Living With Wildlife


We live in a beautiful state with an abundance of natural wonders and amazing wildlife. These rich opportunities mean that we share our environment with wildlife, and it is not uncommon to see wild mammals in our yards. Conflict may occur when housing and development expand, or when more people engage in outdoor recreation. As wildlife and humans compete for space and resources, conflict will likely be increasingly common. 

Human development often results in the destruction of natural habitat. Wildlife are displaced or destroyed, and the reduction in natural prey or food sources causes them to seek alternatives, such as foraging for food in urban areas. The destruction of habitat is now ranked as the primary cause of species extinction worldwide. 

Our goal at Turtle Ridge Wildlife Center is to help you find solutions that allow mutual co-existence and ways to resolve conflict, such as:

  • Ensuring that wildlife and humans have the space they both need with land-use planning that provides protection of crucial habitats for wildlife and creates buffer zones between humans.
  • Consuming products that are environmentally friendly to both humans and wildlife.
  • Possessing patience. An animal does not set out to cause problems. It is only doing what is needed to survive, simply following its own instincts. We need to remind ourselves that they were here first.
  • Understanding that some wildlife related property damage is inevitable and realizing that wildlife is a part of what makes Oregon special. It is our responsibility to find ways to live in harmony.
  • Exercising stewardship. It is our ethical responsibility to be good stewards of the planet that provides food, water, and shelter for all living beings.
  • Providing corridors and pathways to protect the ability of wildlife to navigate around or through human development.
  • Creating and preserving city green space where songbirds can mingle and making our built environments safe for their migration. Research has shown that green spaces are also linked with a higher psychological well-being in humans.
  • Embracing biodiversity and preserving the unique ecosystems found in our community so both humans and wildlife thrive.
  • Protecting pets and livestock that may be most at risk from contact with wildlife by keeping pets indoors at night and enclosing goats, chickens or other livestock in predator-proof barns or pens during the night.
  • Being supportive of conservation that enables us to live alongside wildlife by encouraging others to form a connection to nature and wild animals. 

How Do Humans Threaten Urban Wildlife?

Habitat loss or fragmentation

Chemical runoff and pollution, including improper disposal of trash, household toxic substances, and plastics

Light and noise pollution

Pesticide poisoning

Vehicle collisions resulting in injuries or fatalities for both wildlife and people 

How to Discourage Unwanted Wildlife in Your Backyard

Dealing with a conflict is a community issue and can be difficult. Some people regularly feed and may unintentionally shelter wildlife, while their neighbor may not want wildlife around at all. Some species, such as raccoons, squirrels, and deer that are fed by people frequently lose their fear of humans and can become aggressive when not fed as expected. 

  • Do Not Provide Food for Wildlife

Don’t encourage unnatural foraging behavior by eliminating all human or pet food in your yard, including fallen fruit or birdseed.

Keep trash and compost in sturdy bins with secure lids.

Rinse bottles and cans for recycling. 

  • Do Not Provide Shelter for Wildlife
    Cover any opening that would allow access to houses, sheds, porches, including cracks or holes in and around the foundation, openings under the eaves or in the attic, chimney, vents and pipes.

Always make sure that you are not trapping any animals inside before covering openings!

Remove brush and wood piles from your yard and store fire wood off the ground.

Trim back bushes and tree limbs several feet from the house.

Use wildlife friendly fencing. 

Enjoy Outdoor Recreation Safely

Always observe wildlife from a safe distance.

Always hike, jog or bike with a companion and make noise to alert wildlife of your presence.

Keep a clean, odor free campsite.

Keep dogs leashed on trails.

Never leave children or pets unattended. 

Unless you eliminate what is attracting that animal, the problem will continue. If you need help with a wildlife problem, please call us at 503-540-8664. We will be happy to help you find an effective and humane solution to your problem. 

Beware of local businesses that claim to relocate them (Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife does not allow this due to risk of spreading disease) or euthanize them; not all businesses use humane methods. If it is necessary to call a professional wildlife control company, please be sure they are fully licensed and use only humane methods for eviction. 

Solutions to conflict are most often specific to the species. The following buttons cover the most common urban species, the potential for conflicts, and steps homeowners can take to avoid confrontations: