Human-Wildlife Conflict in Urban Environments

urban-raccoon-insertLast week, an episode of CBC Radio’s “The Current” featured the issue of urban wildlife. This topic is full of controversy, as many people enjoy living closely with wildlife, while others complain of animals destroying their gardens and shrubs and becoming too bold and aggressive in their expectation for food.

Regardless of which stance they choose to take on the issue, homeowners should consider the possible consequences before feeding wildlife in their backyards. Feeding wildlife can have unintended effects such as increased disease spread within animal populations, and individuals becoming overly habituated to the presence of humans. In some cases, there are also risks of disease spread from wild populations to humans or domestic animals.

The radio show asked listeners to call in with their stories of living with urban wildlife, and also featured a debate on the issue of whether or not to carry out a planned deer cull in an area where urban deer have become a problem.

Listen to the episode here:

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