Living with Wildlife

Most of us chose to live here in large part because we like being surrounded by nature and wildlife. But, being a good neighbor to wildlife is more complex in reality than it appears at first glance. For this reason we have collected the following information and resources tailored for islanders. Learn about various island species, read about how to enhance your home acreage for wildlife, find out what to do if you spot a stranded or injured animal, and be aware of how to deal with potential wildlife conflicts.

Have questions or want to report a wildlife sighting? We’d love to hear about it.  Interested in what’s been seen lately? Join our Facebook group for news on unique species sightings and encounters.

Living with Wildlife Fact pages:

Click on a photo below to go to a page for that animal. What other animals should we include here? Contact us with suggestions.

VNC_fullcoyote_stock2   photo credit: Claudette Gallant  OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA  LWW_cougar  LWW_BlackBear

Living safely with large carnivores:

Co-existing with Large Carnivores pamphlet: feel free to print out and share with neighbors, local businesses and friends! This is a general information sheet about living safely with large carnivores with tips for personal and pet safety.

Active Livestock Management Guide: feel free to share this link with neighbors, local businesses and friends! This is a collaborative effort between VNC scientists, local farmers, and wildlife experts bringing together the most current and locally applicable information on protecting livestock and companion animals.

Immediate questions about wildlife management:

Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife is primarily responsible for management of wildlife on the island.

To report poaching in progress/emergency wildlife/present danger/weekends:  call 911 and ask for state patrol

To report non-emergency poaching or dangerous wildlife complaints: 877-933-9874

To talk to a person call the region office: 425-775-1311. For cougar or bear reports call WDFW law enforcement agent Kim Chandler ext. 122.

Chris Anderson is our WDFW District Biologist, Mike Smith is Assistant District Biologist, and Kim Chandler is WDFW law enforcement for our area.

Other useful numbers:

David Kimmett, King County Parks: 206-477-4573

Vashon Park District: 206-463-9602

Vashon-Maury Island Land Trust: 206-463-2644


Enhancing your home for wildlife:

Alternatives to pesticides and poison for all manner of pests– from rats to weeds can be found at the Garden Green Resource page thanks to Michael Laurie and Diane Emerson.

These island companies offer services to enhance your home for wildlife or make it more sustainable.

The Swan Company: Bird inventory of your property and advice on habitat enhancement. More info.

Earth Stewardship and Design: Habitat restoration, xeriscaping, edibles and natives, plant brokerage, yard consultations and design, closed systems and permaculture. More info or contact Sue Day: For specifics on water system design, irrigation, drainage, water features, rain gardens. Contact Adam Tharp:

Watershed LLC:  Watershed LLC is dedicated to helping customers reduce their water and energy use and improve their landscape impacts through customized audits, cost and savings analysis, project development and management, research, demonstration, and training.  More info

Inspired Initiative: Christopher Van Putten at Inspired Initiative specializes in non-native plant species removal on Vashon and believes in the cause so much that he will offer up to the first 4 hours of removal free. 253-459-4738. , website

What do I do if I see stranded, injured, or dead wildlife?

Is it a fawn, coyote pup, or seal pup? Just walk away. Young deer, coyotes, and seals are often left unattended for short periods of time while their parents run errands, or find food for their young. You will do more harm by approaching these young animals than by leaving them alone. If you scare them away, their parents may not be able to find them when they return. This causes unneeded stress for both juvenile and adult and possible death for the young animal.

If animal is clearly dead but is in good condition contact Gary Shugart, curator of Slater Museum of Natural History. He may be interested in using the animal as a museum specimen:

If animals are clearly injured or stranded or a marine mammal that is dead contact the following organizations:

Marine Mammal Stranding Network— Our local contact for this network is Anne Stateler: 206-463-9041 or

Wildlife rehabilitation centers near Vashon

PAWS– This is our recommended first contact for injured wildlife. Lynwood, 425-787-2500

Westsound Wildlife Rehabilitation, Bainbridge Island, 206-855-9057

Sarvey Wildlife Care Center, Arlington, 360-435-4817

Still at a loss? Call Vashon Nature Center–206.755.5798 or contact us. Thanks and enjoy your wild neighbors!