Tips on Helping Wildlife
NASHVILLE --- Have you ever asked yourself, “What can I do to help wildlife in Tennessee?” The Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency has a few helpful suggestions.
1. Buy a fishing or hunting license (even if you don’t fish or hunt) – License dollars are the main source of revenue for the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency that conserves and manages more than 1,400 species of wildlife in Tennessee. Especially for those who don’t hunt or fish, there is now a “Friend of Wildlife” license package available at GoOutdoorsTennessee.com that is a good investment in wildlife conservation. Your purchase will help continue wildlife conservation and development of recreational opportunities for future generations.
2. Let wildlife stay wild – Some animals might seem like they need help, but they don’t need rescuing. Babies of some species are left alone all day and rely on camouflage for protection. If you do happen upon a truly injured animal, there is a list of wildlife rehabilitators at TNwildlife.org.
3. Avoid feeding wildlife - Feeding wildlife can lead to serious problems. Human food is not healthy for wild animals and they do not need it to survive. Wild animals have specialized diets and can become malnourished or die if fed the wrong foods. Also, animals cannot distinguish food from wrappers or foil and can get sick eating these items.
4. Don’t litter - Most people know litter is bad for the planet, but also bad for unsuspecting wildlife. Everyday items such as drink cans and plastic bottles can be deadly for animals, even dogs and cats. Animals of all kinds often mistake trash for food or shelter. Harm to animals can be avoided if litter is disposed properly.
5. Turn your yard into good habitat - Creating habitat in your home’s yard is beneficial to wildlife. Habitat is a combination of food, water, shelter, and space arranged to meet the needs of wildlife. Even a small yard can be landscaped to attract birds, butterflies, beneficial insects, and small animals. Trees, shrubs, and other plants provide shelter and food for wildlife.
6. Appreciate the biodiversity of Tennessee! – We are blessed in Tennessee with lots of wildlife to see. From more than 300 bird species to the 320 different types of fish, we are the salamander capital of the world (56 different kinds), and 22 different frogs and toads. Get outside and look and listen for all of these Tennessee residents.
The TWRA is a diverse operation. From hunting, fishing, and boating, to protecting non-game species and creating watchable wildlife opportunities, the TWRA serves the citizens of Tennessee. Our website (www.tnwildlife.org) is a great reference point for more in-depth information on what people can do to benefit our wildlife resources.