EPA Science Inventory

Landscape characteristics affect animal control by urban residents

Citation:

MORZILLO, A. T. AND M. D. SCHWARTZ. Landscape characteristics affect animal control by urban residents. EcoSphere. ESA Journals, 2(11):16 pages, (2011).

Description:

Ecological patterns exist within urban landscapes. Among urban patterns of biodiversity, species occurrences may coincide with interactions between humans and wildlife. However, research focused on consequences of human reaction to interactions with wildlife is limited. We evaluated landscape characteristics of rodent control behavior across two urban landscapes in California, Bakersfield, and in proximity to Santa Monica Mountain National Recreation Area (SAMO). Our data were collected prior to a recent policy ruling limiting distribution of particular rodent control products. In both locations, local biologists have observed non-target effects of rodent control products among local carnivores. Mice and rats were among the species most targeted in both locations, but squirrels and gophers also were common targets in SAMO. Carnivore species identified by biologists were among those also reported by residents as targeted for control. In both locations, those who reside in single-family structures and among lower-density development were more likely to practice rodent control. Species targeted varied by distance to open space in both locations, but by development density in SAMO only. In Bakersfield, control was distributed across the study area, but one cluster of control existed among mainly lower-density, single-family residences. In SAMO, clusters of both control (n = 2) and chemical use (n = 3) existed among single-family, lower-density areas in proximity to wash channels and relatively lush vegetation. Our results suggest possible pathways for contact between wildlife and rodent control products, but causal linkages between the two are beyond the scope of our data. Similar to other urban ecological processes, human responses to interactions with ecological phenomena may occur at both fine and landscape scales. Furthermore, our results suggest a possible feedback loop of interacting ecological and social phenomena that may provide information about human activities affecting urban wildlife populations.

Purpose/Objective:

Ecological patterns exist among urban landscapes. Among urban patterns of biodiversity, species occurrences may coincide with interactions between humans and wildlife.

URLs/Downloads:

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Record Details:

Record Type: DOCUMENT (JOURNAL/PEER REVIEWED JOURNAL)
Start Date: 11/01/2011
Completion Date: 11/01/2011
Record Last Revised: 10/29/2012
Record Created: 03/24/2011
Record Released: 03/24/2011
OMB Category: Other
Record ID: 234270

Organization:

U.S. ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY

OFFICE OF RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT

NATIONAL HEALTH AND ENVIRONMENTAL EFFECTS RESEARCH LAB

WESTERN ECOLOGY DIVISION

ECOLOGICAL EFFECTS BRANCH