3 Reasons You Shouldn’t Feed Wildlife
You love animals! We get it. But despite the best of intentions, you’re actually doing more harm than good when you feed wildlife. Here’s why:
People food isn’t good for them
Animals have evolved to get the right mix of vitamins, minerals and proteins from their natural diet. Human food doesn't offer the right nutrition. And just like with humans, a poor diet can lead to health problems.
Feeding them makes them lose their natural fear of humans
When animals lose their fear of humans, they can become aggressive or a nuisance, leading to human and wildlife conflicts. And when there’s conflict, it’s usually the animal that pays the price.
Feeding contributes to the spread of disease
Either the food itself or the way they eat (for example, animals feeding in dense groups, in way that wouldn’t
naturally occur) allows parasites and other disease to take hold and spread. And yes, this can even apply to birdfeeders!
Want to help? Native plants are the answer
The best way to feed wildlife is by having native plants on the landscape, in natural areas and in yards and gardens too. Wild berries, nuts and seeds are what local wildlife needs.
And did you know we fund projects that enhance wildlife habitat through native plants!
No space, no problem! There are more ways to help:
- Support the Lake Simcoe Conservation Foundation. Plants trees and shrubs, improve fish habitat, reduce invasive species ... the Foundation does all this and more!
- Volunteer for or donate to a local wildlife rescue like Procyon Wildlife in Beeton or Shades of Hope in Pefferlaw.
- Keep your cats inside. Outdoor cats are a threat to wildlife and it’s not safe outside for them either. Cats can become the prey of foxes, coyotes and raptors. It’s best to keep kitty indoors. It’s also the law in most municipalities.
- Keep your dog on-leash. This is a long-standing rule at Conservation Areas, intended to keep your pet and the surrounding wildlife safe.
- If you have a birdfeeder, clean it regularly. Birdfeeders can develop mold and bacteria that can cause disease in birds.