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Old 07-29-2009, 08:04 PM   #1
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Default CA- Coyote Valley vital as wildlife corridor

Coyote Valley vital as wildlife corridor
Jane Kay, Chronicle Environment Writer
Thursday, July 16, 2009

Coyote Valley vital as wildlife corridor
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To Christine Choi, the farm fields and oak woodland in rural San Jose, just 10 minutes from her home, looked like "boring agricultural land."
"All the birds used to look the same to me," said Choi, a De Anza College student who has been studying wildlife in the 2-square-kilometer swath of land known as Coyote Valley.

But in the past two years, she and other De Anza students have identified 171 bird and 24 mammal species living - or moving through - Coyote Valley, including tule elk, gray fox, burrowing owl and golden eagle.
The students say they're convinced Coyote Valley is a wildlife corridor: the connective habitat in the midst of cities and suburban sprawl that lets animals travel on migratory routes to watering holes and seasonal food supplies.

These habitat links are increasingly garnering attention as areas that need to be recognized and protected. In June, the Western Governors' Association signed an agreement with federal agencies to try to protect wildlife corridors. And, California passed its own law last year, AB2785, requiring the state Fish and Game Department to identify and map critical corridors.
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