From the birds at our feeder, to the deer in our local park, wildlife is everywhere. Whether you live in the city or country, everyone should be informed about how to safely and responsibly live alongside wildlife. Read answers to the following FAQs to learn how you can be a friend to wildlife in your daily life.
Why don’t park rangers let me feed wild animals?
Feeding wildlife is harmful for two main reasons: one, human foods create health problems for many wild animals, who should be consuming plants, insects, and other animals in their own natural environments. Two, the natural behaviors of wildlife are altered when animals learn to identify humans and human-populated areas as food sources. At times, animals habituated to humans as food sources can become aggressive and are ultimately destroyed.
What about bird feeders?
Bird feeders can supply wild birds with a supplemental food source during the cold winter and migration seasons, when birds require higher caloric intake. However, if you put up a bird feeder, make sure it is always clean and free of mold and mildew. Remove your bird feeder if it begins to attract other animals including deer and bear.
Is it possible to make my yard more wildlife-friendly?
Yes! Many landowners, even those with small properties make a hobby out of providing “backyard habitat” for wild animals in their area. Installing water features, eliminating pesticides and herbicides, planting fruit trees and berry bushes, establishing brush piles, and allowing some lawn areas to grow high grass and wildflowers can effectively increase the wildlife biodiversity of just a couple acres over time.
Are traps a humane alternative to killing nuisance animals on private property?
They can be. Rather than killing a wild animal entrapped in your attic or basement, use a professional wildlife removal service to safely remove and relocate the animal. If you use your own trap, check permit requirements with your state department of natural resources. Also, when using a trap, check your trap every two to three hours to ensure the animal is not contained for long periods of time without food or water. Ask your local department of natural resources where you may or may not release the animal.
How can I help wildlife in my area?