The opportunity to view wildlife is one reason why many people visit District preserves. When viewing wildlife, please keep two things in mind: wildlife can be unpredictable, and we want to keep wildlife wild. As with any activity a degree of caution and common sense is necessary.

All wildlife and their surrounding habitat is protected in Midpen preserves. If you are fortunate enough to encounter wildlife during your visit, do not approach, touch, startle, or feed it. Although wild animals are generally fearful of humans and will run away, some wildlife can be dangerous. Visitors can help by allowing natural processes to occur. Leave young wildlife alone, do not disturb sick or injured animals. Report any concerns to Midpen staff.

General Guidelines

  • Maintain a safe distance. If an animal approaches you, it is your responsibility to move away. Your safety is your responsibility!
  • Do not get between a mother and its young. Getting too close to any wildlife is very stressful on the wildlife and may pose a danger to you or the animal.
  • Feeding wild animals is never appropriate. Wildlife can get sick from eating human food. Wildlife that is fed may become dangerously familiar with humans, which can result in serious injury or death to both people and animals.
  • Do not "rescue" young or injured wildlife.  Each species cares for and trains its young in unique ways. Some animals will leave their young for hours at a time while they forage for food.
  • Keep dogs on a leash, do not allow them to chase or disturb wildlife.

Safety in the Preserves

Rattlesnakes are native to this area and are more active in warm weather. Be careful stepping over logs, and be cautious of putting hands or feet under logs or rocks. In the event that you are bitten, remain calm, call 911 and if necessary have someone hike out for help. Do not attempt to cut a bite or suck out venom. Seek professional medical assistance.

Mountain lions and coyotes are occasionally sighted in the open space preserves. If you see a mountain lion, coyote or other animal behaving aggressively toward people or pets, contact a ranger or the District office at (650) 691-1200 as soon as possible. If it is after 5pm on a weekday or on weekends call (650) 903-6395. The threat to public safety will be assessed and appropriate action will be taken.

Invasive Animals

Do not release pets into the wild! Releasing pets can harm native species through predation, competition for food, and disease. If you see an invasive animal at a Midpen preserve, please report the sighting to a ranger.