THE BENEFITS OF NATIVE WILDLIFE

DID YOU KNOW?

Some interesting facts about our wildife:
  • Squirrels are credited with planting more trees than the human race!
  • The gray bat population in Missouri eats 440 tons of insects a year
  • Woodchucks move large quantities of soil and contribute to the aeration and mixing of soil
  • Coyotes and Foxes are beneficial in rodent control, help to clean up the woods and fields and are important to ecosystems
  • Skunks are beneficial to farmers, gardeners and landowners because they feed on a large number of agricultural and garden pests
  • Raccoons eat berries and nuts and help to spread the seeds of valuable plants
  • Flying squirrels feed upon the buds of trees which helps to stimulate tree growth
  • Opossums keep our neighborhoods free of harmful garden pests and rodents
There are important emotional, economic and social reasons why humans need to experience wildlife and nature. We all need to kick back and breathe a little fresh air. Sometimes simply setting up a backyard bird feeder or taking a walk in the park is enough; at other times we seek more active pastimes such as canoeing, hiking, or wildlife photography.

The health of wildlife is an excellent indication of the health of the environment on which we depend, and healthy wildlife populations and habitat are important to our social and economic well-being.

U.S. Fish and Wildlife estimates that wildlife viewing and wildlife associated recreation will generate nearly 2 billion dollars in the year 2010. Approximately 108 million people, over the age of 16, take part in wildlife related recreation each year.

Remaining in the shadows of human existence has become more challenging for animals as an increasing number of developments have resulted in the destruction of much of their natural habitat. Consequently, human encounters with wildlife have become more frequent.

The challenge for humans is to balance necessary progress and growth with the need to preserve our natural world and its inhabitants so all will flourish.

WAYS YOU CAN PREVENT HARM TO WILDLIFE

You can help avoid harming wildlife by:
  • Raising your cats as indoor pets
  • Educating children to respect all wild creatures
  • Picking up litter that could harm wildlife
  • Alerting birds to large glass windows by hanging streamers on windows
  • Not assuming baby animals are orphaned - their best chance of survival is with their mothers
  • Not leaving fishing hooks or line unattended
  • Placing caps over all chimneys and vents
  • Being alert when driving
  • Looking for animals before mowing your lawn or cutting down trees