Coyote Valley Wildlife Research

Coyote Valley is the vital connection between the Santa Cruz Mountains and Diablo Range, allowing wildlife to migrate, find mates, and adapt to climate change. Wildlife research, conducted with many partners, established the Authority's Coyote Valley Landscape Linkage, a vision for a connected landscape.

A Clear Vision for Conservation

Identified as a conservation priority in the Santa Clara Valley Greenprint, Coyote Valley is not only remarkable for its combination of biodiversity, farmland, and water resources, but also key to maintaining a linkage between one million acres of core habitat and natural areas in the mountains that surround the Santa Clara Valley.

Building on several scientific studies documenting rare species and animal movement in Coyote Valley, the Authority embarked on a visioning process to protect and restore essential areas within the valley that are vital to ensure ecological connectivity, health, and resilience to climate change.

Coyote Valley Landscape Linkage

To establish a clear vision of a functional land connection for wildlife, the Authority assembled a team of scientists to design a landscape linkage for Coyote Valley. The Vision identifies the following necessary essential elements for protecting and restoring a broad and resilient landscape linkage; one that can sustain biodiversity and facilitate wildlife movement in a changing climate.

  1. A focus on North Coyote Valley, where the two mountain ranges are the closest

  2. Laguna Seca, the region's largest freshwater wetland

  3. Fisher Creek, a tributary to Coyote Creek

  4. Tulare Hill, which serves as a bridge for the threatened Bay checkerspot butterfly

Coyote Valley Landscape Linkage Brochure
See Map

OUR APPROACH

The Landscape Linkage was built on several scientific studies that identified mountain lions, badgers, gray foxes, bobcats, and hundreds of bird species are all living in and moving through Coyote Valley. 

Protection of this landscape will keep our diverse ecosystems intact, protect the resident species, and preserve adequate population numbers in order to promote genetic diversity. 

Research Projects

  1. REDUCING WILDLIFE-VEHICLE COLLISIONS IN COYOTE VALLEY, 2019

    Studying the impacts of wildlife-vehicle collisions along Monterey Road in Coyote Valley, this report recommends ways to improve wildlife crossings and infrastructure to reduce these collisions, allowing for an increase in wildlife movement across Coyote Valley.
  2. COYOTE VALLEY LANDSCAPE LINKAGE REPORT, 2017

    A landmark report articulating a vision to protect and restore key areas within Coyote Valley critical to ensuring our region's wildlife connectivity, water resources, health, and resilience to climate change. 
  3. COYOTE VALLEY BOBCAT HABITAT PREFERENCE AND CONNECTIVITY REPORT, 2017-2018

    To build on the findings of the Linkage Assessment, researchers attached radio-collars to bobcats to map where they move and cross roads, paths they are using, and habitats they prefer. The bobcat data is helping inform conservation and management actions, including where wildlife crossings should be placed.
  4. COYOTE VALLEY LINKAGE ASSESSMENT STUDY, 2016

    This study was developed to better understand animal movement in Coyote Valley. Through the use of wildlife cameras, the study confirmed that wildlife species were using the valley floor.