Wildlife of Silicon Valley

Many wild animals make their home in the hillsides of Milpitas, and sometimes make their way into back yards. We often see raccoons, gray squirrels, bats, garter snakes, opossums, skunks, and roof rats.

If a wild animal or injured bird is in your yard, here is what to do:
In San Jose, Milpitas, Los Gatos, Cupertino, or Saratoga:
Call: San Jose Animal Care and Services at (408)794-7297. They will transport the animal to WCSV- it is not safe for you to handle or transport.

AAA Creature Catchers
If you need a professional wildlife trapper in San Jose, CA call 408-338-0560. Our range extends from Palo Alto, Mountain View, Sunnyvale, Santa Clara, Cupertino, Saratoga, Los Gatos, Campbell, to Milpitas.

Wild animals of Silicon Valley

Alviso Boat Tour
You can call it a floating classroom for guests who will travel past the salt marshes alongside the Alviso Slough out to where Coyote Creek meets the open waters of San Francisco Bay.

Bay Nature
A new quarterly magazine dedicated to the intelligent and joyful exploration of the natural places of the San Francisco Bay Area and the species that inhabit them.

Coexisting with Our Wild Neighbors
Because our valley provides excellent homes for many species of wildlife, you can find anything from a tiny hummingbird to a large raccoon in our backyards and city parks. Despite the fact that your yard supports wildlife so well, problems occasionally arise with them living so close to people. For example, what would you do with a bird your cat brought to you? Hopefully the suggestions will help prevent potential problems and help us coexist with our wild neighbors.

Coyote Ridge: Treasure of the Santa Clara Valley
Imagine a place of sweeping vistas, singing grass, wildflowers, eagles, falcons, coyotes, but few people. All this within view of the third largest metropolis in America. All this two miles from an interstate highway. The hills on the eastern side of the Santa Clara Valley, known collectively as the Diablo Range, are made up of a rock known as serpentinite.

Don Edwards San Francisco Bay National Wildlife Refuge
Field trip information. Bring your class to one of the nation’s largest urban wildlife refuges for your next field trip. It’s fun, it’s interesting, and your students will remember what they learn at the refuge for years to come. Official site

San Francisco Bay Wildlife Society – Whats Happening
Plan to join the expert guides on a walk through a natural area. Walks every weekend somewhere in the Bay Area.

Sunol Regional Wilderness
Guided science and nature walks in Little Yosemite.

Threatened and Endangered Species of California
From the California Department of Fish and Wildlife. Includes plants and animals.

What is a habitat conservation plan (HCP)?
An HCP is a document that meets federal Endangered Species Act (ESA) requirements and enables local agencies to allow projects and activities to occur in endangered species’ habitats. In exchange, those projects and activities must incorporate HCP-prescribed measures to avoid, minimize, or compensate for adverse effects on natural communities and endangered species.

Wildlife Center of Silicon Valley
A rehabilitation and release facility. We care for injured, sick and orphaned wild animals. 2650-B Senter Road, San Jose, CA 95111, 408-283-0744

Youth Science Institute
A natural science museum serving Santa Clara County in Northern California with three sites, the Youth Science Institute focuses on the delicate interrelationship of people with the natural world.

Wild Animals

The vast majority of bats are insectivores and the rest feed on fruit, mice, and small vertebrates. Because so many bats consume insects, they are very valuable in keeping the insect population down. One bat can catch hundreds of insects in an hour. Site includes ways to get rid of bats that might invade your home.

Bay Area Puma Project
The Bay Area Puma Project will make a major contribution by gathering and linking habitat and physiology data. The project includes an advisory group of puma researchers and conservationists who will provide input and guidance over the course of the study.

This cute little bobcat came wandering up to our house about a month ago in the morning while my brother and I were watching TV.

California wild pig population far larger than imagined
There are wild pigs in the east hills and in some of the regional parks ringing Silicon Valley.

The Coyote
A pack of coyotes can frequently be heard howling in the east hills. A pack of coyotes is frequently seen and heard in Ben Rodgers Park, where they raid the garbage cans and terrorize pets left outside at night.

Living with California Mountain Lions
Generally, mountain lions are calm, quiet and elusive. But once in awhile, Milpitans living along the east hillside have spotted one in their back yards.

In urban settings, in addition to feeding on backyard fruits, nuts, and vegetables, they scavenge from garbage cans and compost piles. Pet food left outside overnight ranks high as a food resource and then, of course, some people deliberately provide food for raccoons.

San Francisco Garter Snake
Most who appreciate wildlife will agree that the San Francisco Garter Snake is California’s most beautiful snake. The bright orange head, combined with dazzling black and red stripes, is impressive enough, but the pale stripes and belly are washed with the most delicate turquoise. It is just a wonderful serpent.

Tarantulas found in Milpitas are quiet creatures that live in burrows. Their bite is no more dangerous to people than the sting of a bee. Their size and hairiness, however, can give people a fright.

Western Diamondback Rattlesnake
These serpents should be considered armed and dangerous with a well-developed fang and poison delivery system.

Seen other wild animals within the city or in the hills? Contact your web host, Ann Zeise.

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