Pennsylvania Game News - August 2020 - 60

Fitting In
Wildlife needs our indulgence right now.
The woods and fields are full of nature's latest additions and most are learning
how to live on their own and to fit in where they can. In this annual adjustment
period, they make mistakes crossing roads, unintentionally invading our living
quarters and outbuildings, even wandering up to us, curious of what we are.
Now is when your comprehension of nature can make a difference. It's when
you can help wildlife carry on, ensure its well-being. But it's also when you demonstrate there are times when you can and can't get involved.
These choices sometimes aren't easy ones, particularly when they involve cute
critters and concerned family members or friends. But it's when you learn about
who you are.
Your involvement is always by choice and chance: you see wildlife in trouble,
or about to get in trouble, and you react. For instance, you help a young rabbit or a
toad in a window-well, chase a sunning black snake off a quiet country road; evict
house sparrows using bluebird nestboxes; or watch for wildlife while operating a
lawn tractor or farm equipment.
All of those situations are fine times to help. It's when decisions center on young
wildlife that so many Pennsylvanians need guidance. That's when many make
critical mistakes; mistakes that have lasting consequences.
First and foremost, remember there are rules of engagement. The most important is never to risk personal harm to help wildlife. And recognize not every wild
animal in apparent trouble can be saved, or needs to be saved. Your knowledge of
nature - not feelings or peer pressure - should guide you.
Penn's Woods has plenty of wildlife guardians. They are game wardens, wildlife
biologists, veterinarians, rehabbers and citizen scientists who know what helps,
and what doesn't. So, if you're unsure of what to do - if anything - check with
someone who does.
Right now, a lot of Pennsylvanians are finding wildlife in trouble, because young
critters are everywhere and we're outdoors more. But all wild animals should be
left where they are. Scooping one up could convince a parent the youngster is a
goner. Then, it really is.
It might be the hardest thing to do: walk away. But nothing makes more of a difference to wildlife than allowing nature to be natural. It's the foundation of ecology.
So, practice prevention. Drive defensively. Keep birdfeeders away from windows. Stay away from young wildlife. And don't be afraid to let wildlife resolve
its problems. It's been doing that for centuries, mostly without our help.

Joe Kosack
60



Pennsylvania Game News - August 2020

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Pennsylvania Game News - August 2020

Contents
Pennsylvania Game News - August 2020 - Intro
Pennsylvania Game News - August 2020 - Cover1
Pennsylvania Game News - August 2020 - Cover2
Pennsylvania Game News - August 2020 - Contents
Pennsylvania Game News - August 2020 - 2
Pennsylvania Game News - August 2020 - 3
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Pennsylvania Game News - August 2020 - Cover3
Pennsylvania Game News - August 2020 - Cover4
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