16 Resolutions for Wildlife in 2016

With a new year beginning, in addition to making resolutions for health, why not make a few changes to improve lives of wildlife.  Here are 16 resolutions for 2016.

1. Stay informed.  Learn about native wildlife and habitats and sign up to receive our newsletter.  It comes by email just twice a year and won't waste paper or muddy up your inbox.  View past newsletters HERE and sign up to receive future ones by email at info@osstewardship.ca.

2. Create a habitat refuge or garden on your property. Plant a wildflower garden with native flowers, grasses, shrubs, and trees. Create brush piles as refuges for wildlife.
This may sound a bit intimidating, but even a small garden can create habitat for our native pollinators. If you don't have space, consider helping out with our community restoration initiatives.

3. Learn about invasive plants and do your part to stop their spread. Learn more about how to help at http://www.oasiss.ca/

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 bats.

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. We have several types of nest boxes available to Wildlife Habitat Stewards.

6. Become a Wildlife Habitat Steward.  If you have a natural area on your property, like a creek, pond, forested area, grassland or rugged terrain, consider this program.  Participants receive assistance with habitat enhancement initiatives such as native plants, fencing, nest box installation and even pond construction projects as well as recognition for their efforts.

Frog using a froglog. Photo by Rich Mason
7. If you have a pool, consider adding frog logs. These are escape ramps that may help amphibians that fall in your pool get back out and on their way to a more appropriate pond.

8. 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.

9. Watch for wildlife on our roads. If you see a turtle, snake, frog, badger or salamander 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.

10. Purchase paper products made from post consumer recycled paper to help save our forests.

11. Keep your cats indoors, especially during nesting and fledging season.  Cats are the number one killer of birds in wildlife.

12. Be a citizen scientist.  Participate in Amphibian ID workshops and other community initiatives.  Learn how to accurately identify wildlife and how to report your findings so they may aid in the recovery of species at risk.  Follow our blog, facebook page and twitter account to learn about upcoming citizen science opportunities.

13. 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!

14. Volunteer!  Consider volunteering for a community stewardship project.  Volunteering can include office work, planting trees, picking up garbage or helping stop the spread of invasive plants.

15. Get outside!  Go out and enjoy wildlife and natural areas.

16. Consider donating to a charitable organization like OSS that helps protect wildlife or its habitat.

Consider keeping at least one resolution for wildlife in 2016!  You won't regret it.