New Program at GaDNR – Urban Wildlife Program

Outdoors

Urban Wildlife Program

What is Georgia DNR’s Wildlife Resources Division’s mission?

Conserve and promote fishing, hunting and wildlife resources through management, education and scientific research. 

What is the Urban Wildlife Program? 

Wildlife Resources Division has started the Urban Wildlife Program to better service Atlanta residents by providing dedicated staff to assist in mitigating human-wildlife conflict and proactive education and outreach about urban wildlife. 

What is considered “normal” wildlife behavior?

Wildlife behavior changes throughout the year based on what is happening in that animal’s life cycle. For example, animals that are considered more nocturnal can be seen more often during the day while raising young. This is because of the extra amount of time it takes for animals to feed themselves and their young. Wildlife can also change their behavior to adapt to living in urban environments. For example, raccoons may become more active during the day because that is when the neighborhood is the quietest and least active.

How can people avoid conflicts with wildlife? 

The number one cause for human-wildlife conflicts is a human provided food source, like trash, bird seed or pet food. The best way to avoid bringing unwanted wildlife into your yard is to eliminate any easy food sources. Then give the animal 2-3 weeks to figure out that food source is no longer available. 

What other ways can people discourage wildlife from being present in their yard?

Wildlife are naturally wary of people but can lose that fear of people over time when living in urban environments. Wildlife work on a dominance system, whoever is the most dominant animal owns the space. People can assert their dominance and reinforce wildlife’s natural fear of people by scaring wildlife out of their yard. You can do this by banging pots and pans, using an airhorn or spraying the animal with a water hose, if you are in a secure location. 

Where can people get more information on wildlife in Georgia?

For more information on wildlife in your backyard, visit georgiawildlife.com and search living with wildlife. 

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