Date of this Version
Proceedings 18th Vertebrate Pest Conference, ed. R.O. Baker & A.C. Crabb. Published at University of California, Davis, 1998.
Southern California has experienced rapid human population growth during the past 50 years. As housing continues to encroach into and abut previously undeveloped areas containing wildlife communities, conflicts between homeowners and predators have become common. Traditional methods of control (removal) of problem animals are often infeasible due to legislative constraints, local ordinances, public opinion, and environmental considerations. This necessitates developing alternative approaches to facilitate coexistence and diminish the opportunities for negative interactions. In the Defensible Space program, people are educated about local wildlife and provided animal behavior based methods to respond to animal incursions. Though the system is not always 100% effective, it has diminished the overall number of complaints received and reduced most of the remaining complaints from panic-based to knowledge-based.