Safe Passage for Wildlife on the Move
In wildlife rehabilitation, the goal is always to return a healthy animal to its natural habitat. Each species has very specific requirements for survival, and its natural habitat is one that offers the food, water, shelter and landscape it needs.
Sometimes, through human efforts to change our own environment, these wildlife habitats begin to shrink. New highways and expanding suburbs can whittle an animal’s happy home down to a “habitat island” that no longer offers enough resources to go around.
When this happens, the only option for the animal is to move. But now their island poses a double threat: With dwindling space and resources, it may also be surrounded by new dangers—speeding vehicles, intolerant humans, even tall buildings that birds can’t easily distinguish from the open skies.
Aside from curbing the activity that creates this problem, humans have a good way to help solve it. Creating wildlife corridors gives animals a less dangerous way to move from one safe place to another. Whether it’s an underpass for amphibians or a rest stop for migratory birds, these man-made pathways can reduce a great deal of danger between an animal and its new home.
What You Can Do!
1. Think of the habitats around you that might be dwindling, how that has affected the wildlife, and how you can be a better neighbor to them. If you spot a baby deer in your yard, give it some space. If a turtle is slowly crossing your road, see if you can safely stop to help it along.
2. Make your own little wildlife corridor. Even if your only outdoor space is a balcony, you can make it a certified wildlife habitat where birds and other wildlife can safely rest on their journey.
Check out the The Wildlife Center of Virginia to learn more about the wild animals around you, and how you can help keep them safe.