Extra Wild Animals Feeding In Backyards As Crops Dry Up In East Bay Parks – CBS San Francisco
DUBLIN (KPIX) – More hungry wildlife is venturing into the backyards of the Bay Area because of the drought.
The total rainfall in the Bay Area this year is well below normal and according to the United States Drought Monitor, the counties of Alameda and Contra Costa are experiencing exceptional drought conditions.
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In East Bay Regional Parks, this means wetlands and ponds are drying up and many of the native plants and trees are dying, taking a huge toll on wildlife.
“You come in – this is the best restaurant in town if you’re a deer or something,” says Dayle Hall.
He has fenced off deer around his vegetable garden and other parts of the property. Hall has lived on the border of Las Trampas Regional Park for 10 years and sees plenty of wildlife moving through the area but says there is more than ever this year.
“We get a lot of deer coming down in search of food – food, water, whatever,” he says.
The drought is taking its toll, according to experts at East Bay Regional Parks.
“This is one of the worst years we have ever known. We see that many of our ponds and streams dry out extremely early, ”says Matt Graul, Chief of Stewardship of the EBRPD.
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This means that all kinds of animals come into the neighborhood in greater numbers and more frequently to look for something to eat or drink
“Coyotes move to areas they haven’t moved to before, again because they’re looking for water,” says Peter Flowers, who runs the Lindsay Wildlife Hospital in Walnut Creek.
Quite a few people in West Dublin have captured coyotes wandering the neighborhoods with surveillance cameras at home and then posted their footage on social media sites like NextDoor.
Dayle says he also sees more wild turkeys, skunks, and raccoons.
“Animals usually come later. I would say earlier in the evening, when it’s not that dark, they are a bit more confident or desperate, however you want to look at it, ”he says.
EBRPD officials say they already have plans to make their country more drought resilient. It is planned to increase the water capacity in all parks by expanding existing ponds and restoring natural streams.
“Now we just want to speed up our efforts and what can we do, things that we have planned in a couple of years and say how can we do it faster? possible because we really don’t have time to wait any longer, ”says Graul.
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Flowers says while the animals are stressed from the drought and may be roaming the neighborhood more regularly, it’s important not to expose them to food or water. He says the animals will become dependent on it and will never return to their natural habitat.