California has more species of animals than any other state in the nation. It also has the greatest number of unique species that cannot be found in any other place in the world. An important part of the Wildlife Waystation’s mission is to educate the public about co-existing with wildlife, species preservation, and the importance of habitat conservation. Like many wildlife-focused organizations and agencies, we believe in working to protect and restore Photo credit: Danny Perez Photography/Flickr native wildlife and the ecosystems on which they depend.
While each of us can do our part to help protect native wildlife, the state of California is also doing its part in many ways. One way is the federally-funded State Wildlife Action Plan, otherwise known as SWAP, which is “a plan for conserving California's wildlife resources while responding to environmental challenges”. Every state in the nation now have similar plans, which together represent a national action agenda for protecting wildlife and preventing species from becoming endangered. California is currently in the process of revising its action plan, and the 2015 draft is currently available to view and is open to public comment. You can also view the report from the 2005 California Wildlife Action Plan – Conservation Challenges PDF.
A few simple ways you can help protect wildlife
- Plant native shrubs, trees and flowering plants that have a high wildlife value (meaning that the plant is used by native insects as a food or breeding source, in turn providing food to larger animals up the food chain).
- Work to remove invasive exotic species in your yard and neighborhoods.
- Stop the use of pesticides and rodenticides around your home and yard.
- Purchase an older home in an established neighborhood, rather than a newly built one in a new development.
- Get involved in local government and conservation groups.