Our wild neighbours have the same basic needs as we do: food, water and shelter. Sometimes, this can lead to conflicts. Farmers can't afford to lose their crops and livestock to predation, so they invest in preventive measures such as fencing, noisemakers, watchdogs or other guardian animals. Homeowners also need to consider how they can prevent wild animals from moving into their walls or attics, or rummaging through their compost bins, by animal-proofing their homes.
Try to look around your house and yard, and see things from the animals' point of view. If you were looking for food, water and shelter, where would you find it? Then think about it from your own point of view: do you want wildlife finding what they need in those locations? Once we understand what attracts animals to a particular location, we can take steps to control it if necessary.
Of course, if you want to encourage wildlife to share your yard, you can also take steps to make it more attractive and welcoming! Refer to the Fletcher Wildlife Garden for more information.
Parents should make sure that their children understand that wild animals are not pets. Teach them to enjoy and appreciate wildlife from a respectful distance. This is safest for everyone involved, including the animals. Encourage your children to tell you when they see wildlife in your yard or neighbourhood, since they may notice things that you miss!