a strong tradition of enjoying and caring for wildlife.
Fifty-three percent of us enjoy some form of
wildlife-related recreation, including fishing, hunting,
and watching wildlife, according to a U.S. Fish and
Wildlife Service survey. More than 200,000 Vermonters
regularly watch, photograph, or feed wildlife.
While there are many sporting and
environmental organizations working to conserve
Vermonts wildlife and wildlife habitat, we all can
play a role in protecting our states wild animals.
Consider these one dozen ways you can
help wildlife in Vermont:
- Dont feed game
animals such as deer, turkey, and bear.
Although well-intentioned, feeding these animals
can actually harm them. Many wild animals,
particularly deer, have sensitive digestive
systems. Animals at a concentrated feeding site
are more likely to transmit disease. And
conditioning game animals to seek food from
humans can get them into trouble later.
fishing sinkers made of metals other than lead.
Loons and other waterfowl can die if they ingest
lead sinkers on the bottom of lakes and ponds.
- Dont import
exotic plants, animals, or fish. As
demonstrated by the explosive growth of zebra
mussels in Lake Champlain, the introduction of a
non-native species can have a dramatic impact on
other wildlife species and personal property. Dont
bring new species of animals into Vermont, and
dont transport exotics from one waterway to
another. (For instance, dont carry bait
and bait bucketwater from one lake to another.) Use
native species for plantings. Importing
exotic plants can disrupt and even destroy native
vegetation, depriving some animals of their
primary sources of food.
part of your backyard unmowed. Even a small
amount of lawn allowed to go wild can provide
habitat for many small wildlife species,
including songbirds and butterflies.
- Support land
conservation efforts in your community.
deer and moose hunting in Vermont. Keeping
our wildlife in better balance with their forest
habitat benefits them and the trees they depend
upon for food.
- Control your pets.
Dogs will chase and kill deer, and cats will kill
a wide variety of wildlife, including songbirds.
protect wildlife by reporting any poaching
activity to your local game warden, who can
be reached by calling the nearest State Police
- Buy a Vermont
Conservation License Plate to support watersheds
and wildlife. The Nongame Wildlife Fund
supports the states efforts to inventory
and protect animals which are not hunted or
fished. The Watershed Grants Program provides
grant money to community organizations and local
governments for monitoring and improving water
quality, improving aquatic habitat, and
protecting streambanks and shorelines.
on designated snowmobile and hiking trails, and
stay off mountain trails in the spring until
- Leave or create
undisturbed buffer strips along water courses and
around lakes and ponds. These buffer strips
protect water quality and provide wildlife
children to wildlife and the outdoors to pass on