The Troubles Wildlife Get Into

Article and images by Jen Howard

Reading time: 3 minutes

Wildlife can be just like two-year-olds. Curious, adventurous and playful. If trouble lurks, they will find it. It’s up to us to keep them safe. I have created a list for you to follow to ensure our wildlife comes to no harm.

One primary objective is to make sure your property is safe, unless you don’t mind mothers using your home, sheds or outbuildings as a nursery. Please do not relocate adults as babes may be awaiting their mother’s return. Life is precious no matter what it is, and starving to death is a horrible way to go for these innocent little beings.

Wildlife Checklist to Make the Environment Safer

Balloons (regular and helium) – Never ever release them, they are deadly – they can ensnare birds and wildlife and fish may accidentally ingest them, causing certain death.

Bottles and jars – wash well and replace lids as wildlife from small to large may get their heads caught in these.

Fishing line – Never discard, animals and birds get caught up in this and can lose their lives.

Any plastic rings & bags – CUT before you toss. Turtles, fish, animals all can get caught in these. Discard bags safely.

Secure garbage – Make sure your garbage is properly secured and lids tight. Put out morning of pickup.

Rope – like fishing line, never discard improperly or leave in trees after camping. Always remove.

Old Wood – Always remove nails from wood from old decks or fences etc. And remember, stacked wood piles can be inviting to wildlife. Mink like to hide and play in them, wood piles or brush piles attract many things for shelter as well, or nurseries. Always make certain no life is in there if you plan to burn, there could be babies.

Construction sites – Please keep these clean, so many dangers here. Red sticky tape, holes, open areas, nails, wood, metal, bags, the list goes on. Keeping a construction site tidy and clean also keeps it safe for you. 

Lead Sinkers – STOP using lead sinkers for fishing. Go lead free. Too often, our fish, loons, swans and other waterfowl ingest these. Over time, the lead poisons their bodies with a slow and horrible death a certain outcome if not caught in time.

Bait traps – NEVER use these. Rat poison is deadly. Recently a family of screech owlets were found dead in a nest. Parents were seen bringing rats to feed their little ones. This stuff is DEADLY to all who consume it. Adult foxes, owls, coyotes, and other apex animals higher on the food chain, bring rats and mice as food for their young. The adults are not eating these rodents as often however it is deadly when this poisoned food is fed to their young. A poisoned animal is an easy catch. STOP. Use live traps to trap these animals humanely.

Glue traps – STOP. They catch everything as well. Bats, snakes, chipmunks. Even pollinators like bees and butterflies. These are extremely inhumane death traps.

Tires – Be mindful of storing tires. Curious wildlife can get caught in the rims. No, not kidding.

Antifreeze, oil, etc – Please never leave these things out, make sure they are stored safely. Covered tightly. All liquids stored with lids. Antifreeze for example is sweet tasting and irresistible to wildlife.

Pesticides – STOP using. This is a big NO. Our butterflies and bees are declining, our insects are critical for feeding our insect eaters, are declining, we need our pollinators for our food. Our frogs are also declining when pesticides are used close by, they are an important indicator species to predict changes in our ecosystem.

Pond – Always make sure any water features you have, provide a way out for anything that may fall in. A log works well. 

Please be mindful of our everyday living, garbage belongs in a garbage can not at the side of the roads or wetland areas. We share our world with other lives all of whom are important to us, our environment and ecosystem. Please. Keep it safe.

Jen Howard

The Troubles Wildlife Get Into
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