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13 Simple Things You Can Do To Avoid Harming Wildlife
Note: These tips are from the
rehabilitation center in Crestline, Ohio.
Most of the wild animals brought to our clinic suffer from injuries or problems caused by humans. Since most people try to
avoid causing harm to other living things we decided to put together a list of things to do- or not do- to help wildlife. The list
is in no particular order of importance, but if everyone followed these suggestions, our caseload would be dramatically
Prevent your pet cats and dogs from attacking and/or "playing with" wildlife. Don't allow them to run without supervision and
raise your cats as indoor pets. Many injured animals are brought to the clinic each year with terrible wounds from dog and cat
Alert birds to large expanses of glass in your home, such as patio doors or picture windows, by hanging streamers, putting
bird silhouettes on the glass surface, or allow the glass to be a little bit dirty. Reducing the reflection should cut down on the
number of birds who collide, often fatally, with windows and doors.
Educate children to respect and care for all wild creatures and their habitats. Children need to learn that wild animals are not
playthings and should be allowed to go about their lives unmolested. Children should also be told not to destroy nests, burrows
and other wildlife homes.
Pick up litter and refuse that could harm wildlife, including six-pack connectors (after cutting each circle to reduce the risk of
entanglement), monofilament fishing line, and watch batteries (if consumed by waterfowl they can cause mercury poisoning).
Be alert when driving, especially near wildlife refuges and in rural areas, to avoid hitting or running over wild creatures.
Animals do not recognize the danger from an oncoming vehicle. And please stop and move any turtles away from the roadway or
shoulder of the road.
Place caps over all chimneys and vents on your roof to prevent birds, ducks and raccoons from taking up residence and
becoming a nuisance or getting trapped.
Do not leave fishing line or fish hooks unattended or lying about outdoors. Try to retrieve any kite string left on the ground or
entangled in trees.
Before mowing your lawn or rototilling your garden, walk through the area first to make sure no rabbits or ground-nesting
birds are in harms way. Remember, it only takes a couple weeks for these babies to grow and leave the nest. Be tolerant and give
them the time they need.
Check trees to make sure there are no active nests or residents of cavities before cutting them down. Even better, avoid
cutting down dead trees if they pose no safety hazard, since they provide homes for a wide variety of wildlife.
Use non-toxic products on your lawn and garden.
Motor oil should not be left in oil pans unattended. Birds often fall into these pans and few survive.
Do not attempt to raise or keep wildlife yourself. Not only is it illegal, but wild creatures do not make good pets and captivity
poses a constant stress to them. Young wild animals raised without contact with their own species fail to develop survival skills
and fear of humans, virtually eliminating their chances of survival in the wild.
As a general rule, leave infant wildlife alone, since they are not always truly orphaned. A parent may be nearby or will return
soon. Be sure they are in need of help before you remove them from the nest area. If you find young birds on the ground, attempt
to return them to the nest.
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