Over the last 5 decades, we have lost 58% of the earths wild vertebrates; mammals, birds, amphibians, reptiles and fish. In 2012 ‘World Wildlife Conservation Day’ was founded to raise awareness and engage conversations about species that are endangered or under threat of extinction because of poaching, trafficking and other environmental factors.
If you’re passionate about wildlife and conservation like us, we can all help our local native wildlife here in the Kawarthas, by preserving and providing natural wild habitat. Several cavity nesting birds have seen their numbers decrease in recent years, with habitat loss being a contributing factor. As trees are cleared to make way for development, so too are potential nest sites for these and other species of mammals and amphibians that rely on them. In many city parks and neighbourhoods, dead trees and limbs are removed due to safety concerns further reducing potential nest sites.
As many as 85 species of North American birds rely on dead trees, or ‘snags’, for shelter and food. Woodpeckers, chickadees, nuthatches and even some ducks, owls and raptors will either make their own cavities in dead and decaying trees, or utilize natural cavities or leftovers from a previous excavator. These birds often represent 30-45% of a forest bird community, and at least 38 of those species depend on snags and cavities for nesting in Ontario.
Without adequate cavities and snags, competition for nesting sites can push some species out. While a natural snag does more than just offer shelter, theres a whole world of microorganisms and food sources in there, we can offer more nesting sites for these vulnerable species by providing nest boxes!
Benefits of providing nest boxes
-Insectivorous birds play a major role in insect populations before they reach outbreak levels, influencing destructive infestations.
-Owls and raptors residing in your neighbourhood will help keep rodent populations in check, possibly reducing attractants for larger predators like foxes and coyotes.
-A small bat colony can eat thousands of mosquitoes per night.
For nest box plans based on the species you’d like to support, and more information, visit
For more information about snag trees, visit
For more information about World Wildlife Conservation day, visit
“Wildlife cannot be manufactured. And once it's gone, it cannot be replenished.”