Living With Arizona Wildlife Event Summary Report
Living With Arizona Wildlife-Zoom Presentation-April 8, 2020
On Thursday, April 8th, Arizona Game & Fish (AG&F) Urban Wildlife Specialist, Locana De Souza, provided our community with an hour long Zoom presentation about how to live in harmony with Arizona wildlife. The question and answer session that followed was almost as long as the presentation itself. Close to 40 people participated and there have been many inquiries about the possibility of having Locana speak to our group again. If you missed the presentation and are interested, here is a summary of some of the key points.
It is illegal to feed or harass wildlife. Feeding javelina or other wildlife will attract them to your yard, causing them to return in larger numbers and increase the possibility of conflicts with humans. If you witness this happening, please call the AG&F Hotline at (800) 352-0700. Your call will remain anonymous and violators can be fined.
Wildlife require food, water, shelter and space. If you provide wildlife with any of these they will be attracted to your property. If javelina take a liking to a plant in your front yard, don’t plant the same plant again. Prickly pear is a favorite of javelina.
Feeding birds is legal, but other wildlife may be attracted to bird seed and other forms of bird food. Mice may eat the bird seed and in turn be eaten by snakes. Javelina will fight over bird seed blocks. It is likely you don’t want javelina, mice or snakes in your yards. Attract birds with native plants instead.
Javelina are prey to coyotes and other canids. They feel threatened by dogs and will act defensively. Keep your distance when walking your dog and always keep it on a leash. If your dog is small pick it up and move away if javelina are nearby.
If you find yourself near javelina, back up and walk away. If you are near a wash they may be headed there. Make noise, throw rocks, wave your arms. Javelina are herbivores. They do not eat people, but if they feel threatened they may act defensively. They have sharp tusks and can bite, with the potential to injure both dogs and humans. However, this is extremely rare.
If you are confronted by coyotes the same principles apply. Back away, make noise, pick up your small dogs. Running is not recommended. Coyotes are well aware of what is in your backyard. Food, water and pets attract them. They can easily jump up and walk along the top of a 6 foot block wall.
If you have questions/concerns, please refer to the AF&G's “Living with Wildlife” webpage at www.azgfd.gov/urbanwildlife to learn more about minimizing conflicts with wildlife.
This program was organized by Tortolita Alliance Board member David Howe. Special thanks to Betty Casties for her keen observations and note taking.