Living in the Santa Clarita Valley, residents often see many different types of wildlife from birds to coyotes, rabbits to mountain lions.
Santa Clarita Valley residents have reported seeing more coyotes near their yards or when going out for a walk.
“We live and work on what we call the urban edge,” said Ranger Frank Hoffman, who works at the Placerita Canyon Nature Center. “There’s a lot of things that people can do (to keep wildlife from coming into your yard) but education is the best thing.
“With all of the fires that we’ve been having, this has been burning all of their shelters. It burns the foods for the smaller animals. With the lack of rain, we’re not getting any food sources for the rodents and smaller animals,” Hoffman said, adding that if the smaller animals don’t have food, they die, bringing the“apex” predators closer to suburban areas to take advantage of garbage, pet food and sometimes, domestic pets.
The biggest tip is to not feed wild animals, and many Santa Clarita Valley residents may be feeding wild animals without knowing it, he said.
“It’s against the law to feed wild animals,” Hoffman said. “Stop feeding them and it will stop drawing them to the properties. Animals need food, water, shelter and arrangement.”
Ensuring trash can lids are closed and secure, and cleaning up after your pet if you feed them outside are just some way to prevent coyotes and other animals from coming into your yard in search of food, Hoffman said.
Another wildlife attraction is bird feeders and sources of water.
“Rats and mice eat the bird seed at night,” Hoffman said. “If you’re attracting rats and mice, you’re attracting animals that eat the rats and mice.”
Hoffman also suggests bringing pets indoors and closing any dog doors at night.
“I’ve always taught people to pick up fallen fruit from fruit trees, too,” Hoffman said. “If people don’t get to their fallen fruit and throw it out, then you’re attracting animals to your yard.”
The most important thing Hoffman suggests is to “tell your neighbors this information and have neighborhood meetings.”