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HAZARDS TO WILDLIFE

There are many potential hazards to wildlife, and most are caused by our own thoughtlessness. We need to think carefully about the impact our daily activities can have on the creatures who live in the wild.

Netting

Netting is the most common danger. All kinds of netting can be a problem, causing strangulation, trapped legs, beaks etc. resulting in death or horrific and serious injury to any creature unfortunate enough to become entangled in it. Fishing nets kill birds, nets used to protect fruit trees and garden plants can entangle birds, foxes, and small mammals. The trapped creature will panic and try to free itself and become more entangled; the netting will cut its mouth to ribbons and become wound around limbs cutting off the circulation. The affected tissue dies and the animal is in great pain, suffering fear, starvation and thirst; eventually dying days or even weeks later. Even if rescued, the creature may die later of secondary infection. Please think carefully before using netting in your garden, and if you must use it, make sure it is at least a foot off the ground and do not use it in trees.

Fishing lines and hooks

Fishing lines can also cause entanglement, becoming wrapped around limbs and causing injury and death. Please do not abandon fishing lines or leave them unattended.

Plastic 4-pack can holders

These can cause strangulation by becoming caught around the necks of wild animals who find them on landfill sites and where litter is carelessly dropped. Please always cut these plastic holders up before disposal.

Pesticides and weedkillers

Some pesticides and weedkillers are poisonous to wildlife. Please check the label before buying and follow manufacturer's instructions.

Bottles

Empty bottles can trap small creatures who may crawl into them. They get stuck and starve to death.

Litter

Litter, unfortunately, is a common problem both in urban and rural areas. Rubbish can kill! Please always use designated litter bins when outdoors or take your litter home and dispose of it thoughtfully. Plastic bags of rubbish are tempting and may contain items dangerous to animals, so please don't leave them outside of the dustbin. Remember that foxes and stray cats will attempt to forage in your dustbin so always make sure it has a secure lid in place.

Education

You can help by informing others of these dangers and encouraging them to think of protecting wild creatures from death and injury.

Site contents © Wildlife Rescue & Ambulance Service (Enfield) 2008