Summer is upon us in Southeast Texas and this is the time of year when animals of all kinds are most active. Animals are mating, giving birth to and raising young, searching for food, and generally in greater numbers, so we are more likely to cross paths. This can be a busy and dangerous time for wildlife, especially young ones that are not quite as familiar with the dangers of the urban environment.
Here are some things you can do to help protect wildlife in your area:
- Don’t feed wildlife, especially not junk food! Animals are very capable of finding their own food. Animals that are fed junk food can be unhealthy and obese, and they will start to lose their fear of humans, which puts them, and us, in danger. Many people are tempted to feed wild birds, especially ducks. If you feel so inclined, please feed them healthy food, and not bread. Here is a list of foods that are good for ducks: What to Feed Ducks – Best Duck Food (thespruce.com)
- Don’t litter – Trash is bad for wildlife. They can ingest it, become entangled in it, or it can attract them to a dangerous location, like the road or a parking lot. Throw your trash away into a secure container.
- Make your windows bird safe – Many birds die from flying into windows. There are several things you can do to make windows safe for birds. Here are some ideas! Why Birds Hit Windows—and How You Can Help Prevent It | All About Birds All About Birds
- Pay close attention while driving – Sometimes animals have to cross the road, or they are young and not aware of how dangerous it is. Even though an accident can’t always be avoided, make it a habit to keep an eye on the road in front of you, so you can react if you see an animal in your path.
- Enjoy wildlife from a distance – It’s natural for us to want to be close to animals, but this can disrupt their natural behaviors. Disruptions can cause stress, and prevents animals from doing what they need to do. Viewing wildlife can be a wonderful hobby, but try to do it without interrupting feeding, mating, sleeping, or whatever they may be doing. Would you want someone to come into your home while you’re eating and try to pet you or get a selfie with you? I don’t think so! Invest in a good pair of binoculars and enjoy watching animals from a safe distance.
These simple practices can help you and wild animals have a fun and safe summer. These things are also great to teach children, so they can learn to enjoy and respect wildlife.
Want more wildlife? Take a look at these resources and get involved! Houston Urban Wildlife Project