I See Urban Wildlife

Clean water is essential for protecting the health of people, livestock, fish and shellfish.  A watershed is an area of land where all of the water drains to a common point, such as Drayton Harbor, Birch Bay, Bellingham Bay, or Chuckanut Bay.  Activities in our watershed affect the water quality of streams, rivers, and bays.  Keeping wildlife wild is part of the solution to improving water quality in your community.

Rascally Raccoon
Raccoon Superhero

They may look cute, but...

Larger than natural populations of wildlife, such as raccoons, are one of the possible sources of high bacteria levels in creeks. 

Human interactions with wildlife, like finding easy sources of food and shelters around homes, can increase their populations above natural levels. 

Larger populations lead to more poop and associated bacteria that can wash into our waterways.

And...wildlife stay healthier when they eat food they naturally find in the wild.

Be Their Hero!
Keep wildlife wild...and help keep our creeks clean. 


Become a Detective....share the places that you see wildlife!  We often hear questions from community members about how wildlife impact bacteria concentrations in surface waters. 

This is your opportunity to help us track wildlife hot spots. Take a picture and join the Whatcom Wildlife Tracking iNaturalist project. Data from this project will be used to understand what wildlife are present and where! That knowledge help us all be better stewards of our watershed. It’s quick, simple, and provides a lot of great information that can be used to help us all be better stewards of our watershed.

How do I do it?

Were you already using the Whatcom Wildlife Tracker App to document bird and other wildlife sightings?

iNaturalist improves on our old tool and makes it easier for everyone to add animal sightings, tracks, and scat. Data collected using the old tool will be combined with new entries for iNaturalist

The Whatcom Wildlife Tracker App still exists and you can continue to create entries in it and view the map. However, we encourage you to set up and iNaturalist account and try it out. We think you'll like it!

Wildlife Education

Raccoon Game 3
Whatcom County Public Works staff are playing the Rascally Raccoons game with families at the 2018 Birch Bay Beach Fest & Feast. Players race to secure their house for raccoons by bungeeing trash cans closed, putting pet food inside and closing up crawls spaces where raccoons might make their dens.
Racoon Game 2

For more info... 

Whatcom County Raccoons and Water Quality Brochure

King County Tips for Removing a Raccoon Latrine 

Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife: nuisance wildlife

Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife: Raccoons

The USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service-Wildlife Services offers free site visit consultations and a paid service to trap and remove problem raccoons. They are nuisance wildlife control operators licensed by the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife. Contact the Wildlife Services District Office at 360-337-2778 for more information.