Nov 6

Challenging Wildlife

The increase in calls requesting help with wildlife challenges in the Red Deer area prompted us to hire a Community Wildlife Liaison, Gwenevere Marshall, two years ago.

No other organizations in Red Deer were responding to calls about skunks under the porch, bats in the roof, or squirrels in the shed. In her first year, Gwen removed 200 skunks from Red Deer. We have come to believe that relocation is not the answer to the problem, so we’ve tried a different approach this year, being more proactive and less reactive.

The root cause of skunks taking up residence is most often easy access denning areas and a plentiful food source. Pet food, open compost, low lying feeders, tons of apples on the ground, and bagged garbage provides these omnivores everything they need to survive. In fact, these conditions encourage the skunks to have larger litters as well. Wildlife will have lots of young when times are good to ensure the survival of their species.

Researching life in other communities around Central Alberta we see some that have excellent recycling options, wildlife proof garbage, recycle and compost bins, and those in turn have little or no skunk problems. A large part of our efforts revolve around providing education that will allow the public to understand and coexist with our wild neighbours. This means creating safe, wildlife friendly yards that will benefit all of us. Please feel free to contact us to learn how to make your yard a pleasant place to live.

A partnership with Red Deer City has resulted in a good working relationship, plans to lessen wildlife conflicts, and improve the life of Red Deer City residents along with Red Deer’s wildlife. We are grateful that Red Deer City has chosen to support our services with the annual payment of $25,000.

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