California Wildlife Threatened in Fire
The recent fires in Rancho Bernardo and Lake Arrowhead, California, are causing great devastation to the wildlife in the area.
One of the seven fires that rage across the county in the Rancho Bernardo and Poway area has grown 10,000 acres.
The population in these areas (Rancho Bernardo, Poway, Lake Arrowhead, and other Southern California areas) have been forced to evacuate their homes.
The fires are changing minute by minute, so the exact damage and casualties is hard to pinpoint. But, it is not a hidden fact that the state is being torn apart by these vicious fires.
The fires aren't just affecting the people and their pets, but the wildlife as well.
The wildlife population is under the control and jurisdiction of the Fish & Game Association. If you are in the Southern California area and see injured wildlife, contact your local Fish & Game licenses wildlife rehabilitator. You should not take the animal into your own hands, as animals are unpredictable and you could become badly injured.
Local animal shelters will euthanize the wildlife, so you don't want ot send them there, either. But you can contact Santa Monica and Pasadena animal shelters, as they do have wildlife programs. They can refer to you to the closet rehabilitator.
The rehabilitators will care for the animal(s) until it may be returned to the wild.
With the current wildfires, as well as past fires, the wildlife suffers a great deal. Those animals who need sunny openings and broad landscapes get crowded together. The fires dry up watering holes, such as small rivers and lakes, which not only diminishes the water from the animals, but drains the moisture away from the wild plants, brush, and trees, that they eat from.
Insect populations can increase greatly, which can can a number of health concerns for the wildlife populations, but, also, for our domestic pets, and us.
The effects of large fires on wildlife can create damage for centuries ahead.
Because the fires will completely destroy the homes of many wildlife creatures, they can only a few options. They can die off. Or, they can move into out backyards. This can create a problem, for us and for the animals. Most people will see the extra raccoons and opossums as pests. Traps may be set, poisons put out. Any number of "solutions" could come about to rid themselves of their newly acquired 'pest.'
Result of July '07 California Fires
California wildlife does not stop at terrestrial animals or even birds. As California is on the coast, some of their native wildlife includes marine mammals. The waters off the Californian coast is nutrient- rich, so everything from the littlest fish to the largest marine mammal and bird, can find something to eat in order to live prosperously.
The terrestrial animals, that find California its home, thrive due to the arid climate. But, because of the growing population, the animals that survive are those that can learn to adapt to urban life.
Unfortunately, due to the co-habitance of the human population and the wildlife, the animals, already have problems surviving their worlds. The seabirds will find trash to eat, fall ill, and die. The marine life, must overcome the plastics and old fishing lines thrown in their waters. Even the squirrels, must find homes when the human population rips trees down for their own, personal gain.
Now, with the raging fires in the state, these magnificent, yet fairly simple creatures, have a new problem that they must overcome.
There are many different wildlife in the state of California. It's a big state, after all. Some of the native wildlife to Southern California are listed below.
- Mule Deer
- Mountain Lion
- Gray Fox
- Striped Skunk
- Virginia Oposum
- Western Gray Squirrel
- California Sea Lion
- Pacific Coast Harbor Seal
- Northern Elephant Seal
- Great Horned Owl
- Red- Tailed Hawk
- Brown Pelican
- Western Scrub Jay
Animal Advocate Donations
If you want to make donations to assist wildlife rehabilitation, you can send your donations to the Animal Advocates group.
The program is a non-profit rescue and educational organization. They rescue injured pets and wildlife. The domestic animals are rehabilitated and found new homes. The wildlife is rehabilitated and returned to the wild.
The education portion of the organization is geared towards teaching children about domestic animals and humane wildlife control.
So, if you want to help out, here's your chance.
Pictures can be found at flickr.com.