Would you give nicotine to an animal? Would you drink beer infused with plastic pellets? Would you lure a robin to crash into your picture window?
If the answer is NO, you need to take action now, because you may be doing these things without even being aware of it.
National Wildlife Week (April 9-15) is your opportunity to step up and take the Canadian Wildlife Federation’s seven-day conservation challenge. Let’s spring into action for species at risk.
Sunday, April 9
Please pledge to plant for pollinators. Most of the seeds and flowers grown in Canada have been treated with pesticides made from nicotine. These chemicals (known as neonics) are plant and water soluble. They are toxic. They are systemic. There are currently nine varieties of neonics used in Canada. While most of the buzz is about bees, earthworms, aquatic insects, flower bugs, butterflies and birds and bats may also be impacted by these pesticides. Canadians need to be cautious, and buy and grow neonic-free products that are native to their areas. Help raise awareness and join CWF in pledging to plant for pollinators and nix neonic pesticides. Look for the CWF pollinator plant kits coming to retailers across Canada this May. The seeds in the kits are free of neonics.
Monday, April 10
Reduce your plastic footprint by using natural products which are free from microplastics. You may have heard about efforts to ban microbeads, miniscule plastic particles found in cosmetic products, but these microbeads in face scrubs are only a tiny part of the plastic problem. Microplastics are also part of synthetic clothing and wash out through your laundry making their way down the drains into the water supply. They are later found in products such as beer, table salt and honey – and wildlife such as fish. You can reduce your load of plastics on the environment by using your own environmentally friendly grocery bags, refilling your own water bottle and wearing clothing made of natural products.
Tuesday, April 11
A shocking 25 million birds are killed by colliding with windows in Canada each year. You can help by closing your curtains or putting decals on your windows. Participate in Bird Impact Reduction Day (B.I.R.D.) on April 11 by following our steps to helping birds dodge the glass dangers in their flight paths. Otherwise they may crash into your windows and the impact of this collision may cause internal bleeding. The stunned bird may fly off a short distance, making you think they survived the crash, but they will more likely die of brain damage a short distance away. Sad but true and easily preventable.
Wednesday, April 12
Now that you’ve taken some steps to protect wildlife at your home and office, it’s time to get outside and enjoy nature. Visit WalkforWildlife.ca to dedicate your outing to one of the iconic species featured on Canadian coins. Join team polar bear, team loon, team caribou or team beaver. Your next walk could deliver big change if you register for CWF’s #WalkForWildlife.
Thursday, April 13
It’s treat day! Watch all the vintage Hinterland Who’s Who wildlife videos and the new beaver vignette on HWW.ca. There are about 60 videos in the popular series, which started in 1963. Share your favorites on social media using #ConservetheWonder. Make your own wildlife videos if you want to step it up. Spoofs are welcome. 😉
Friday, April 14
Download the free iNaturalist app to record and share wildlife sightings. There are 115,000 observations online already and your pictures will help add to a national database of biodiversity. It’s a snap. You can connect through Facebook, Twitter, Flickr or other choices through iNaturalist.ca.
Saturday, April 15
Now you’re cruising…so slow down and watch for wildlife! Make your weekend getaway positively memorable by staying on the lookout for animals and avoiding accidents. Many species have to cross the roads, from turtles to deer and moose, so drive carefully and take time to enjoy National Wildlife Week.
Thank you for taking the seven-day conservation challenge. Share all your images and pledges on social media using #ConservetheWonder. Even the smallest steps can make a big difference for wildlife.
You are invited to turn this seven-day challenge into a lifelong commitment to living in harmony with nature. You can also step up the challenge to higher levels of activity depending on your interests and abilities.
For more information and to get involved visit NationalWildlifeWeek.org.