By JAMES ROBINSON
Los Alamos County Council
We here in Los Alamos love our wildlife. I, myself, love seeing birds come to my fountain to get a drink and bathe, and the deer walking through my yard munching on my grass.
However, I have been hearing that citizens are feeding the local deer and other wildlife. This is something we shouldn’t do. Not only is feeding wildlife dangerous for you and the animal, but it is also against the law.
Feeding wildlife habituates that animal and makes them have less fear for humans. When wildlife lose fear of humans, they can become dangerous. The animal may attack when defending territory or the act of feeding can invite a predator closer to your home.
As Council was discussing the bear-resistant roll-carts Monday evening, I received a text from New Mexico Game and Fish about a cougar that killed a deer in the front yard of a citizen a couple of days ago. Feeding deer is a growing issue in Los Alamos, so New Mexico Game and Fish is planning to begin issuing citations to those who are feeding deer in the hopes we don’t see a tragic event.
If you would like to see the wildlife, but not directly feed them, I would encourage you to look up or consult our local experts on natural plants and landscaping. Additionally, as our fruit trees begin to fruit, please make sure to keep the yard clean of the fruit that has fallen to the ground.
By building and maintaining the yard appropriately, the animals can come and enjoy, but not necessarily become habituated to items like grain or seed.
These efforts can keep you, your family, and our community safe while still enjoying our wildlife.
If you have any questions about living with wildlife or yard ideas, please reach out to New Mexico Game and Fish or the Pajarito Environmental Education Center.