The Department for Environment and Water (DEW) is advising people not to feed native wildlife and has produced a new video with useful tips explaining how people can help keep our wildlife wild.
At this time of the year, when there has been little rain and plenty of hot weather, we may start to worry about the availability of natural food and water resources for our wild animal and birdlife.
DEW Wildlife Management Principal Ecologist Karl Hillyard said it was tempting to want to feed wild animals and birds either in our own backyards or in public parks and reserves.
“What we see as an act of kindness can be harmful as native animals have specialised diets,” Dr Hillyard said.
“Food given by people does not always provide appropriate nutrition and can cause serious health problems or even death. Also, birds and animals fed by people may lose their ability to forage for natural food sources.
“Providing a regular artificial food source can lead to too many native animals living and breeding in an area, putting extra pressure on natural food sources.
“An unnatural concentration of animals can also provide a focal point for outbreaks of transmissible diseases that can cause suffering or be fatal to animals”.
DEW Wildlife Programs Officer Steph Cole urged people not to upset the balance of nature by feeding our native birds and animals.
“Rather than offering artificial food sources to our native birds, grow local native plants on your property to provide native birds and animals with a safe habitat and healthy food,” Ms Cole said.
“Consider getting involved with a local Friends of Parks group or a similar environmental group to help conserve wildlife habitat. Remember to appreciate wild animals from a safe distance when visiting your local national parks.
“With the fantastic diversity of wildlife we are lucky enough to experience here in South Australia, it is important that we all play our part in keeping our wildlife wild.”