It’s that time of year again at the shelter. It’s the time of year when we receive lots of phone calls and emails about wildlife. Everything is starting to stir in nature. The days are a little longer, the animals are a bit friskier, and the temperature is a bit warmer.
In a highly developed and bustling area, such as ours, interactions and close encounters with wildlife are becoming more and more commonplace. Habitat is being destroyed for the sake of expansion and growth and we are almost literally painting wildlife into a corner. When their natural habitat is removed wild animals are then forced to find creative alternative living and dining arrangements…such as your house and your trash cans.
When wildlife becomes a nuisance because of their lack of habitat, trapping and removal/relocation/euthanasia are not the permanent answers. Once that animal is removed another will just take its place until the root of the issue is addressed. An obvious solution would be to give them back some of their habitat. Until that day comes though, there are exclusion methods that homeowners can use to discourage wildlife from using their property as a home or a supermarket. Here are some general tips to discourage wildlife. Keep your home in good repair and make sure all vents, pipes and chimneys are sealed with wire or grates so that animals can not make entry. It is also important to keep your trash and recycling secured and covered so animals won’t be tempted to feast on your leftovers. Be sure to keep your property free of vegetation and overgrowth, make sure tree branches are trimmed away from the house, get rid of standing water and ensure that all outbuildings are secured and well maintained. More species-specific exclusion ideas and information can be found here: www.wildneighbors.org.
I can not stress enough, no matter how good your intentions may be--Please DO NOT handle or interact with wildlife. Leave it up to the professionals. If you are having a wildlife issue or you think an animal may be in trouble please contact animal control to assess the situation. We will either handle it, provide advice, or direct you to a wildlife removal service that can help you. Please don't try to trap an animal on your own either. Not only do you run the risk of being exposed to diseases or bacteria but there are very specific State laws on wildlife relocation. Again, it's best to just leave this up to the professionals.
Truth be told, there are a lot more wildlife topics than can be covered in one blog post. In the upcoming weeks I’ll cover subjects such as what to do if you find orphaned or injured wildlife, co-existing with wildlife and more. If you have questions about wildlife or have a wildlife subject that you’d like to see covered on the blog please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.