Nearly every week the New Mexido Wildlife Center gets calls from citizens either wanting to know what to do about unwanted wild animals on their property or wanting the Center to capture and relocate unwanted wild animals. The New Mexico Wildlife Center cares for injured or orphaned wild animals, not animals that happen to be in places inconvenient to humans.
As the population of the state grows, land historically occupied by wildlife is usurped for dwellings, highways, shops, gas and oil production, off-road vehicle use and other human industry. Wildlife finds it harder and harder to avoid contact with humans. Setting aside picturesque landscape islands offers no solution to unwanted encounters. Traditional dispersion routes now cross roads. Finding new territories for young dispersing mammals may bring them to the three acre home-site that was purchased because of the spring located at the corner or the stream that runs through the middle. Very often the features that attract humans to a landscape also attract wildlife: water and vegetation. Or, in order to get to the place they need to go, they now have to cross a back yard and, if you are a bobcat or mountain lion, happen to find the perfect place for a nap atop a warm adobe wall or a den behind a shed, complete with dog food left on a portal.
Skunks are cute but not so cute when raising a litter under your house. Raccoons are smart, adaptable, admirable even, but not so admirable when they are denning in your chimney.
Only two things can happen if conflicts between humans and wild animals are to be minimized: animals and humans are kept separated or humans make room for wildlife to function as their food demands, mating demands, dispersal demands require. Can we separate humans and wildlife? If humans keep spreading out, then no, we cannot keep them separate and still have functional populations of wildlife. Can humans learn to coexist with wild animals? Since the first solution is not possible, the second solution must work if we are to continue to have viable populations of wildlife in New Mexico.
To learn more about dealing with animals on your property, click one of the following topics to download a pdf:
Anything but Snakes
Raccoons in the Chimney
Skunks in the Basement
The Big Cats