11 ways you can help wildlife

  1. Prevent your pet cats and dogs from injuring wildlife. Don't allow them to run free on their own - raise your cats as indoor pets. Many injured animals are found each year with terrible wounds from dog and cat attacks. 
  2. Keep birds from flying into big windows, like patio doors or picture windows, by hanging streamers or putting bird silhouettes on the glass surface.
  3. Respect and care for all wild creatures. Don’t destroy nests, burrows and other wildlife homes.
  4. Pick up litter that could harm wildlife, including six-pack connectors, fishing line, kite string, and watch batteries (if consumed by waterfowl they can cause mercury poisoning).
  5. As a general rule, leave infant wildlife alone, since they are not always truly orphaned. A parent may be nearby or will return soon. Be sure they are in need of help before you remove them from the nest area. If you find young birds on the ground, make every effort to return them to their nest.
  6. Place caps over all chimneys and vents on your roof to prevent birds, ducks and raccoons from taking up residence and becoming a nuisance or getting trapped.
  7. Before mowing your lawn or rototilling your garden, walk through the area to make sure no rabbits or ground-nesting birds are there. Remember, it only takes a couple weeks for these babies to grow and leave the nest. Be tolerant and give them the time they need.
  8. Check trees to make sure there are no active nests or residents of cavities before cutting them down. Even better, avoid cutting down dead trees if they pose no safety hazard, since they provide homes for a wide variety of wildlife.  Trim trees and bushes in fall, not spring, after the baby bird season.
  9. Use non-toxic products on your lawn and garden.  Don’t use rat or mouse poisons, as some wild animals will eat the sick rodents and become poisoned too.
  10. Do not attempt to raise or keep wildlife yourself. It is illegal and captivity poses a constant stress to them. Young wild animals raised without contact with their own species fail to develop survival skills and fear of humans, and eliminate their long-term chances of survival in the wild.
  11. If you find a truly injured or orphaned wild animal, call the Santa Barbara Wildlife Care Network for assistance at 805-681-1080.  If you’re not sure if the animal really needs help, call the Wildlife Network anyway, as they will be able to help you figure it out.  Thanks for caring about wildlife.

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