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Conservation is the preservation and protection of indigenous plants and animals and their habitats.  With the human population continuing to grow, our daily activities increasingly encroach on our native wildlife. It is important to recognize how species are affected by human influences.  With some helpful tips, information and easy changes in behavior, we can create positive experiences with local wildlife and ensure that future generations may enjoy our natural world and all of its wonders.

We can coexist.

Keep Wild Animals Wild

One way you can help reduce wildlife conflicts with people is by not feeding wildlife.  Wildlife Services experts are often asked to assist with wildlife damage problems related to animals that have been accidentally or intentionally fed by people. Feeding wildlife can lead to serious problems including:

  • Human food is not healthy for wild animals, and they do not need food from humans to survive. Wild animals have specialized diets, and they can become malnourished or die if fed the wrong foods. Also, animals cannot distinguish food from wrappers or foil and suffer ill effects if they ingest these items.

  • Feeding leads to public health concerns. Too many animals in one place increases the chance of disease transmission to people, pets and other wildlife.

  • Leaving food for one type of wildlife (birdseed for example) may inadvertently attract others that may be considered nuisance (rodents). 

  • Attracting wildlife also encourages their predators which may be undesirable (snakes). 

  • Animals accustomed to people often lose their fear of people and can become aggressive. Those that become too aggressive may have to be destroyed to protect people and property. 

  • Birds gathering near or on airports can become victims of bird-aircraft collisions, potentially causing flight delays, damage to aircraft, and loss of human life. 

  • Animals fed along roads tend to stay near roads, increasing the chance of vehicle-animal accidents.

  • Large concentrations of ducks and geese can pollute nearby waterways, backyards and athletic fields. Some waterfowl species drop up to a pound of feces every day!

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