Let’s keep the ‘wild’ in wildlife

Let’s keep the ‘wild’ in wildlife

As Good Liv­ing read­ers, we love our native wildlife and want to help them. You may think that you’re doing this by feed­ing them, when in fact it can actu­al­ly upset the bal­ance of nature.

Despite your good inten­tions, throw­ing a few hot chips to the seag­ulls or leav­ing water out for your neigh­bour­hood natives can actu­al­ly cause more harm than good.

Feed­ing ani­mals in the wild can cause prob­lems rang­ing from poor nutri­tion to aggres­sive behav­iour, or even phys­i­cal injury to the animal.

Some birds and ani­mals, includ­ing seag­ulls at the beach, and kan­ga­roos and emus at camp­grounds, asso­ciate humans with food and will approach us to beg.

Rein­forc­ing this behav­iour by pro­vid­ing food can expose ani­mals to risks includ­ing dis­ease, or after a while they may for­get how to find their own food.

Want to learn more? Hear from Ranger Steph about how we can all play our part in keep­ing our wildlife wild.

What can you do:

Rather than shar­ing your lunch, here’s some great ways you can inter­act with SA’s unique wildlife:

  • Vis­it Cle­land Wildlife Park and feed the hand-raised ani­mals with food that’s good for them. You can get close to kan­ga­roos, wal­la­bies and potoroos.
  • Encour­age native wildlife into your gar­den by pro­vid­ing and main­tain­ing areas of suit­able nat­ur­al habi­tat, such as plant­i­ng native shrubs or pro­vid­ing nest box­es. Ask your local nurs­ery for tips on what local plant species would be suit­able for your backyard!
  • Appre­ci­ate wild ani­mals while vis­it­ing your local nation­al parks (remem­ber to keep a safe distance).
  • Con­sid­er becom­ing a vol­un­teer where you can expe­ri­ence native wildlife in a nat­ur­al envi­ron­ment and help pre­serve their habi­tat for the future.
  • Grab your binoc­u­lars and bird book and vis­it the Ade­laide Inter­na­tion­al Bird Sanc­tu­ary.

For more tips on how to keep our wildlife wild, vis­it Liv­ing with Wildlife.

Love native ani­mals? Be sure to have your say on ani­mal wel­fare in South Aus­tralia and dis­cov­er 5 things you didn’t know about sea lions and their pups.

This con­tent was pro­duced in part­ner­ship with  Good Living