Herbivores

Photo courtesy of Louise Rischoff

Photo courtesy of Louise Rischoff

Deer
Deer are a beautiful part of our ecosystem, providing effortless weed control and entertainment to morning commuters. People with rose gardens and vineyards can put in motion sensor night lights and high fencing to prevent unwanted visitors.  Over-grazing by deer can become a problem. Therefore, a healthy mountain lion population is important.


Horses and Livestock
Both horses and livestock have a rich history in the Santa Monica Mountains. Visit the State-owned Adamson House in Malibu to learn more. If you are a horse owner, you can find eco-friendly ways to upgrade your stables and ranches.


Rabbits
Cotton-tailed rabbits are an important part of the ecosystem. Lawns, soccer fields and golf courses provide them with an abundant food source which then causes population growth that unbalances the order of natural systems. Keeping rabbits out of your garden helps maintain the health of the ecosystem as a whole; trapping and underground wire fencing work best.


Gophers
Gophers are burrowing rodents that play their part in our ecosystem. However, suburban gardens and lawns can contribute to population growth which can lead to underground damage. Trapping and underground wire fencing, and even the installation of owl boxes can help manage a population excess. Because owls hunt over such a large territory, you may want to take decisive action to control a gopher problem.


Rats
Woodrats are native animals that typically make large messy nests in trees, especially oaks; they do not tend to become a part of domestic households. That unpleasant task remains the self appointed duty of Norwegian rats which came over on ships in the 19th century and became a part of our urban ecosystem. Indoor cats provide the best cure for this rodent problem. Keeping surfaces and trash enclosures clean will also help keep the population down. We encourage trapping and owl boxes as possible solutions. Rodent poisons, especially anti-coagulant rodenticides, are causing problems up the food chain as predators eat the tainted rodents. In the interest of protecting wildlife, we strongly urge you to stop using these products.