National Wildlife Day is March 3rd. While we usually focus on pets, we do feel it’s important to recognize the connection between our animal companions and their wild counterparts. With so many species in decline, it’s important for all of us to help wildlife and ecosystems when we can. A veterinarian lists some simple ways that you can do that below.
Our cute feline friends hunt billions of small animals every year? Fluffy may look adorably proud of herself when she drops a dead mouse on your porch or at your feet, but your tiny lion is actually playing a pretty big role in decimating fragile wildlife populations. Keep your cat inside, and let her hunt catnip mice instead of real ones. (Bonus: your pet will be much safer indoors anyway.)
Exotic pets are becoming more and more popular these days. It’s not hard to see why: many of them are very cute and fascinating. Many people also find it quite appealing to have an unusual pet. Just be responsible when adopting. Don’t adopt any animal without doing lots of research to make sure you understand its care needs. Also, take care to only buy from reputable stores or breeders. Unfortunately, there are still black market sellers out there, who offer animals that were captured from the wild.
There are also some things you can do on your own property to help wildlife. If you have a yard, allow native plants to grow back in part—or even all—of it. Plant some colorful, fragrant flowers, which will attract and sustain native bees. If you are in a colder climate, then when spring arrives, don’t mow until the dandelions have passed. These bright flowers, which are considered a nuisance by many, are actually crucial, as they are the first food for bees, birds, and butterflies.
Do you have mice, chipmunks, or other uninvited guests? Use humane, non-toxic products to get rid of any pests you have. Sadly, many larger wild birds, such as owls, hawks, and falcons, are poisoned each year by hunting vermin that ingested toxic rodenticides.
Another thing you can do is just be more mindful of wildlife as you are shopping. Choose products that use sustainable resources. This is a small thing, but it can make a difference. When many people start making these small choices, small steps like these can really add up!
To learn more about World Wildlife Day, and how to help wild animals, click here .
As your local veterinary clinic, we’re here to help. Call us anytime!