Oct 11, 2013

Wildlife Wise

This is the time of year when young animals are dispersing, venturing out into the world on their own. It is also the leanest time of year, causing animals to forage farther for food and water.

As wild animals navigate through urban landscapes they are exposed to numerous man-made hazards.

Mesh - any kind of woven material, like netting or wire fencing, can be hazardous to wildlife.

Skunk entangled in a backyard batting cage netting.

Gopher snake entangled in a garden netting.

Even wooden fences can be hazardous. Last year, WES rescued a young raccoon with its leg caught in a gap between a wall and a wooden gate (video).

Just last week, an adult raccoon was found hanging from a fence by its leg. It must have been trying to climb over the fence when its foot go stuck in a gap. Its leg was fractured.

This was the second raccoon to get trapped in this exact spot. 

Picture by Patrick Abdo. Story link, HERE.

This type of hazard is easily remedied by shoring up the gap or putting a piece of wood at the top to prevent an animal's limb from falling into the groove.

From rogerwendell.com.

Even birds can get caught between wooden slats. 

Windows are a serious hazard for birds. Check out these valuable pages from Fatal Light Awareness Program (FLAP) that go into detail about what birds see and how you can prevent window strikes. For residential, click HERE, for commercial buildings, click HERE.

Impression on glass after a bird collided head first. Photo by Brian Taylor.

With wildlife on the move this time of year, we're asking that you take a look around your yard for things that could be hazardous to your wild neighbors.

Be wildlife responsible - be wildlife wise!

1) Remove hanging or loose rope, twine, or wire. 

2) Slat or picket fencing: Make sure there's a horizontal rail close to the top.

3) Gaps between fences and walls: Shore them up.

4) Pails, drums, pits. Anything with vertical walls should be covered to prevent entrapping an animal.

5) Rings and things. Pick up any hoops or rings that an animal might get caught in.

6) Windows: Use one or more of the remedies listed HERE or HERE to reduce collisions.

Thanks for doing your part to 
keep your wild neighbors safe!