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Human-Wildlife Conflict and Nuisance Animals

Residential and commercial developments can attract wildlife looking for food or shelter.  Education on proper identification of species and appropriate actions the public should take if they encounter wildlife can help reduce the potential for human-wildlife conflict and improve the likelihood that the public’s experiences with wildlife remain positive.  Minimizing wildlife conflicts may help to maintain citizens’ support for conservation and improve their desire to make conservation-minded choices. 

The conservation and management of habitats in large public lands and corridors are the most effective efforts by public agencies to ensure adequate wildlife habitat is available.  Land conservation helps minimize the chances that wildlife will frequent urban areas and create conflicts.  However, development encroachment and the presence of interconnected habitats interspersed within developed areas may lead to instances of human-wildlife interactions, including wildlife entering or burrowing beneath homes, and negative interactions between pets and wildlife.  Residential developments tend to result in the increased availability of wildlife attractants such as garbage, pet food, hobby livestock, and edible garden plants, which can increase interactions if not properly secured. Public and private cooperation can be helpful for devising creative and cost-effective solutions that minimize potential adverse human impacts associated with native and nonnative fish and wildlife species.  Successful efforts should minimize threats to human health and safety and pose minimal impacts to the environment, society, and economy.  As an example, FWC has provided approximately $1.6 million in funding to 16 counties to assist with the implementation of BearWise measures around residential neighborhoods and businesses, reducing human-bear conflicts by as much as 70% in some areas.