March 3rd is National Wildlife Day! While we of course usually focus on pets, it’s important to recognize the connection between our animal companions and their wild counterparts. With so many species in serious decline, it’s important to help wildlife and ecosystems when we can. A veterinarian lists a few simple ways that you can do that below.
Did you know that kitties 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 kitty indoors, and let her hunt catnip mice instead of real ones. (Bonus: kitties are safer indoors anyway.)
Exotic pets are becoming more and more popular. It’s not hard to see why: they are very pretty and fascinating. Many people also find it appealing to have an unusual pet. Just be responsible about adopting. Never get an animal without doing lots of research to make sure you understand its care needs. Also, only buy animals from reputable stores or breeders. Unfortunately, there are still black market sellers out there who sell animals that were captured from the wild.
Do you have a yard? Allow native plants to grow back in part—or even all—of it. Plant colorful, fragrant flowers, which will attract and sustain native bees. If you live in a colder climate, when spring arrives, don’t mow until the dandelions have passed. These bright flowers, which are still considered a nuisance by many, are actually crucial, as they are the first food for bees, birds, and butterflies in spring.
Always use humane, non-toxic products to get rid of any pests you have. Sadly, many larger wild birds, such as eagles, 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 conservation when you are shopping. Choose products that use sustainable resources. This seems like a small thing, but it matters. 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!