Not feeding native animals is important in keeping our wildlife wild. Learn why.
As Good Living readers, we love our native wildlife and want to help them. You may think that you’re doing this by feeding them, when in fact it can actually upset the balance of nature.
Despite your good intentions, throwing a few hot chips to the seagulls or leaving water out for your neighbourhood natives can actually cause more harm than good.
Feeding animals in the wild can cause problems ranging from poor nutrition to aggressive behaviour, or even physical injury to the animal.
Some birds and animals, including seagulls at the beach, and kangaroos and emus at campgrounds, associate humans with food and will approach us to beg.
Reinforcing this behaviour by providing food can expose animals to risks including disease, or after a while they may forget how to find their own food.
Want to learn more? Hear from Ranger Steph about how we can all play our part in keeping our wildlife wild.
What can you do:
Rather than sharing your lunch, here’s some great ways you can interact with SA’s unique wildlife:
- Visit Cleland Wildlife Park and feed the hand-raised animals with food that’s good for them. You can get close to kangaroos, wallabies and potoroos.
- Encourage native wildlife into your garden by providing and maintaining areas of suitable natural habitat, such as planting native shrubs or providing nest boxes. Ask your local nursery for tips on what local plant species would be suitable for your backyard!
- Appreciate wild animals while visiting your local national parks (remember to keep a safe distance).
- Consider becoming a volunteer where you can experience native wildlife in a natural environment and help preserve their habitat for the future.
- Grab your binoculars and bird book and visit the Adelaide International Bird Sanctuary.
For more tips on how to keep our wildlife wild, visit Living with Wildlife.
Love native animals? Be sure to have your say on animal welfare in South Australia and discover 5 things you didn’t know about sea lions and their pups.