|Some inhabitants of McVay Park|
After reading her article, I will start making more informed decisions and not just do things because "that is what everyone else is doing."
As I continued to dig for more information, I began to wonder if we should feed them at all. Feeding animals makes us feel good, but what is the big picture, how does it affect nature? Wildlife should be just that: wild. They look to us for food because we have conditioned them to it, not because it is natural for them. In Wyoming we still have Canadian geese that migrate. Seeing them flying overhead should signal a change in the season. I don’t see many Memphis geese migrating. How much has the free food and luxurious living interrupted their migration instinct and patterns?
A publication on the UT Extension website, click to read, discusses managing nuisance animals like geese around the home. It seems that we are having to manage "nuisances" that we have created. Our actions have caused the overcrowding in urban areas and the decimation of the landscape near the ponds in our neighborhoods.
In most towns in Wyoming, citizens feed the big game animals. Small herds of deer and the occasional moose hang out in parks, yards & fringes of towns looking for the free food. People feel like they are helping the animals survive the harsh winter conditions. However, most times they are providing the predators a tastier, more tender meal as the animals lose their edge, their flight instinct.
We should remember that our interaction with nature should not harm it. Just by being here, we are already changing the environment. So let's go against the grain and do better job at minimizing our harmful impact on nature.