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WildLife Management

Wildlife management attempts to balance the needs of wildlife with the needs of people using the best available science. Wildlife management can include game keeping, wildlife conservation and pest control. Wildlife management draws on disciplines such as mathematics, chemistry, biology, ecology, climatology and geography to gain the best results.


Wildlife conservation aims to halt the loss in the Earth's biodiversity by taking into consideration ecological principles such as carrying capacity, disturbance and succession and environmental conditions such as physical geography, pedology and hydrology with the aim of balancing the needs of wildlife with the needs of people.

Turkeys (Meleagris gallopavo)

California’s wild turkeys now occupy about 18 percent of our state, and are a highly valued upland game bird. Many Californians also enjoy watching them. Some homeowners can’t resist feeding them. That’s when trouble begins. A few stray visitors soon become a flock of permanent residents that have lost their natural fear of humans. Adult wild turkeys, which can weigh upwards of 20 pounds, can destroy flowers and vegetable gardens, leave their droppings on patios and decks, and roost on cars, scratching the paint. Turkeys can become aggressive during the breeding season, occasionally even charging, threatening, and acting aggressively toward people.

Boar / Wild Pig / Feral Swine (Sus scrofa)
“They are a major problem in the county,” Sonoma County Agricultural Commissioner Tony Linegar said. “We deal a lot in agriculture with problem pig cases.”In 2012, farmers and landowners asked for help from the commissioner’s two animal control agents almost 900 times: Coyotes accounted for 736 calls. Pigs came in second with 80 calls, more than twice the number of calls for all other animals combined, including mountain lions, bears, raccoons, and skunks.The problem with pigs is that they breed prolifically, producing two or three large litters per year, so they can spread across the landscape exponentially. Even worse, they will eat nearly anything they can get their mouths on, from grubs, weeds, and acorns all the way up to small mammals, birds and amphibians.


Deer ( Cervidae )

Under optimal conditions, a deer population can double in size annually. With no regulating factor (e.g., predators, hunters), a deer population would expand to the point where some resources, generally food, would become scarce. Sources of mortality other than hunting (e.g., diseases, injuries, predation) are typically not sufficient to control deer populations. Active deer management is necessary to maintain deer populations at optimum levels to meet the needs of citizens of the Commonwealth. An optimum deer population balances positive demands (e.g., hunting, viewing) with negative demands (e.g., agricultural damage, vehicle collisions, ecosystem impacts). Our Deer Management Plan identifies areas where deer populations should be managed to increase, decrease, or remain the same.

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