Wolf Haven International

Living With Carnivores

Living with Carnivores workshop
Photo by Julie Lawrence.

Gathering information at a Living with Carnivores workshop
Photo by Julie Lawrence.

If you live in the Pacific Northwest, you live in carnivore country. The rich natural resources that provide the quality of life we treasure also provide a home for many wildlife species, including carnivores.

Although their range has greatly decreased over the last 100 years, carnivores are still very much a part of the northwest. In many cases, these adaptive animals have learned to adjust to human presence and can live quite well with their human neighbors -- if we take a little time and effort to learn to live with them.

What are key things to know about carnivores?

Carnivores share some common characteristics (some they even share with us). Since they live at the top of the food chain, where meals are scarce, they have to live by their wits, always figuring out how to get the next bite to eat.

Carnivores are curious and adaptable. If there is a food opportunity, they will investigate -- and they learn quickly. An easy meal, especially garbage, is a temptation nearly impossible to resist.

Many conflicts are due simply to improper storage of garbage, food leftovers, pet and animal foods. Simply feeding pets outdoors (on the porch) can lead to problems: small animals drawn to the leftovers can attract species intent on the concentration of prey animals. Bird and hummingbird feeders can attract bears. Unfortunately, these attractions can lead to conflicts -- conflicts that all too often lead to trouble and expense to the resident -- and death for the wildlife involved. Carnivore experts agree that the best way to prevent human/carnivore conflicts is to provide people with the information they need to prevent problems before they arise.


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