As more and more Calgarians push the boundaries of urbanization into Alberta’s natural spaces, wild animals are left to navigate the hazards left in our wake. To responsibly share our world with wildlife, we must be able to identify and manage the man-made hazards that wildlife face.
Birds strike windows and glass at a truly staggering rate. Many will die instantly, but others will be left stunned or with injuries that will prevent them from ever flying again. Transparent glass is indistinguishable to birds from the reflection of a clear landscape. If you’re finding birds often hit your windows, please consider applying visual barriers that will help birds identify otherwise invisible obstacles in their pathways. Simple decals can be placed on the window, and there are also sprays available which reflect a type of light that is most visible to birds. CWRS sells UV decals to help prevent window strikes.
Animals of all types encounter vehicles on a daily basis. Birds of prey, as well as crows and magpies, will often hunt for prey in ditches on the sides of highways or peck at the remains of roadkill. Gulls and other scavengers will patrol parking lots for scraps of food and sort through discarded trash. Ducks will sometimes lead their hatchlings across busy intersections on the way to a body of water, and deer and hares will often bolt across roadways at dusk. It is important to always remain vigilant on the roads and be wary of animals that may quickly and unexpectedly dart out. Helping injured wildlife on roadways is a challenge. Stopping traffic or otherwise endangering yourself or other drivers is NEVER advisable. Always call for help or advice: 403-214-1312
Garbage and waste is a common wildlife attractant and often a hazard. Be sure to keep any waste properly contained and secured in their proper bins. This will prevent animals from hanging around and taking up residence in inappropriate areas, and will prevent wildlife from ingesting or becoming entangled in pieces of garbage.
Dogs and cats are curious and often their interest in wild animals can be dangerous. Cats are responsible for countless small animal deaths each year and should be kept indoor to prevent them from injuring or killing birds and vulnerable mammals. Dogs often find themselves encountering skunks and porcupines to the detriment of the dog as well as the wild animal, it is ideal to keep dogs on a leash whenever possible and check your yard for wild animals before letting them out.