Spring Fever: Six ways you can help support wildlife this season
Warmer months mean more wildlife! Whether it’s the birth of spring litters or creatures coming out of hibernation, spring is a busy time for Alberta’s wild world.
Here are six ways you can help conserve and protect.
1. Renovate your own outdoor space. A few quick changes can make your yard or property more welcoming to wildlife. Planting native flora, providing a water source and not using any plant or lawn chemicals will help. There are natural ways to control what grows in your space.
Reconsider cutting down trees that could be important nest or habitat sites for birds, squirrels, raccoons, insects and other critters. If you must remove a tree, check it over carefully to make sure you aren’t cutting down an active den or nest.
2. Think twice about trash. Consider that poor disposal of garbage causes problems for wildlife around the world. Here in Alberta we can do our part by disposing of garbage in bear-safe garbage sites when we are out in the wilderness, and never, ever littering.
Spring is a great time to revamp your environmental footprint. Consider composting as a great disposal option for weeds, lawn clippings and food waste.
You can go a step further by evaluating how much waste you’re producing! Can you cut back on items that come with excessive packaging or aren’t biodegradable? These are small decisions that can make a big difference for the environment and the wildlife that call it home.
3. STOP! CALL AIWC! (Or another local registered wildlife rehabilitator.) It’s a point that begs repeating. A baby hare that appears abandoned may not be in any trouble at all but could be waiting for his or her mom to come back to feed them. Mother hares often leave their babies for hours during the day to avoid attracting predators with scent or movement. Moving these babies can cause far more problems than leaving them. Before intervening with a lone baby or in any situation, give AIWC a call for advice.
4. Contrary to popular belief, it’s okay to pick up a baby bird. If you see a baby that seems too young to be out of their nest call AIWC for advice. If advised to do so, it’s ok to gently and safely place him or her back. Watch from a distance to see that the parents are feeding upon their return.
5. Get rid of anything that could be a trap! During spring and summer, many wild animals are seeking out dens and nest sites. Sometimes they end up in less than ideal locations like in an attic, chimney or under a deck. Scope out the areas ahead of time to prevent this. If wildlife has already moved in, don’t set traps! Wait and see if the family moves out on its own before considering humane eviction options. You can always call AIWC for advice.
By Nina Grossman, AIWC Volunteer
“Our relationship with nature is more one of being than having. We are nature: we do not have nature.” -Unknown