New Years Resolutions for Wildlife

 A New Year has just begun, that time of year when many of us take a look at out lives and try to think of a few simple things we could do to make things better. What if this year instead, of heading to the gym or cutting out sweets, we focus on a few easy things we can do for our native wildlife. Here are twelve ideas of little things that together can have a big impact. Try to do one, or all twelve in 2015 so that all of the animals we share this valley with have a great year too!
Bald eagles using a  pair of wildlife trees

1. One easy thing to do is to stay informed. Learn more about BC's threatened wildlife (and plants) at

2. Create a habitat garden on your property. Plant a wildflower garden with native flowers, grasses, shrubs, and trees. Create brush piles as refuges for wildlife. Naturescape BC has some great ideas to help get you started or try contacting local nurseries to find native plants and great ideas.
This sounds a bit daunting, but even a small garden can create habitat for our native pollinators. If you don't have space, consider helping out with community restoration initiatives.

3. Learn about invasive plants and do your part to stop their spread. Learn more about how to help at

4. Leave dead or dying trees standing on your property when it is safe to do so. Dead trees are very important habitat to a large number of animals including woodpeckers, owls and even our native flying squirrels. Learn more about becoming a wildlife tree steward at
Bluebird using a bird box

5.Install nesting boxes. Nest boxes come in all shapes and sizes; little ones for bluebirds and big ones for western screech owls. Bat boxes can help attract bats to your property and control insect pests. Mason bee boxes help out some of our sweet little native pollinators. Get in touch with a local naturalist or biologist to help decide which boxes would benefit the wildlife in your area.

6. If you have a pool, consider adding frog logs. These little ramps can help amphibians that fall in your pool get back out and on their way to a more appropriate pond.

7. Reduce energy use at home, at work and in your vehicle. You may qualify for a free energy saving kit from FortisBC or BCHydro, and be sure to check out their energy saving tips. This will help ensure a healthy planet for us and the wild things we share it with.

Frog using a froglog. Photo by Rich Mason
8. Watch for wildlife on our roads. If you see a turtle crossing the road, and it is safe to do so, please help it across in the direction it was traveling. Turtles are very stubborn. If you take them back to the side of the road they started on they will try to cross the road again, and again, and again.

9. Purchase paper products made from 100% post consumer recycled paper to help save our forests.

10. Keep your cats indoors, especially during nesting and fledging season.

11. Bring your own shopping bags. No need to use all those plastic bags- bring your own reusable bags when shopping. As a bonus, you won't have a drawer full of crumbled up bags anymore!

12. Consider donating to a charitable organization that helps protect wildlife or its habitat.