Wildlife face increasing pressures to find suitable habitat and food sources near human development. There is increased pressures from flooding, erosion, and pollution along shorelines. Wildlife need safe and natural areas to raise their young to ensure their populations stay healthy. Here are five ways you can help local wildlife on your shoreline property.
GENERAL DISCLAIMER: The need for permits for work in or near water, and the governing body responsible for those permits, varies from region to region. Be sure to check with your local municipality, conservation authority (if applicable), appropriate provincial ministry and/or appropriate federal department for the permits to do work in or around water.
Bird species are visually striking wildlife that many landowners love to attract to their property. These animals are ecologically important because of their role in controlling pests and insects, spreading seeds, and pollinating. By installing a bird house, you can create habitat for local birds as a safe shelter to raise their young.
Turtle Nest Protection Cage
Turtles species across Canada are at risk due to habitat loss, road mortality, and low survivability of eggs. Turtles are important for their role in maintaining wetlands, cleaning freshwater habitat, and spreading seeds. To help create habitat for these populations, you can plant native vegetation, leave aquatic logs, and allow natural upland areas with sand or gravel that may be suitable nesting habitat. If you see that turtles have laid eggs on your property, place a turtle egg protection cage around the area to prevent other animals like raccoons or foxes from eating them before they hatch. If your cage does not have openings, make sure you remove the cage before the eggs hatch so that the babies can make it to the water.
Bat species have important ecological services and are fairly easy for landowners to create habitat for. These mammals are great for reducing pests since they consume their own body weight in insects every night. The more bats you have on your property, the fewer mosquitos you’ll have! Unfortunately, bat populations are declining as a result of habitat loss and because bat species often only produce one offspring a year, their populations are more vulnerable. Installing a bat box will provide a safe shelter for females to raise their young and help local bat populations recover.
Duck Nest Box
Many duck species like Wood Ducks, Mergansers, and Buffleheads are cavity nesters. This means they use dead standing trees and cavity trees to build shelter for their babies. However, due to habitat loss and removal of dead standing trees on shorelines, there is a loss of secure protected areas for these waterfowl to raise their young. By leaving dead standing trees on your shoreline, you provide this critical habitat (only do this if it safe to do so on your property). Another option is building and installing a duck nest box which looks to help replace natural cavity trees by providing a secure place for duck species to lay their eggs.
To purchase a bird house or bat box from Watersheds Canada, please visit our online store.