Wednesday, October 5, 2016

When nature meets the city; living with wildlife

As Calgarians, we are urban dwellers - living in one of Canada’s largest cities. We are community focussed and we believe in preserving the environment, leaving a legacy of sustainability for future generations. Our communities and neighbourhoods are important to us, and we are constantly improving these special places where we live, work and play. Our communities are also home to a rich variety of wildlife that also lives here.

The abundance of wildlife and habitat in Calgary makes our city uniquely both urban and natural. Visiting our natural area parks such as Weaselhead Flats, Inglewood Bird Sanctuary and Griffith Woods is a great place to watch wildlife.

We are fortunate to live in a city full of wildlife, however there can be conflict at times. But always there is a desire to foster and live in a healthy, sustainable environment. To support this, The City of Calgary signed the Durban Commitment, becoming the third Canadian city to formally join an international program aimed at improving and supporting biodiversity in our city.

This is the first in a three part series about Calgary’s biodiversity.

Pests or wildlife?

Today’s focus is about those critters such as rabbits, skunks, magpies and mice, that can take up residence in our yards, under our decks and sometimes even inside our homes.

These creatures are constantly searching for resources that provide food and habitat, and sometimes they find what they need in our yards! Desirable elements that provide food and shelter can increase the risk of wildlife becoming a nuisance. Following some basic guidelines will help ensure that wildlife remain in the wild, not in our back yards.

How can we ensure wildlife do not become pests?

  • Do not provide a food source. Food left in yards for pets or birds can attract nearby wildlife. Keep the area under your bird feeder clean and tidy. 
  • Overflowing or easily accessible garbage can attract wildlife. Keep garbage in tightly closed and secured waste disposal bins.
  • Keep landscaping tidy. Overgrown grass can provide habitat for wildlife. 

There are numerous organizations involved with fostering a healthy co-existence between Calgarians and wildlife in the city. Contact the appropriate organization to assist with any wildlife concerns.

Want more info?

More tips on how to prevent wildlife from becoming pests will be posted on The City of Calgary’s facebook page throughout October. Stay tuned!

Submitted by Corinna Baxter, Calgary Parks

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