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Spring Wildlife Tips

From the Ottawa-Carleton Wildlife Centre


"My husband was up on the ladder blocking off a hole in our soffit that we had noticed a squirrel coming from when I read your advice about wildlife and the birthing season and visited the website Ė thank goodness we were warned just in time".

The advice on this website saves thousands of Ottawa residents money, frustration and heartache each year.

  • The birthing season for wildlife is at its peak between April and July. Females seek out covered shelter in attics, chimneys and under steps as a safe spot to have their young, away from predators, when their newborn babies are most vulnerable.
  • Remember, it is a TEMPORARY situation. The safest and most humane option is to give a brief grace period until the babies are weaned and coming out to forage with mother, when they can all move to a natural area, before undertaking your animal-proofing.
  • Orphans are created when people trap and relocate a nursing mother, block her access to an attic or soffit or remove her babies in the hope that she will take them some place else.
  • Think twice about using a wildlife removal company or relocating an animal yourself. It is illegal, under the Ontario Fish and Wildlife Conservation Act, to relocate any wild animal beyond one kilometer of the point of capture.
  • Besides, with mother gone, abandoned hungry babies in an attic are often in inaccessible areas and can fall between walls requiring expensive drywall removal or, if they are under steps, die and create bad and long-lasting smells.
  • Even those companies that say they offer a humane service can give you no guarantee they wonít end up creating orphans and, with little help available for wildlife, it is wise not to take the risk.
  • Research all your options before taking action. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure so check out www.wildlifeinfo.ca for free, objective advice.

In Your Garden:

  • Before taking down a tree or removing branches, check to make sure there arenít leaf nests or cavities that would be home to babies that would be too young to escape.
  • If you find a nest of baby squirrels or raccoons when cleaning out a shed or garage, put it back intact exactly as youíve found it and give the mother a few days to relocate her young. A nest of baby rabbits in your garden should also be left alone as the mother only returns during the night or at dusk to feed her young.
  • If your barbecue hasnít been used for awhile, check it out thoroughly before lighting as red squirrels and mice will sometimes have a nest of babies under the grill.
  • Fresh new shoots on ornamental shrubs attract groundhogs and rabbits when their natural vegetation is still not plentiful. Use plastic garden mesh to protect plants and discourage wildlife from the habit of coming to your garden. There are also a number of taste and smell deterrents noted on the website to help you keep wildlife away from flower and vegetable gardens.

Visit www.wildlifeinfo.ca for all your wildlife problems.

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