Welcome to Southern California Wild

News, resources and in-depth stories about Southern California wildlife

When I moved to the Los Angeles area about 25 years ago, I didn’t realize how wild a place this urban area could be.  At my Glendale home, coyotes regularly howled in the nearby drainage ditch; deer nonchalantly grazed off the sides of the freeways and mama skunks paraded their babies on front lawns. “What the heck is that large rat thing crawling around the fruit trees?!!” I yelled one day and yes, it was an opossum.

I quickly learned that we humans are not the only things to live, work and play here in Southern California. We are very much not alone – which is often reassuring. When we catch a glimpse of that untamed world, it’s gratifying and exciting. “Did you see that?” “Oh my God!” “What is that??!’ “Cool!” We’re children again, mesmerized by another life form that, while like us in many ways, is 180 degrees from how we experience life on this planet.

These creatures have searching snouts, piercing eyes, feathered wings, flippered feet and ever-moving antennae; they live in that native world beyond our highways, office buildings, school, shopping centers and restaurants. Red-tailed hawks, California black bears, blue whales….they are oblivious to us, they suspiciously watch us, they could care less about us. But they live with us.

This website tells stories of how urban human life coexists with the wild things that inhabit the skies, oceans, forests, deserts and yes, even our backyards here in the Greater Los Angeles area.

Every undomesticated critter is our territory – from the common gray squirrel in Santa Monica to the mountain lion in the Santa Monica Mountains. From the California condor in the Los Padres National Forest to the delicate Palos Verdes blue butterfly. From that funny looking opossum that startles you when you take out the trash at nights to that majestic falcon that lands in your backyard and looks you straight in the eye, daring you to come into that wild, feral world from where we all once came.

This is our territory. This is Southern California Wildlife.

Brenda Rees, Editor

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