The Wildlife of the Mt. Washington Area

For being in the midst of one of the largest urban environments in North America, the Mt. Washington area has exceptional biological diversity. The intent of this and related pages on the England|Ecology website is to share some of the knowledge about the area’s biological resources gleaned by biologist Marcus C. England, who has resided adjacent to Elyria Canyon Park since 2003.

Areas Covered

The areas covered by this “report” are shown on the following map and described below. These terms will be used frequently in discussing the status of species in the area.

  • Specific Plan Area: shown in orange, the Specific Plan Area is the boundary of the Mount Washington – Glassell Park Specific Plan.
  • Elyria Canyon Park: shown in green, Elyria Canyon Park is a 35 acre open space managed by the Mountains Recreation & Conservation Authority. You can read more about Elyria Canyon Park here.
  • Rio de Los Angeles State Park: shown in red, Rio de Los Angeles State Park is a 40 acre open space managed jointly by the California Department of Parks & Recreation and the City of Los Angeles Department of Recreation and Parks. You can read more about Rio de Los Angeles State Park here.
  • Heidelberg Park: shown in yellow, Heidelberg Park is an 18 acre open space managed by the Mountains Recreation & Conservation Authority. You can read more about Heidelberg Park here.
  • LA River: unless stated otherwise, references to the LA River refer to the stretch of the river between State Highway 2 and Interstate 5.
  • Report Area: this term refers to the areas mentioned above collectively.

Organization of Species Accounts

Two sample species accounts are shown below. Each opens with the common and scientific names of the species, an image of the species taken by the author (if one is available), and a short description of its status in the Report Area. Links are also provided for more information about the species.

Each account also has a potential for occurrence chart for key open space areas in the Report Area:

  • ECP: Elyria Canyon Park
  • Rio: Rio de Los Angeles State Park
  • Hei: Heidelberg Park
  • LAR: LA River

The chart is also color coded for each location, symbolizing the potential for that species to occur there:

  • Red: Does not occur or not expected to occur.
  • Orange: Unlikely to occur.
  • Yellow: Likely to occur, but has not been documented.
  • Green: has been documented as occurring.

It is important to put the color codes in the context of the text above them and other aspects of the species’ life history. For House Finches for example, that species is green at all locations and will almost certainly be seen on most visits. Bobcat, however, is green for Elyria Canyon Park as it has been documented there, but it does not regularly occur there and the finding of a Bobcat there would be a notable event.

Species Accounts

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