Modern Mississauga and the City of Mississauga have come together to present an ongoing series called “Ask the City.”
We’ll share relevant information here and answer your questions about our city.
Today’s question is about feeding wildlife in Mississauga.
Why am I not allowed to feed birds or wildlife in public spaces?
It’s best that wild animals obtain their food and shelter from natural habitats, under normal conditions. This will help maintain natural adaptations that ensure the long-term survival of the individual animals and of the species. Here are a few reasons to avoid feeding wildlife:
· The feeding of wild animals causes them to become dependent on a food source making them unwilling to search naturally for food which can lead to illness or disease.
· The feeding of wild animals creates an unnatural increase in wildlife populations thereby increasing nuisance wildlife activity such as damaging neighbouring homes or property.
· Excessive feeding of birds generates larger populations of resilient non-native birds such as feral pigeons, starlings and sparrows which compete for habitat with our rarer, native song bird species.
· Ducks naturally feed on vegetation and water insects. A nutritionally deficient diet of seed or bread will cause illness and disease. When ducks and geese gather in large numbers they can become ill from the bacteria in unconsumed food and faeces in the water.
· Providing food for birds and squirrels often attracts rats and mice due to the spillage of seed.
· An increase in rodent activity can attract larger predators like coyotes and foxes which can also prey on neighbourhood pets.
· Feeding coyotes can cause them to lose their natural fear of humans and they become bold or approach humans for handouts.
The City of Mississauga encourages residents to enjoy and live in harmony with our native wildlife. This can only be accomplished if we do not interfere with a wild animal’s natural instincts, behaviours and ability to search for food. Feeding of wildlife is prohibited in the City of Mississauga as per the Mississauga Animal Care and Control By-law.
If you’ve got a question about the City, we want to hear from you.
Please send your questions to firstname.lastname@example.org with “Ask The City” in the subject line.