Human-Wildlife Conflicts

Coyote walking with head down 


Mountain Lion profile Mountain Lion
Profile of a black bear Black Bear
two male turkeys Wild Turkey
Young Raccoon in Tree Raccoon

California is home to nearly 40 million people living alongside some of the most fascinating and iconic species in North America. Human-wildlife “conflict” (HWC) occurs when humans and wild animals interact in an unwanted or unsafe way. Population growth and a changing climate is increasing the frequency and severity of HWC as wildlife encounter humans more often in their search for food, shelter, and water. As the State’s trustee agency for fish and wildlife resources, CDFW serves as the lead agency charged with helping to resolve human-wildlife conflict. However, everyone can help! See below to learn how to help transform human-wildlife conflicts.

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Technical Assistance

The Wildlife Incidence Reporting (WIR) System is a statewide online reporting system used by CDFW to respond to requests for technical assistance and reports of wildlife incidents and sightings. CDFW staff also uses data logged in the WIR to track reporting trends. CDFW staff can also provide technical assistance by phone, email, mail, or in-person.

See the Human-Wildlife Conflicts Toolkit below for valuable information and resources on how you can help reduce or prevent conflicts.

Who To Contact

Public Safety Emergency? Call 9-1-1

Education and Outreach

Public education, community outreach, and engagement on a local level are vital to effectively address human-wildlife conflicts and support safe human-wildlife interactions. CDFW works closely with staff, agency partners, stakeholders, and diverse communities throughout California. Learn more!

CDFW regularly works with others to increase awareness of important wildlife issues, including through the development of educational materials, news releases, seasonal campaigns, and participation in community events.

Laws and Regulations

Knowing how to safely and effectively address human-wildlife conflicts may feel overwhelming. What methods you may use are governed by federal, state, and local laws, and regulations. It is your responsibility to follow all laws and regulations. Learn more!

The CDFW Law Enforcement Division works with other law enforcement and agency partners to protect and conserve fish and wildlife and serve the public in California.

Statewide Program

The CDFW Human-Wildlife Conflict Program (HWC Program) was formally established to address the increasing number of human-wildlife interactions reported throughout the State, as part of a statewide effort to safeguard and enhance California's biodiversity. This program encompasses human-wildlife conflict specialists based in the Wildlife Health Laboratory (WHL) as well as the six CDFW regions. These staff have completed more than 80 hours of highly specialized training, including a CDFW Wildlife Conflict Specialist Training Academy and chemical immobilization certification. The training academy included courses in CDFW Policy, fish and game code, and regulations, as well as continuing education and training in conflict mitigation and deterrence methods.

HWC Program Snapshot

  • Since 2018, development of HWC Program web resources, HWC Toolkit (online), enhanced educational materials, and adoption of the BearWise campaign.
  • Since 2021, 45,000+ staff hours logged responding to 19,000+ wildlife incident and 3,600+ depredation (property damage) reports.
  • Since 2022, Wildlife Conflict Specialist Training Academy launched to train CDFW HWC Specialists on policy, code and regulations, wildlife damage management, and human dimensions of wildlife conservation (social science).
  • CDFW Human-Wildlife Interactions Report (PDF) (2015-2017)

Wildlife Health Lab
1701 Nimbus Road Suite D, Rancho Cordova, CA 95670
(916) 358-2790 |