It’s baby season in the wild
Urban sprawl in the DFW Metroplex continues, and our presence provides wild animals with all they need in order to survive and thrive: an urban ecosystem with plenty of food, water, and shelter. We need to be responsible for our behavior. We’re here to stay, and so is the wildlife! Conflicts will continue, but you can do a lot to reduce them.
Bobcats in your neighborhood: bobcats do not attack people--bobcat attacks are virtually unknown; however, DO NOT ever attempt to touch or handle a wild bobcat or her kittens. A child is much more likely to be hurt by a domestic dog then a bobcat.
•Walk your dog on a leash; avoid bushy areas near empty properties
•Keep pets vaccinated; some wildlife are susceptible to diseases transmissible to dogs and cats
•Clean up brushy areas or woodpiles
•Remove any food sources.
•Do not allow cats to roam free outdoors. Cats can attract predatory wildlife to your yard
•If you notice a bobcat in your area, never let it go by without scaring it. Yell or clap loudly to scare wildlife away; carry something with you to make noise, i.e. an air horn, or something to throw. In the long run it’s much safer for us, our pets, and the wildlife as well – if they remain fearful of humans.
•Never encourage or allow your pet to interact or “play” with wildlife
•Make sure your fence is in good repair
•Do not leave pets unattended outdoors
•Remove food sources, i.e. fallen fruit, food refuse, pet food
How can I discourage bobcats from coming into my yard?
Bobcats are quiet, shy and reclusive – usually seen by themselves or a female with kittens. Typically, it is easy to persuade them to leave. Use deterrents and make adjustments around your home (all endorsed by the US Humane Society) to make your yard and home less inviting to wildlife.
Try these tactics:
•Use noise and/or motion-activated deterrents to make a bobcat uncomfortable
•Try an air horn or motion-activated sprinkler; bang pot lids together, or put a radio outside set to a news channel
•Clear any excess vegetation to remove hiding spots
•Do not leave pet food or water outside when your pet is indoors
•If you feed the birds or squirrels, ensure there is no overflowing bird seed which attracts rodents at night; bobcats can be attracted to the squirrels and birds that come to our yards to feed
•Use fencing to deter bobcats
•Do not leave small pets outdoors unattended or in a poorly-enclosed yard
•If you have chickens or fowl, ensure they are put up at night
Changing the behavior of wildlife requires changing our own behavior. Use deterrents, scare tactics, exclusion methods, and other negative conditioning to change the environment, and you'll force wild animals to change their behavior as well. By reducing factors that attract wild animals to your yard, you will soon train area wildlife to avoid humans - and that will be safer for all of us in the long run.
This information is brought to you by:
DFW Wildlife Coalition.