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KWC Newsletter | March 2023

Updated: May 1, 2023

Spring Has Arrived!

American robin standing on a pale yellow cloth, inside a clinic
American Robin (Turdus migratorius)

Kawartha Wildlife Centre is gearing up for another busy spring season! After a record 702 patients last year (12% patient increase from 2021), we are doing everything we can to prepare our volunteers and facility to meet the ever-increasing need for services in our communities.

  • Be mindful of nesting wildlife: Spring is a time when many wildlife species are breeding and nesting, so it's important to be mindful of their presence and avoid disturbing them. This could include keeping your distance from nesting birds, avoiding tree trimming or removal during the breeding season, and stay on trails to prevent disturbing nesting wildlife.

  • Don't feed wildlife: Feeding wildlife can lead to habituation, where animals become dependent on human-provided food and lose their ability to forage for natural food sources. This can be harmful to both the wildlife and the ecosystem as a whole.

  • Keep your pets under control: Spring is a busy time for wildlife, and encounters between pets and wildlife can lead to injury or death for both animals. Keep your pets on a leash when outdoors, and supervise them closely to prevent them from chasing or attacking wildlife.

  • Leave Wildlife Alone: While it may be tempting to approach animals you come across, it's important to resist the urge. Many baby animals that appear to be abandoned are actually being cared for by their parents, and handling them can cause stress and harm. Learn more here

  • Prepare for an Emergency! You never know when you could come across wildlife in distress. Learn more here

  • Support wildlife conservation efforts: Spring is a great time to get involved with wildlife conservation efforts in your area, whether that means volunteering, supporting conservation organizations financially, or advocating for policies that protect wildlife and their habitats.

Kawartha Wildlife Centre encourages the public to enjoy the beauty of nature while respecting the needs and safety of local wildlife during the spring season!

 

Join the KWC Family!

2023 Memberships are now available! Be a voice for wildlife in critical need and help us #KeepKawarthaWild!


 

Watch out for Animals during Pruning Season!


Pruning trees in later winter, also known as late dormant pruning, is recommended for several reasons such as reducing disease transmission (as there are fewer insects and diseases to infect pruning wounds), minimizing stress (since wounds are able to heal before the tree starts putting energy into new growth), and it is simply easier to see the tree structure and identify any dead, diseased, or crossing branches that need to be removed.


Additionally, late winter pruning reduces the chance that you are interfering with a nesting or overwintering animal!


We know that many animals begin making nests in trees and cavities in springtime, meaning that pruning must occur before this time as it is illegal to interfere with nesting animals. We also need to consider that many overwintering animals use trees for shelter from inclement weather during the critical period from late November through to March, when temperatures are at their lowest. Keeping both of those factors in mind, we discourage fall-pruning as this increases the risk of displacing overwintering animals without giving enough time to find a new home prior to the onset of harsh weather and snow. Waiting until mid-March or late-winter, is the best possible time for animals, as it is prior to the nesting season and allows overwintering animals the best chance of surviving through to their next breeding season!


Prior to pruning, please look for clues if wildlife are actively using the tree. There are several clues to look for in a tree that may indicate that an animal is using it for a home:

  • Nest or den: Look for a nest or den-like structure in the tree's branches or trunk. These can be made of twigs, leaves, grass, or other natural materials and may be visible from the ground.

  • Holes or cavities: Look for holes or cavities in the tree's trunk or branches that may provide shelter for animals. These can be made by woodpeckers, squirrels, or other animals.

  • Trails or tracks: Look for trails or tracks leading up to or around the tree, which may indicate that an animal is using the tree as a route to and from its home.

  • Droppings or food debris: Look for droppings or food debris around the base of the tree or on nearby branches, which may indicate that an animal is using the tree as a feeding or resting spot.

  • Animal sightings: Keep an eye out for any animals that may be using the tree as a home, such as birds, squirrels, or bats.

It's important to remember that not all trees are suitable for animal homes, and some may be more attractive to certain types of animals than others. If you suspect that an animal is using a tree on your property as a home, it's best to leave it undisturbed and consult with an Authorized Wildlife Custodian or wildlife expert to determine the best course of action.


 

Patient Spotlight

One of our most recent patients, the American Robin is often thought of as the first sign of spring. Flocking frugivores like robins must be flexible, especially in the winter months; their diet and lifestyle demand they must be nomadic in order to find groves of fruits and berries that makes up to 90% of their fall and winter diet. It is not uncommon to see them throughout the winter, but they will flock to thawing grounds searching for those succulent earthworms and prime nesting territory. Collisions with windows or vehicles is the most common reason birds come to us, often causing broken bones, severe head trauma and eye injuries. You can help these birds at home, on the road, or at work and school; make windows bird safe and keep an eye out for wildlife on and beside the roads. Birds the have collided with windows, buildings or vehicles may not show obvious signs of injury and may even try to fly away. These birds have the best chance at successful recovery when they are brought in for treatment by and Authorized Wildlife Custodian as soon as possible, ideally within 6 hours. Please contact us as soon as possible if you have found an injured bird or wild animal.


 

Thank you to our community partners!


We are in need of a new or gently used electric dryer, (220V). Please contact us if you are able to donate an electric unit so we can arrange drop off or pickup if necessary.



There are many ways to support KWC, check out our Partnership Package!

KWC Partnership Package
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