How you and your family can help wildlife:


1)  Do not encourage wildlife to view your home as a food source by leaving garbage or pet food outside or leaving shed or garage doors open. Never encourage wildlife to eat from your hand.  This causes them to lose their fear of humans.


2)  Do not "kidnap" baby animals. If you see a young animal by itself, it is most likely not orphaned, but rather the mother is nearby looking for food. If you aren't sure if it should be rescued, leave the animal where it is and call a rehabber.


3)  Obey speed limits and keep an eye out for animals crossing the road or on the side of the road. Many animals, such as vultures and opossums are hit by cars while snacking on roadkIll. 


4)  Dispose of your garbage properly and pick up garbage you see outside. Don't throw garbage - even food - out of car windows.  Although foods like apple cores do biodegrade, they attract mice and other critters to the side of the road.  Many a hawk or owl have been hit by cars as they dive for the mouse that is eating at the road-side buffet.  


5)  Use non-toxic alternatives to pesticides, rodenticides, and herbicides. Toxic chemicals affect the whole food chain - insects, mammals, songbirds, and birds of prey. The aphids that eat the roses that have been treated with pesticides become deadly to the hummingbirds that eat them in the spring.  The mouse that is poisoned with rodenticide makes a toxic meal for the owl that catches it before it dies.     


6)  Place bird feeders a safe distance from windows and neighborhood cats. Disinfect seed feeders at least once a month and hummingbird feeders every few days (especially when it is hot). Dispose of moldy or contaminated seed. Keep the ground under feeders clean of debris.


7)  Animal-proof your home before animals move in. Close off openings to attics; seal holes around the basement, screen vents, and gutters; and install chimney caps. Keep branches pruned on any tree near the sides or roof of your home. Check at least once a year for any area needing repairs such as your attic, chimney, exhaust vents, eaves, and overhangs which animals could enter. Check for nests before cutting down trees or cleaning your chimney in the spring or summer. If an animal does enter your house, do not trap it, especially during baby season. Call a humane wildlife removal service or a rehabber for advice.


8)  Keep domestic pets inside or on a leash when outside. It only takes a second for a cat or dog to injure wildlife.  An altercation with a wild animal can also injure your pet or, in some cases, may mean that your pet will have to be quarantined.


9)  Before mowing in the spring and summer, check for grassy mounds or disturbed areas which are the signs of a rabbit nest.


10)  Enjoy nature responsibly. Plastic bags and other human garbage are often fatal to wildlife.  If you brought it into nature, please take it back out with you.

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