Lake Tahoe is home to more than 290 species of birds, mammals, reptiles, amphibians, and fish; including the black bear, Northern Goshawk, the coyote, the yellow-bellied marmot, red fox, Mallard duck, Kokanee Salmon, and many more! While it is very easy to get caught up in our busy active lives enjoying all that Tahoe has to offer, we must remember that we are also visitors among our fellow animals. Whether it is hiking or biking through the woods, enjoying days on the beach or on the lake, even relaxing at home, or driving to our next destination, we need to do our best to respect the creatures we encounter.
Protecting Lake Tahoe and the wildlife that’s in it is essential! The California Tahoe Conservancy has programs such as Wildlife Enhancement, Water Quality & Watersheds, and Recreation & Public Access; all of which help preserve habitats and help humans and animals harmoniously. Click here to see how you can help do your part for our beautiful Lake Tahoe!
Another important topic for Tahoe locals is how Tahoe bears are perceived and treated. The Bear League located in North Lake Tahoe is dedicated to educating the people who visit as well as live in Lake Tahoe about black bears. According to the bear league, “the black bear is quite docile, with a natural instinct to flee rather than fight. Never has a single person been killed by a black bear in California, Nevada, or Oregon.” The Bear League will respond to anyone with a “bear problem” and they are also happy to provide assistance/guidance over the phone. Their hotline is available 24 hours a day and can be contacted at (530)525-7297. Check out their website for more information on protecting our local bears.
If you do come across an injured or dead animal, there are organizations here in Lake Tahoe to help! The closest Wildlife Rehabilitation Center in the area is Lake Tahoe Wildlife Care in South Lake Tahoe. You can also call animal services such as Placer County Animal Control in Tahoe Vista. Before acting, make sure to call first to get directions on how to deal with the situation appropriately. If you do find an animal you believe to be abandoned, err on the side of caution, keep your distance, and do not touch, as the mom could very well be close by and is trying to find her baby. Please visit the links above for more information, tips, and guidelines. Also located on the Lake Tahoe Wildlife Care website, is a page with tips on how to properly handle Nuisance Wildlife.
Just by taking the time to read this as well as doing a little bit of research has already helped! We as humans can at least take it upon ourselves to be informed, aware, & respectful of the nature that surrounds us! After all, it’s not just us who love Lake Tahoe, it’s also the birds, the fish, and the bears!