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Urban Wildlife

Published on: 4/4/2014 1:00 PM
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Environmental changes and continued urban growth in Santa Clara County have resulted in an increase in interaction between residents and wildlife. While fascinating in their natural environment, "urbanized" wildlife has modified its behavior, becoming less fearful of humans and in some instances, more aggressive or defensive. This behavior change increases the chances of interaction with humans and pets, raising the potential for property damage and health threats.

 
The main focus of Vector Control’s Wildlife program is education. Several brochures, such as Keep Wildlife From Moving In With You and Keep Me Wild (Coyote) just to name a few are available through the District and explain why wildlife may be attracted to your property and what you can do to deter them from becoming regular visitors.
 

If urban wildlife becomes a problem by doing damage to your property or becoming aggressive, the District’s Wildlife Specialists may be able to help you with your wildlife problem.

The District’s purpose is not to compete with or to replace commercial pest control or wildlife management companies, but rather to provide appropriate assistance and service to property owners that can complement the work done by private sector businesses and/or the California Department of Fish and Game.

Homeowners requesting assistance will be contacted by a District Specialist, who will, in most cases, inspect the property and consult with the homeowner. If appropriate, corrective measures and a suggested plan of action to control or eliminate the problem will be discussed with the homeowner.

It is important to remember that trapping is only done as a last resort and when appropriate.

Problem wildlife is trapped only when serious conflicts with man occur, i.e., health threats, aggressive behavior, and home invasion.

Should the District conclude that trapping the offending wildlife is necessary, property owners will be required to do the following: Approve of the trapping activity, and sign and abide by all the agreed upon District trapping requirements. Homeowner and property owners will be required to make any necessary corrections to the property as part of the trapping agreement.

Homeowners should be aware that most animals trapped by the District will be subject to humane euthanasia. This is done in accordance with the California Code of Regulations Title 14, Section 671.6, which states:

"No person shall release into the wild without written permission of the commission (Fish and Game) any wild animal…" Releasing "urbanized" wildlife into the wild also can introduce significant diseases into the wild populations.

This policy was designed to strike a balance between protecting native wildlife and the human and domestic animal populations.

While relocating trapped animals may seem more humane, it may not be. Please refer to our brochure Why Not Let Them Go for more information.

Although Vector Control does not normally respond to calls concerning squirrels and pigeons, educational material is available upon request.

PLEASE NOTE

The District WILL NOT conduct a home-visit in any of the follow instances:

  • Animals trapped by homeowners/property owners. California Fish and Game Codes makes it the responsibility of the homeowner/property owner or their agent to check traps and remove animals daily. If you are in doubt about doing this yourself, the Vector Control District suggest that you do not set your own traps. Please call us to see if your situation warrants an inspection and possible trapping. You may also contact the California Fish and Game or a wildlife trapper which can be found in the yellow pages of the phone book to help resolve your problems. 
  • Animals seen passing through yards or neighborhoods
  • Calls regarding injured or sick wildlife
  • Domestic animal situations, i.e. cats & dogs (tame or wild), livestock, etc.
  • Dead animal pick-up requests
  • Emergency situations or hazardous situation
  • After normal working hours (7:30 am – 4:00pm Monday-Friday)
  • Remove any saucers from beneath potted plants and drill drain holes in all decorative flowerpots 

If you should decide to trap animals yourself please call California Fish and Game for the current information regarding trapping. Also contact the closest Animal shelter in your area to receive information concerning their current policy concerning the receipt of trapped wildlife.