How the California Drought is Affecting our Local Wildlife
Out-of-character behavior by wildlife has become common across the state as the drought deepens and natural sources of water and food become harder to find. Driven by hunger or thirst, wildlife are wandering into residential areas, road ways and other places they normally would avoid and at times of the day they typically are not wandering at all. This puts wildlife, already at risk because of shrinking food, water and cover, at increased risk of predation or fatal encounters with motor vehicles. It also can put pets and humans at increased risk of unpleasant and, on rare occasions, dangerous interactions with wildlife.
Droughts tend to reduce the number of rodents and other small prey, the mainstay of coyotes, foxes, skunks, snakes and other predators. Many small prey animals make their way in to urban areas in search of food and water which, in most cases, means our yards where lawn sprinklers and lush vegetation provide a retreat for these critters. The larger predators simply follow the food source. As the warmer weather approaches we will likely encounter more snakes also. Gopher snakes, Coachwhips, King snakes, Racers and Rattlesnakes are commonly found in this area. They too will be in search of food, water and shade which can be found around yards and buildings.
The most effective means of dealing with nuisance wildlife is to “Keep them Wild” and follow the tips below.
Discouraging Wildlife from Visiting your Property
Standard Safety Measures
For more information about our indigenous wildlife check out our Wildlife page or the California Department of Fish and Wildlife at www.wildlife.ca.gov. To report wildlife incidents call the Animal Center at (909) 466-7387. For emergencies call 911.