Ventura County is blessed with an abundance of birds and wildlife. More than 300 bird species either live in or travel through the County. Snakes are in every city and neighborhood. Native predators include bears, mountain lions, bobcats, fox and the coyote. Skunks, opossums, and raccoons are frequent visitors in every neighborhood and bats contribute to our mosquito abatement efforts. Deer are in the foothills, feral pigs in the canyons, and rabbits in abundance everywhere. Our coastline is home to a variety of seals and sea lions and it is common to see frolicking dolphins and spyhopping whales from our shorelines.
With all of this wildlife and more than 800,000 people, it is inevitable that clashes of life styles will happen. Marine mammals such as seals and sea lions beach themselves regularly for a variety of reasons but they are not always discriminating about their choice of beaches. Sick and injured cetaceans occasionally come ashore to die and bears, coyotes and deer are frequent victims of speeding cars. Skunks and raccoons seem to enjoy taking up residence under houses and opossums just can’t get out of harm's way fast enough. The Ventura County Department of Animal Services responds to calls where wildlife is posing an immediate threat to public safety or is seriously injured or sick, but does not handle wildlife nuisance problems, such as skunks residing under your house or opossums raiding pet food from your porch. Our department is prohibited by California Department of Fish an Wildlife from the relocation of any healthy wild animal. All wild animals that are caught in a trap must be released on site. It is crucial that incidents of domestic dog, cat or livestock encounters with wild animals (particularly bats, skunks, raccoons and coyotes) be reported immediately to Ventura County Department of Animal Services and your veterinarian. The volunteers of Camarillo Wildlife Rehabilitation assist with the rehab of orphaned and injured wildlife, birds and raptors. Sick and injured marine mammals are referred to NOAA Fisheries and their web of rehabilitators.
The most important advice regarding wildlife is to learn to coexist with these animals. Remember that we are the intruders into their habitat but it is they who are struggling to exist in our urban environment. Trapping and relocating does not solve the problem of wildlife inhabiting your yard. By removing one animal from your property creates a void inviting others to move in.