Severe drought conditions could lead to more wildlife in your backyard
March 17, 2018 09:32 PM
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – The latest drought report is out and forecasters are warning of critical fire danger.
The most recently updated map shows a large section of red in the Four Corners, as well as other portions of New Mexico, indicating extreme-to-exceptional drought conditions. Forecasters said this marks the longest period of time these areas have been without rain since record-keeping began decades ago.
They added the warm, dry weather is expected to continue throughout the spring and could result in crop damage, less water for irrigation and more fires.
With increasing drought conditions, New Mexico Fish and Game officials are also saying residents should prepare to see more wildlife in their backyards. Areas in close proximity to mountainous regions – including Albuquerque, Ruidoso and Los Alamos – could see an increase in unexpected visitors like bear, deer and elk.
“If we start to see those animals move into Albuquerque, those areas are going to be the Foothills…the places that are in close proximity to the Foothills,” said Ross Morgan, the northwest region's public information officer for New Mexico Fish and Game.
But don't count out the West Side from seeing an animal or two.
“The deer and elk are going to start foraging on mountainous shrubs or ornamental shrubs in their gardens; and bears will see those, move around, get in trash that's left out or pet food,” Morgan said.
That's why it’s important to lock up your garbage and keep your yards tidy.
“If you have your bird feeders out or you have dog food out, which we discourage during these time of year. And if you notice wildlife coming around, please put those up, store them in sturdy containers in your garage until you know that wildlife has moved on,” Morgan said.
And if you see a wild animal, call the Fish and Game Department.
“Even though these animals look cute and cuddly, they are not," Morgan said. "They are wild animals and they can harm a human."
Updated: March 17, 2018 09:32 PM
Created: March 17, 2018 05:24 PM
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