Wildlife Management

More Information

What are urban wildlife?

An urban environment exerts novel selective pressures on wildlife species due to habitat modification, natural habitat loss, and a large human population.

Some species are able to thrive in this urban landscape. These animals are called “urban wildlife”. Urban wildlife have many adaptive traits in common: a diverse diet, highly opportunistic, ability to exploit human modified habitats, reduced fear of humans, loss of natural predators or competition, and increased food sources.

What are the most common urban wildlife species in Fairfax County?

Why manage wildlife in Fairfax County?

A carrying capacity does exist and determines the maximum number of animals a habitat or geographic area can support without damage to the environment.

It is the responsibility of wildlife managers, natural resource managers and environmental stewards, to preserve wildlife and to protect remnant natural habitats in all ways possible.

It is a chosen responsibility to address Human Health & Public Safety issues, mitigate wildlife conflicts, and protect property from actual and potential damage.

What is successful wildlife management?

Effective wildlife management resolves wildlife conflicts with the most comprehensive management techniques available:

  • Humane exclusion & Repellency
  • Population control
  • Habitat modification
  • Conservation & Research

A comprehensive approach to managing a wildlife conflict must: 

  • Strictly adhere to all federal and state laws, regulations and county ordinances.

  • Show compassion for Wildlife and people.

  • Show basic understanding of species-specific ecology and behavior.

Exploring humane long-term exclusion and repellency options should be the first step towards resolving most wildlife conflicts. Lethal control methods should generally be considered a last resort, including the trapping and removal of “nuisance wildlife”. Unless the underlying resource attracting the animal has been identified and minimized or removed (e.g. food or water sources, den sites), the conflict will not be resolved.


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