National Wildlife Day is March 3rd. While our work usually focuses on pets, it is important to recognize the connection between our animal companions and their wild counterparts. With so many species in decline, it’s important to help wildlife and ecosystems whenever we can. A veterinarian lists some simple ways you can do that below.
Did you know that kitties hunt billions of small animals each year? Fluffy may look adorably proud of herself when she drops a dead mouse at your feet, but your pint-sized lion is actually playing a pretty big role in decimating fragile wildlife populations. Keep your cat safe and sound inside, and let her hunt catnip mice instead of real ones.
Exotic cats are becoming more and more popular. It’s not hard to see why: many of them are very cute and fascinating. It can also be quite appealing to have an unusual pet. Just be responsible when adopting. Don’t adopt an animal without doing lots of research to make sure you fully understand its care needs. Also, only buy from reputable stores or breeders. Unfortunately, there are still black some market sellers out there offering animals that were captured from the wild.
There are also things you can do on your own property to help local wildlife. If you have a yard, consider allowing native plants to grow back in part—or even all—of it. Plant colorful, fragrant flowers to attract and sustain native bees. If you are in a colder climate, then, when spring arrives, don’t mow your lawn until the dandelions have passed. These bright flowers, considered a nuisance by many, are actually crucial to wildlife! They are the first food for bees, birds, and butterflies after winter.
Another thing that will help is to use humane, non-toxic products to get rid of any pests you have. Sadly, many larger wild birds, such as owls, eagles, 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 and conservation when you are shopping. Choose products that use sustainable resources. This may be a small gesture, but it still counts. 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!