Campus Wildlife

UCLA’s campus is along the Santa Monica Mountains, an important ecosystem rich in California-endemic flora and fauna, part of a worldwide biodiversity hotspot. In Los Angeles, living closely with wildlife can have unique challenges. Below is guidance on some frequently asked questions about campus wildlife such as coyotes and birds out of the nest.

To learn more about wildlife and biodiversity on campus, visit this page: Landscape and Biodiversity.


According to California Fish and Wildlife, coyotes are smart adaptable canines that have learned to survive, and often thrive – in urban and residential areas. Coyotes play an important role in the ecosystem, helping to keep rodent populations under control. They are by nature fearful of humans. However, if coyotes are given access to human food and garbage, their behavior changes. They lose caution and fear. They may begin to harass domestic livestock and pets or threaten human safety.

UCLA has coyotes on campus and we need your help ensuring they know to be afraid of stay away from humans and keep them wild. Review this page for more details on safety and living with coyotes: Keep Me Wild: Coyotes and follow the guidance below. This will help keep our campus safe, and also keep the coyotes safe, as coyotes that become aggressive and habituated to being close to humans often must be euthanized.

If you encounter a coyote on campus – and it sees you:
Keep a safe distance. Do NOT approach or attempt to interact with the coyote. Clap hands, make noise (e.g., whistle, noisemaker), and allow it to move away on its own.

If you encounter a coyote – and it approaches you:
Make yourself look bigger by lifting and waving arms.
Make noise by yelling, using noisemakers, or whistles. If small children are present, keep them close to you.
Please also report any unusual coyote behavior to, our office will coordinate with campus pest management, LA Animal Services, and California Department of Fish and Wildlife as necessary.

If you encounter a coyote – and it attempts to attack a person or pet:
Get to a safe location.
Notify UCLA at and we will coordinate with authorities and California Department of Fish and Wildlife.
If a person was bitten or scratched by the coyote, call 9-1-1 and seek medical attention.

Injured Birds or other Wildlife

If you find injured birds or wildlife on campus, please call or text CSO Nurit Katz at 818-384-9493. She will coordinate with you on capture and transport as needed.

With young birds, often they can be on the ground and appear injured. Here is some guidance on how to know if they are in need of help: One of UCLA’s bird researchers on campus notes: “Knowing when a young bird is “supposed” to be out of the nest vs. when it’s not supposed to is key when dealing with these sorts of situations. It’s important to remember that nests are unsafe places to be; it’s easier for a predator to kill four chicks that are in the same cup of sticks and hair than four chicks that are in four different parts of their parents’ territory. As a result, parents will push their chicks out of the nest before they’re fully able to fly, and take care of itself.

  • If you have to chase after the chick to catch it, it’s old enough to let it’s parents take care of it outside the nest. If it’s out in the open, or in a dangerous place try herding it to the nearest shrub or other protected place. Mom and dad know where the fledgling is and will feed it discretely.
  • If the bird is sitting upright and is alert, it probably has recently left the nest. Check the wings, if the wings are fully or partially feathered (as opposed to being in gray-looking sheaths), it’s old enough to be outside of the nest. If it’s out in the open, or in a dangerous place, you can move it to a place nearby with greater safety.

    Starling Fledglings near the Residence Halls
  • Most “baby” birds you find will fit in above. In both cases, they are where they need to be. Even if it looks like they’re abandoned, they aren’t, the parents are just making sure not to lead predators to their offspring. Trying to rescue it means a lot more work and stress for you and the wildlife rehabber you take it to, when the parents will almost certainly do a better job for free.

    So: when should you interfere with nature?
  • Very young nestlings (ie mostly naked, no or few feathers, can’t sit up, appears helpless). It might have fallen out of the nest; if so look around to see if you can find the nest. If so, put it back, if not, follow the directions in the article cited below, and then bring the nestling to a licensed rehabber.

    Junco Nestlings on campus
  • The chick is obviously injured (ie broken wings or legs.) In this case, bring the chick to a licensed rehabber. If you know or suspect the chick was grabbed by a cat, bring it to a rehabber immediately! This is because cat mouths are breeding grounds for all sorts of nasty bacterial that kill birds, and any bird that has been exposed to cat teeth needs to be given antibiotics ASAP.

    Some additional information can be found in this helpful article from Audubon, When You Should—and Should Not—Rescue Baby Birds:


Sometimes bees can swarm or build hives on campus. UCLA recognizes the critical role pollinators like bees play in our food system and ecology. We work with a company to ensure that bees are live captured and relocated and not killed. See photo attached of a swarm removal from on a car.  If you discover a hive on campus or swarm that needs removal please call Facilities Management Trouble call at 310-825-9236, they will coordinate the response.

There are also managed bees on campus as part of a formal program, on the roof of Life Sciences. This issue of the Magazine also highlights the new Bruin Apiary and Bruin Beekeepers. Quite the buzz!