Florida's wildlife and human population are encountering each other more often than ever before. As humans develop more open space and wildlife habitat is reduced and fragmented, encounters between humans and wildlife become more common. For most people, observing wildlife is a thrilling experience, but when an animal causes damage or attempts to share your living space, that thrill can turn to irritation or fear.
Just like us, birds and other animals are doing their best to make a living and raise their young. Developing an appreciation and understanding of your wild neighbors can help you learn to accept them and live in harmony with them without resorting to extreme measures. Tips for keeping the awe in your wildlife experience.
- Feeding wildlife accustoms them to humans and is a certain death sentence for bears, alligators and other species.
- Making simple accommodations will often solve the problem of marauding raccoons and other critters. Remove the free meal attractant by feeding pets indoors, installing baffles on bird feeder poles and fastening trash cans lids with rubber straps.
- Additional modifications, like constructing a bear-resistant garbage can caddy and securing compost piles, gardens and beehives behind bear-resistant electric fencing, will discourage black bears.
- Bringing pets inside at night will keep them safe from hungry predators.
- Cover possible entryways with hardware cloth to exclude squirrels, bats and other animals scouting out your home for a safe place to raise young.
Although relocation is sometimes necessary, trapping and relocating wildlife is a last resort and only warranted if all other measures have failed and an animal becomes a threat. Removing one animal may only serve to open up territory for others to move in. Rather than getting your feathers ruffled, make simple accommodations to avoid wildlife conflicts then relax and enjoy the wonders of wildlife in your own backyard.