10 Things You Can Do to Give Wildlife a Break
Want a reminder of the "10 Things You Can Do to Give Wildlife a Break" in your classroom, office, or home? Download & print a copy in English and Spanish!
Keep scrolling to learn what you can do to give wildlife a break. Each action comes with helpful resources from our partners!
We teamed up with the San Diego Foundation and their “Get Outside San Diego” website to feature the 10 Things You Can Do to Help Wildlife challenge!
wildlife a break!
Climate change is going to make it harder on wildlife to find food, shelter, and raise their young.
You can help take the pressure off wildlife with these 10 things you can do.
stay on trails
Trails are designed to give you the best view of local wildlife while avoiding damage to their habitat. If you encounter wildlife, admire them from a distance.
It’s important for you to stay on trails for safety reasons and prevents harm to sensitive species.
Plan ahead and check online for trail guides. You can also locate a visitor center to pick up a printed copy of trail maps. Staff and rangers are always happy to answer any questions you have about trail safety, so don’t hesitate to ask.
reduce fire risks
Clearing vegetation away from your home, toasting your s’mores in a properly-made campfire, and maintaining outdoor equipment and vehicles to avoid sparks are simple things you can do to lower fire risk!
The majority of wildfires are started by humans, so do your part and reduce fire risks. Visit the links in the resources for detailed instructions on how to prevent person-caused fire as well as information on how to prepare for a wildfire, in case it happens in your community.
take only pictures
It may be obvious to leave animals in their habitat, but did you know that taking rocks, wood, shells, and plants from wild spaces can disturb the ecosystem too? Every piece of nature plays an important role, so leave it alone and take a picture instead.
All parts of an ecosystem are interconnected to one another, each playing an important role that may or may not be obvious to the human eye. And while it might seem relatively harmless to pick flowers or take a rock, what would happen if every visitor did the same?
If you are inspired by what you see, take a photograph, draw a picture, or write a story about it to share with your friends and family. Just as you wouldn’t take anything, be sure not to leave any trash behind either. This ensures that every visitor will enjoy these special places just as you did — undisturbed, wild, and beautiful.
watch for wildlife
Watch out for wildlife crossing roads.
When a road is built, it often cuts through habitat and ecosystems that are home to multiple species. It is up to us to stay alert for wildlife that may dart across the road or sunbathe on the warm asphalt. If you see injured wildlife, report it.
Scientists in San Diego are studying wildlife by tracking them with GPS collars and hidden cameras to better understand how we can improve wildlife connectivity. These observations are being used to inform land managers' actions on where to construct wildlife crossings, such as bridges or tunnels on highways and roads.
keep an eye on your pets
Not only is it safer for your cat to be indoors and your dog to be on a leash, it’s safer for wildlife too! Supervise your pets to protect birds, insects, reptiles, and small mammals.
By avoiding interactions between your pets and wildlife, you are keeping both of them safe. Did you know that cats kill over two billion birds every year in the United States, making cat predation the leading cause of bird mortality? Both cats and dogs heavily impact wildlife communities through predation, as well as through spreading disease, competition for habitat and resources, or simply disturbance.
While we can’t completely control our pets’ instincts, we can keep them healthy, safe, and happy by limiting their interactions with wildlife.
Using toxic chemicals to handle
pests and weeds often causes unintentional harm to wildlife.
For example, a raptor that eats a poisoned rodent will fall ill from the poison as well. Replace harmful pesticides and herbicides with a "natural" repellant that is less likely to harm or disturb threatened wildlife populations. Unwanted pests? Instead of poison, try a trap! Weeds in your garden? Instead of a toxic herbicide, try pouring boiling water or vinegar on it. There are lots of different options — try one today!
make a home
Habitat loss is a huge threat to wildlife in San Diego. Plant native vegetation, a pollinator garden, or hang up a bird or bat house to support local wildlife.
Support local wildlife in your own backyard! Check out the resources to learn about using native plants, how to set up a pollinator garden, or build a bird or even a bat house. This can be a fun activity with friends and family, and you can enjoy wildlife from your window.
While some wildlife is encouraged to set up camp in your backyard, you might want to deter others. Learn how to co-exist with all wildlife, as well as what you should do if you find wildlife.
stay updated on regulations
Be sure to review the latest state, federal, and local regulations before hunting and fishing! Following these laws helps keep wildlife populations balanced and sustainable.
The California Department of Fish and Wildlife regulates freshwater sport fishing, saltwater sport fishing, commercial fishing, mammal hunting and bird hunting. Download this year's regulations or pick up a hard copy at your regional office.
Volunteer to remove invasive plants, clear trash, and raise awareness! There are many ecological reserves and organizations in San Diego where you can volunteer your time to help local wildlife.
The Climate Science Alliance partners with over 200 organizations and many of them offer volunteer opportunities throughout the year. Check out our partners' pages to connect to an organization near you.
Share what you have learned with friends and family.
We teach our Climate Kids that a scientist has three jobs: 1) Figure out the problem
2) Find the solution
3) SHARE THE STORY!
This last step is so important and everyone can do it.
Share what you are doing to give wildlife a break on social media with the hashtag #10ThingsForWildlife