True or False: There are lots of ways to help wildlife in your day to day life.
There are several easy ways you can contribute to coexistence everyday.
You can help wildlife by respecting the animals that share our communities in many ways. Urban wildlife rely on our communities and green spaces just as much as we do!
From your home
Start by making your yard a safe space for the animals that share the area. This can be done by simply allowing an animal space to travel through, seek shelter in, or sleep in your yard without disturbing them. When you observe an animal in your yard, give it some space and let it be. To prevent animals from getting caught up in items you may have in your yard, make sure Christmas lights and netting are securely fastened to decks and trees, and are off the ground so deer don't get lights caught on their antlers. Make sure all your recycling has been thoroughly washed before you put it in the bin so wildlife aren't attracted to your yard. And cut dome lids in half before throwing them out, many different types of wildlife can get their heads and beaks stuck in dome lid holes.
Most urban animals actually provide ecological benefits to yards and gardens and aren’t causing harm by passing through. This is a great opportunity to observe and learn about animals up close from the comfort of your own home.
A common danger to urban birds are windows, it’s estimated that up to 25 million birds die in Canada each year from colliding with windows. Many of the birds admitted to Calgary Wildlife are victims of window-strike.
Consider putting Feather Friendly tape on your windows to ensure your house is safe for birds passing by. You can purchase this from our shop by clicking here.
You can also be aware of the products you are using in your yard, many herbicides prove to be dangerous to animals, so be sure to carefully read the ingredients and warnings on the products used in your yard, to avoid unintentional poisoning.
From your phone
Another easy way to help wildlife is on social media. Harmful content promoting unsafe interactions with wildlife exist on many platforms we frequent everyday. Videos of animals get lots of views and clicks, so use a critical eye when interacting with animal posts.
Here’s what to look out for:
The content is not posted by an official sanctuary, rehabilitation or rescue facility
Either people or pets are invading a wild animal’s space in nature
A wild animal is being touched, held, or hand-fed
An animal is being abused, this can include yelling, hitting, or throwing objects
If you come across any of this content, do not like, comment, or share the post as any interactions can increase engagement. If an abusive action is happening in the video, report it on the social media platform. You can learn more about online abuse content and what to do via the Social Media Animal Cruelty Coalition (SMACC).
By not engaging with posts that promote unsafe animal handling or spreading misinformation, these videos will gain less traction and hopefully become less popular to be created and distributed.
Finally, learn as much as you can about the animals around you. Not only is this a fun and interesting activity, it can help animals too. When you are familiar with the behaviour, habits and routines of local wildlife you can more easily detect if one of your feathered or furry friends requires help.
If you suspect an animal in your area is sick or injured, call Calgary Wildlife at 403-214-1312.