Naturalist Corner: Hayley and Wisconsin Wildlife

From Summer Naturalist Hayley Trzinski: The Wonders of Wildlife (Can you tell she’s an animal lover?):

There are many different species of animals living around and on Upham Woods property year round, although we may not always be aware of them. During the warmer months of the year though, human-wildlife interactions increase. This is a great time to get into nature and enjoy watching wildlife.

It is always exciting to see a new animal in nature acting in different behaviors. This is why it is important to let wildlife be wild and to not interfere with them by touching or feeding them. Doing so may cause them to not get enough nutrition, stress, and a change in natural behaviors.  Scientific exploration and observation from a safe distance is a great way to learn without affecting wildlife.

Another concern for people during the warmer months of the year is baby season. This is the time when baby animals are being born and cared for by their parents. Again, baby animals are always cute and it might be tempting to interact with them, but it is in their best interest to let them be. A good thing to remember is that even if a baby animals is alone, they are most likely not orphaned. Parents of the young animal are probably out getting food for themselves or their young.

If you do suspect that an animal is in need of help, you can contact a licensed wildlife rehabilitator. Signs to look for in an animal that could need help include, the animal’s parent is dead or no longer in the area, the animal has been attacked by a predator, the animal is bleeding and appears injured, weak, has diarrhea, or there are flies, fly eggs, maggots or many ticks, lice or fleas on the animal, or the animal is in a dangerous location. Now that you know more about the wonders of wildlife, as the weather continues to stay nice, and even into the winter months, feel free to explore nature and do some wildlife observation. This is a great way to learn and have an enjoyable experience at the same time.

Link to “Keeping Wildlife Wild” article from the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources website.


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