Keeping Wildlife Safe
Wildlife and Food
Do not feed wild animals!
Feeding can encourage wildlife to become dependent on handouts that often offer little to no nutritional value. It also decreases their natural fear of people and increases the likelihood of disease transmission as they congregate in unnaturally large groups. If you choose to feed, steer clear of foods like bread, crackers or popcorn and opt for foods manufactured specifically for wildlife.
- Secure your garbage.
- Use well constructed trash cans with secure lids. If possible store trash containers indoors.
- Enclose and protect your garden.
- Harvest ripe fruits and vegetables right away and enclose your garden with an appropriate
- Use row covers to help protect vulnerable crops.
- Keep feeders clean.
- Clean feeders prevent the spread of diseases.
- Keep seed dry and remove seed from the ground around your feeder. Seed that becomes wet can become a host for mold and bacteria which can cause birds and other animals to become sick.
Wildlife and Your Home
Keep your house and buildings in good repair. Buildings in poor repair are an invitation for wildlife to take up residence. Seal up holes and cracks in and around your home and buildings. Check under your eaves, along the roof line and in the attic for openings. Purchase a commercial chimney cover or construct one using galvanized wire screen. The wire, when well secured, will prevent wildlife from entering your home through your chimney or other vents.
Alert birds to windows and glass doors. Every year thousands of birds are injured or die due to window collisions. Birds do not perceive glass as a solid object as it often reflects objects from the outside. Prevent birds from hitting your glass surfaces by placing objects in or near the window that breaks up the reflective and transparent surfaces and locate feeders near trees and shrubs and not near a window.
Look for nests before trimming or cutting trees. If a tree must be removed, watch and listen for activity in and around the tree to ensure that no one is home before cutting down the tree. Whenever possible, avoid removing trees and shrubs with obvious animal activity in the spring and summer. Wait until fall when nests are no longer in use. Dead trees with cavities are critical habitat for many wildlife species. If the tree is located in an area that poses no risk to your buildings consider leaving it for woodpeckers, kestrels, screech and barred owls.
Use pesticides, herbicides and fertilizers carefully. Spraying lawns with pesticides, herbicides and fertilizers can result in wildlife poisonings and many other environmental problems. While using no or organic products is best, if you choose to use traditional chemicals, use them sparingly. Do not spray areas where bird feeders are located as seeds falling from the feeder may become contaminated. Be sure to read warning labels and only apply as directed.
Supervise Dogs and Cats
Dog and cat attacks can be lethal to wildlife so please supervise your pets when they are outdoors to keep them and your backyard wildlife safe.
Wildlife and the Environment
Get the lead out! Hunters and anglers can help prevent lead poisoning. Choose ecologically sound alternatives, such as tin, bismuth, copper, steel and tungsten-nickel alloy. In nature there is NO trash. Wild animals are curious about unnatural objects in their environment many of which can be dangerous if ingested or if they become tangled in them. Prevent needless accidents by disposing of your trash in the proper receptacle and not on the ground.
Collect fishing line and be responsible with outdoor nets. Help prevent accidental entanglement by retrieving broken monofilament fishing line and string.
Wildlife can also be injured by becoming entangled in volleyball and soccer nets. Lower the nets or furl them when not is use.
Do not harass or disturb wildlife. State and federal laws protect wildlife from harassment and disturbance. Learn to respect wildlife’s right to be wild by keeping your distance.