Living With Wildlife
Enjoy Your 'Neighbors" While Avoiding Conflicts
November 1, 2016
People who live in or visit Arizona can expect to see many species of wildlife. More and more often though, wild animals are venturing into areas where people live. Sometimes the wildlife becomes a problem, either by hammering on the side of the house, digging a den under the front porch, or eating all of your brand new landscaping plants.
You can usually enjoy wildlife watching from a distance, but sometimes wildlife encounters involve conflict.
Preventing problems with wildlife is much simpler and less aggravating than dealing with the problems after they occur. Fortunately, taking a few simple steps can help you prevent many of the most common wildlife-related problems around your home.
A number of proven methods can be used to solve the problem when it cannot be prevented. These Web pages (https://www.azgfd.com/Wildlife/LivingWith) were developed to provide residents of Arizona with information about how to coexist with Arizona's wildlife, especially in urban areas.
The sites focus on mountain lions, bobcats, coyotes, javelina, bears, bats, woodpeckers, and raptors. They include species-specific information (via printed brochures and videos) about description and habitat, what attracts them, what to do if an encounter occurs, how to prevent problems, and relevant laws and policies.
One example concerns the mountain lion (Puma concolor) with this information:
Mountain lions can be found throughout Arizona and are most common in rocky or mountainous terrain. Because mountain lions are shy and elusive, people do not often see them.
However, the Arizona Game and Fish Department estimates the state's mountain lion population is robust and increasing at 2,500 to 3,000. Mountain lions are solitary animals with the exception of females with kittens or breeding pairs.
Signs of mountain lion presence include large tracks (3-5 inches wide) without claw marks; large segmented, cylindrical droppings; food caches where a kill has been partially eaten and then covered with leaves, brush or dirt; and scrapes in soft dirt or leaf litter.
For more information on our wildlife "neighbors", including mountain lions, visit