Co-existing With Wildlife

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The Wildlife Waystation is home to an abundance of native wildlife and a variety of unique habitats found across the United States. But as the human population in the country and across the globe continues to grow, so does the desire and need to change natural habitats into more usable human space by expanding neighborhoods, roadways and shopping centers. Ultimately, this continued expansion means that the frequency of encounters and incidents between humans and wild animals also increases. There are many factors at play but this pressure is largely due to basic things like competition for space, as well as access to natural resources like food, water and shelter.

For additional information on how to better co-exist with native wildlife in California, visit the California Department of Fish and Wildlife. You can also learn what native animals frequent your neighborhood or yard by visiting the California Department of Fish and Wildlife Life History & Range Maps, where you can look up the known habitat distribution of any native California amphibian, reptile, bird or mammal.

Hints on Co-Existing With Native Wildlife

  • Do not leave pet food and water outdoors, especially overnight.
  • Do not leave small pets and children unattended - even if fenced - in an active wildlife area.
  • Quickly harvest ripe or fallen fruit. Rodents who eat the fruit ultimately attract predators such as coyotes, bobcats and foxes.
  • Trim all trees and bushes within 4 feet of a house so that animals cannot reach the roof.
  • Make sure that compost piles are kept in secure, closed containers.
  • Place trash cans away from structures and secure lids with bungee cords. Deposit smelly refuse in trash shortly before pickup.
  • Cover all access openings to a house with mesh securely attached to house and install chimney caps.
  • Put woodpiles on raised platforms at least 18” high to discourage nesting by rodents and other animals.
  • Make sure you clean up under bird feeders so that discarded seeds are not attracting rats, mice, squirrels, etc.
  • If you have a water source like a pool, fountain or fish pond, be sure the water is being circulated to avoid providing a mosquito nesting ground.

Encounters with Wildlife

It is important that we understand the importance of co-existing with wildlife, so that we can begin to change behaviors or patterns that may be inadvertently causing harm to animals. This understanding will also reduce the likelihood of conflicts with wildlife in the future, as well as help us to better support native ecosystems. To learn more about what to do in the event of these common animal encounters, check out the informative brochures below!