Wildlife-friendly tips from the California Wildlife Center and the video “Wildlife in Our Neighborhood” presented by Jenn Guess

Published by Anne Russell on

Jenn Guess gave her COSF audience a very enthusiastic and spirited talk to address common ways wild animals get injured and end up at the California Wildlife Center for rehabilitation, where she works. The CWC receives 30,000 phone calls a year about injured wildlife, and takes in 4,300 animals annually, from hummingbird babies to elephant seals.

Jenn has worked at the nonprofit CWC for almost 10 years and is now the development director of the 23-year-old center located in Calabasas. She gave the final presentation of COSF’s 2021 Speaker Series, on December 16.

Actions she recommends that you can take to reduce your impact on wildlife include:

  • To save baby birds and squirrels, trim trees only in December and January, so nests are not inadvertently knocked down.
  • To prevent bird strikes on windows, put 3 or 4 strips of frosted tape on window glass and hang feeders away from glass doors and windows.
  • Don’t use glue traps outdoors. These often entrap and injure or kill unintended victims,  such as lizards or birds. 
  • Opt to exclude and repel nuisance animals like rats, rather than use rat poison. (For more info on rodenticide poisoning,  how to stop it,  and the current laws, see Poison Free Malibu or Poison Free Conejo Valley.) Don’t leave pet food outside and make sure garbage containers have tightly fitted lids. 
  • Keep your cats indoors. It’s safer and healthier for them and it will save the lives of hundreds of birds, especially fledglings that are just learning to fly. 
  • Prevent trash entanglement by disposing of waste in closed containers and picking up trash—especially marine debris—when you find it.
  • Support wildlife habitat both in your own backyard by planting native plants and trees and by encouraging the preservation of open space in your area.  

The center is open every day of the year and has a full-time veterinarian, but no mobile pick-up unit, so it relies on individuals to either bring in the injured animal if it’s small or to call their local Animal Control unit for assistance.

For help or advice concerning injured animals you can reach CWC at: 310-458-9453 or check the helpful FAQ on the CWC website.

To learn more, watch the recording of Jenn’s presentation here:


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