Category Archives: Public Participation

California Black Bears are Back in Action: Stash Food and Trash

California’s black bears are waking up hungry from their winter downtime. To help minimize unwanted bear foraging behavior, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) is reminding those living in or visiting bear country to store food and dispose of garbage properly.

Black bears typically prefer remote mountainous areas. However, as more people frequent or live in natural bear habitat, the abundance of food and garbage associated with human activities is a temptation hungry bears find hard to resist.

“Over the years, we have seen bear behavior change significantly in areas where more people live and recreate in bear habitat,” said Vicky Monroe, CDFW’s Conflict Programs Coordinator. “Beginning with spring and into late fall, we receive a steady stream of calls from the public reporting anything from bears breaking into cabins and tents to bears stealing food off picnic tables.”

Black bears, like other bear species, have a highly specialized sense of smell, which can sometimes lead them to towns and recreation areas where they may quickly find an overflowing garbage can or someone’s leftover hamburger and French fries.

The public can help bears stay out of human settlements and stick to their natural diet by properly disposing of leftover food and garbage. Additional suggestions include:

  • Residents and vacationers should remove any food attractants from around their home or rental. Pet food, barbecue grills and bird feeders are also attractants. Store trash in bear-resistant storage sheds until trash pickup day.
  • Use sensory deterrents (such as ammonia), electric mats and bear-resistant fencing to exclude hungry and curious bears from gaining access to attractants.
  • Visitors to towns and tourist areas should not pile trash in a trash can or bin that is already overflowing – take trash to a proper receptacle or another location if necessary.
  • Keep campsites and other recreation areas clean. Use bear-resistant coolers and store all food in bear lockers.
  • Never feed wildlife.

Additional information can be found on CDFW’s website, including tips on how to keep California black bears wild, information about bear proof containers and information about black bear biology.

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Media Contacts:
Lesa Johnston, CDFW Education and Outreach, (916) 322-8933
Victoria Monroe, CDFW Human-Wildlife Conflict Program, (916) 856-8335

CDFW to Hold Public Meeting on North Central Region Type A Wildlife Areas

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) will hold its annual public outreach meeting on Saturday, April 27 in Gridley regarding North Central Region Type A wildlife areas. CDFW will take comments and recommendations from the public and provide updates on habitat conditions, availability of water for wetlands and possible impacts to hunter access on these public lands.

The state wildlife areas to be discussed are the Gray Lodge Wildlife Area and the Upper Butte Basin Wildlife Area Complex (Little Dry Creek Unit, Howard Slough Unit and Llano Seco Unit). The meeting is scheduled from 1 to 3 p.m. in the Gray Lodge Wildlife Area’s main office conference room, 3207 Rutherford Road, in Gridley.

CDFW’s North Central Region covers all or part of 17 counties in northern California and is one of seven CDFW regions in the state.

CDFW annually provides an opportunity for licensed hunters to comment and make recommendations on public hunting programs, including anticipated habitat conditions in the hunting areas on wildlife areas, through public meetings and other outreach.

Media Contacts:
Tim Hermansen, Upper Butte Basin Wildlife Area, (530) 982-2169
Dave Van Baren, Gray Lodge Wildlife Area, (530) 846-7500
Kyle Orr, CDFW Communications, (916) 322-8958

CDFW Reminds Public to Leave Young Wildlife Alone

Late spring and early summer is the peak time for California’s wildlife to have their young, and the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) is issuing a reminder to well-intentioned people to not interact with young wildlife – even if they find an animal that appears to be abandoned.

It may be hard to resist scooping up a young wild animal that looks vulnerable and alone but human intervention may cause more harm than good. Young animals removed from their natural environment typically do not survive or may not develop the appropriate survival skills needed to be released back into the wild.

“It is a common mistake to believe a young animal has been abandoned when it is found alone, even if the mother has not been observed in the area for a long period of time,” said Nicole Carion, CDFW’s statewide wildlife rehabilitation coordinator. “Chances are the mother is off foraging, or is nearby, waiting for you to leave.”

Adult female deer often stash their fawns in tall grass or brush for many hours while they are out foraging for food. A female mountain lion may spend as much as 50 percent of her time away from her kittens.

After leaving the nest, fledgling birds spend significant time on the ground while learning to fly with their parents somewhere nearby.

If a young animal is in distress, or you are unsure, contact a wildlife rehabilitation facility and speak to personnel to determine the best course of action.

For an injured, orphaned or sick bear, elk, deer, bighorn sheep, pronghorn antelope, wild pig or mountain lion, contact CDFW directly, as most wildlife rehabilitators are only allowed to possess small mammals and birds. Although some wildlife rehabilitators are allowed to accept fawns, injured or sick adult deer should be reported directly to CDFW for public safety reasons.

Anyone who removes a young animal from the wild is required to notify CDFW or take the animal to a state and federally permitted wildlife rehabilitator within 48 hours. These animals may need specialized care and feeding that is best done by trained wildlife care specialists.

It is important to note that wild animals – even young ones – can cause serious injury with their sharp claws, hooves and teeth, especially when injured and scared. They may also carry ticks, fleas and lice, and can transmit diseases to humans, including rabies and tularemia.

To learn more about how to live and recreate responsibly where wildlife is near, please visit CDFW’s Keep Me Wild website at www.keepmewild.org.

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Media Contacts:
Nicole Carion, CDFW Wildlife Branch, (530) 357-3986
Lesa Johnston, CDFW Education and Outreach, (916) 322-8933

Youth Art Contest Encourages Kids to Learn about Invasive Nutria

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) is pleased to announce the sixth annual California Invasive Species Youth Art Contest, which this year challenges students to creatively present messages about nutria (Myocastor coypus), a relatively recent – and destructive – invasive species in California.

The contest is offered by CDFW’s Invasive Species Program as part of California Invasive Species Action Week, June 1-9.

There are three age divisions, for youths in grades 2-4, 5-8 and 9-12. All types of media are welcome and encouraged, including (but not limited to) drawings, paintings, animations, comic strips, videos and public service announcements. Entries should be in keeping with the 2019 theme, “Say No to Nutria.” Nutria are large, semi-aquatic rodents from South America that have been found in California’s Central Valley and southern Delta. Nutria cause extensive damage to wetland habitats, agricultural crops, streambanks and levees. More information about nutria can be found on CDFW’s Nutria Incident page.

The top three winners in each division will receive awards and have their entries displayed on CDFW’s Invasive Species Action Week webpage.

The deadline for art contest entries is May 3. Completed entries and entry forms should be sent to:

CDFW Invasive Species Program
P.O. Box 944209
Sacramento, CA 94244-2090

The entry form and entries may also be emailed to invasives@wildlife.ca.gov.

The goal of California Invasive Species Action Week is to increase public awareness of invasive species issues and encourage public participation in the fight against California’s invasive species and their impacts on our natural resources.

Action Week activities will include presentations on aquatic and terrestrial invasives, guided outings to observe and assess infested areas, invasive species removal efforts, habitat restoration projects and the announcement of the winners of the youth poster contest. Opportunities for youths and adults to participate or volunteer will be available across the state through participating agencies, organizations and volunteer groups, with information and details to be provided on the Action Week webpage.

Please visit www.wildlife.ca.gov/conservation/invasives/action-week/poster-contest for details about the 2019 contest, to view past winning entries and find more information on how to participate in Action Week.

The mission of CDFW’s Invasive Species Program is to reduce the impacts of invasive species on the wildlands and waterways of California. The program is involved in efforts to prevent the introduction of these species into the state, detect and respond to introductions when they occur and prevent the spread of those species that have established.

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Media Contacts:
Elizabeth Brusati, CDFW Invasive Species Program, (916) 651-7866
Kirsten Macintyre, CDFW Communications, (916) 322-8988

 

CDFW to Meet with Public, Sell Licenses and Warden Stamps at Del Mar Fred Hall Show

Del Mar-area residents can purchase 2019 licenses, validations and report cards, as well as 2019 Warden Stamps, directly from California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) staff at the 43rd Del Mar Fred Hall Show scheduled next week at the Del Mar Fairgrounds in Del Mar (San Diego County). Warden stamp sales help fund CDFW’s K-9 program and support purchases of enforcement equipment.

The show will be open from noon to 8 p.m. on Thursday, March 28 and on Friday, March 29. On Saturday, March 30, the show runs from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. and on Sunday, March 31, the show is open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Attendees can learn how to become a wildlife officer by speaking with CDFW wildlife officers at the law enforcement trailer. The trailer features fish and wildlife mounts, and a free laser-shot activity.

Attendees can also learn about historic fish-stocking procedures as a restored 1925 Dodge truck once used by CDFW for transporting hatchery fish will be on display, along with a modern fish-transporting truck. Also featured will be information on CDFW’s Fishing in the City and hatchery programs, and a free youth fishing pond stocked with rainbow trout provided by CDFW.

Admission is $15 for adults, $13 for seniors 62 and older, or $10 for military with ID (available only at the ticket window). Children under 16 with a paid adult are free.

For more information, please visit www.fredhall.com.

Media Contact:
Kyle Orr, CDFW Communications, (916) 322-8958