During warm weather, it’s always fun to get together with family and friends and enjoy the great outdoors. No matter where you live, there are bound to be some beautiful picnicking spots nearby where you can enjoy nature in all its glory.
However, it’s very important that we as visitors respect the permanent residents of these areas. Just as we respect the property of our family and friends when visiting their homes, it is equally important to respect local wildlife when we are guests in their natural environment.
While it’s exciting to see animals in their natural habitat, it’s important that we don’t intrude on their space. Moving slowly and quietly will increase your chance of seeing wildlife, while being loud and obnoxious will scare them off. Don’t approach or harass wildlife, and teach children to be calm by explaining to them that they should never scream or chase animals.
If there are baby animals, then a protective parent cannot be far away and unwanted attention to their babies may cause them to become aggressive. So always leave birds and animals, regardless of their cuteness, where you find them. If you see an animal who appears to be injured or a young animal who may have been abandoned, call an animal rescue organization for advice. They may ask you to keep the animal in sight or contain him or her until they can get there, but please don’t touch the animal, as it may cause the parents to reject the baby.
To avoid danger, be alert and recognize wildlife alarm signals and behavior changes if you get too close. Stay on trails or roads to minimize your impact on the environment, and when hiking, stick to marked trails so that you don’t surprise animals (and so that they don’t surprise you!). Using binoculars is a great and safe way to view wildlife up close without harassing them or causing any distress.
It’s also important to resist giving wildlife food. It is never a good idea to feed wildlife, as it encourages them to approach humans who may be less kind to them, and many human foods can also be very harmful to animals in the wild. It is also a good idea not to picnic too close or block the access path to the local water source, as this may prevent wildlife from drinking.
On leaving, make sure you leave all plants, trees, and other natural elements as they were before your arrival. It is also extremely important to dispose of all your garbage properly. By leaving the picnic spot as beautiful as you found it, you are helping the local wildlife and keeping the environment green and clean.
By following these practical tips, you can ensure that the nature spot will stay lovely for wildlife, while making it a picturesque place to picnic for many years to come!
Posted by Samantha Pulsford