Be a good neighbor to wildlife.
As human activities increasingly alter natural environments, we interrupt the processes that provide all species with food, shelter, clean air and water, and recreation.
Why it matters
We share Georgia with over 4,000 species of plants and animals which have adapted together over time to create functioning ecosystems. Wildlife need food, shelter, safe places to raise their offspring, or stop along a migratory journey to rest, to survive. By supporting local ecosystems, we can create a safe, healthy environment for every species in our community, including humans.
Zoo Atlanta added a Motus station on grounds. This receiver station picks up signals from birds that have been tagged with small radio transmitters, contributing to a network that allows researchers to better understand bird migration patterns.Learn more
Zoo Atlanta partners with the Georgia Sea Turtle Center on its Jekyll Island Causeway Conservation Project, which seeks to raise awareness of the threats facing native diamondback terrapins on coastal roadways. The Zoo contributes to this by rearing young terrapins hatched from eggs laid by females injured or killed by automobiles; when they are large enough to sufficiently avoid predators, these youngsters are returned to the Georgia Sea Turtle Center, who prepares them for release into the wild.Learn more
How to help
You can be part of the solution!
- Below are some easy ways to start your conservation journey in your own community. Consider your lifestyle and resources and choose something to do that works for you.
- Learn about your local wildlife through apps like eBird by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology and iNaturalist. Gamify animal and plant identification and earn badges with the Seek app, created by iNaturalist.
- Put trash in the right place rather than littering and urge others to do the same.
- Help ducks and geese by not feeding them foods like bread and crackers which can attract pests, spread disease, and lead to malnutrition, overcrowding, and delayed migration. Even small amounts add up when they are fed often in public parks.
- If you have a cat at home, consider keeping it inside, or use a “catio” to allow your cat to spend time outside in an enclosed area. Outdoor cats kill billions of birds, reptiles, and other wildlife every year. They are one of the biggest threats to native species.
- Find alternatives to balloon releases for celebrations or memorials and encourage others to do the same. Balloons end up as litter and animals get tangled in the string or eat the latex or mylar. Eco-friendly alternatives include bubbles, streamers, or pinwheels.
- Do less yard work. Lawns provide little food and shelter for wildlife, so leave some vegetation in your yard.
Grow your impact
- Be proactive and take measures to avoid human-wildlife conflict with animals like coyotes.
- Participate in programs like Georgia Adopt-A-Stream and Chattahoochee Riverkeeper that work to preserve local freshwater habitats.
- Organize a litter clean-up in your community.
- Grow native plants in any outdoor space you have available to provide nesting materials, foraging opportunities, and safe shelter for local wildlife.
- Create safe passage for birds during peak migration season (March 15 to May 31 and August 15 to November 15) by turning off unnecessary lighting between midnight and sunrise. You can put lights on timers, use motion sensors, close shades or blinds, and dim necessary lighting.
- Install a bat house. If bats move in, they will also help with pest control in your yard!
- Reduce bird window collisions by adding decal stickers in a grid pattern or tying strings to hang in front of windows in short intervals. Consider making this suggestion to your workplace, school, or local business if they have large windows.
- Atlanta Audubon Society. (n.d.). Let’s Make Atlanta a Bird Friendly Community! Retrieved May 27, 2020, from https://www.atlantaaudubon.org/loa.html
- Chattahoochee Riverkeeper. (n.d.). Our Work. Retrieved May 27, 2020, from https://chattahoochee.org/
- Georgia Department of Natural Resources Wildlife Resources Division. (n.d.). Bats of Georgia. Retrieved May 27, 2020, from https://georgiawildlife.com/georgiabats
- Georgia Department of Natural Resources Wildlife Resources Division. (n.d.). Mountain Bog Restoration. Retrieved May 27, 2020, from https://georgiawildlife.com/conservation/bogrestoration
- Invasive Species Specialist Group. (2015). Felis catus. Global Invasive Species Database. Retrieved May 27, 2020, from http://www.iucngisd.org/gisd/species.php?sc=24
- Loss, S., Will, T., and Marra, P. (2013, January 29). The impact of free-ranging domestic cats on wildlife in the United States. Nature Communications, 4, 1396. https://doi.org/10.1038/ncomms2380
- The Wildlife Center of Virginia. (n.d.). The Problem with Feeding Ducks. Retrieved May 27, 2020, from https://www.wildlifecenter.org/problem-feeding-ducks
- Zoo Atlanta. Eastern Indigo Snakes Reintroduced to the Wild. (2017, July 14). Retrieved from https://zooatlanta.org/eastern-indigo-snakes-reintroduced-wild/Review Process Tracking