human activities. To help these species survive, it is critical to identify various factors, such as how well they can tolerate urbanization, as well as their historical and current habitats and nesting areas for future conservation practices. Nesting areas of raptors are also important indicators of ecosystem health in urban areas like the Los Angeles region.
Several government agencies, developers and nonprofit organizations collect data on urban-nesting raptors around the Los Angeles Basin, but these efforts are not well-coordinated. If this information can be consolidated, it will be useful to creating management tools like maps and databases that can help guide local policy and land-use decisions.