Parts of Georgia’s coast in drought; how to help wildlife?

SAVANNAH, Georgia (WSAV) — Parts of Georgia’s coast are currently in drought. This includes Chatham County, which, according to the US Drought Monitoris in moderate to severe drought.

With that in mind, you may be wondering how you can help the animals in your area until this drought is over.

According to the Wildlife Habitat Council, most wildlife can adapt to drought because it is a natural process. However, if global warming increases the frequency and severity of droughtit can be helpful to lend a helping hand to the wildlife in your area.

Here’s a list of some things you can do that can benefit your local ecosystem.

Fill your birdbath

If you have a birdbath, now is the time to make sure it’s always full. Birds can use the tub for bathing and drinking, which they may not be able to do if there is no water nearby.

If you don’t have a birdbath, now might be the time to consider investing in one. Not only will you be helping the local wildlife, but you’ll also have the chance to see the birds as they gather to enjoy some water in the heat of the Georgia spring.

Use a water bowl

Some animals may benefit from a little extra water, but they have no way of getting to the bowl of a birdbath. To help them, you can place a small water bowl on the ground floor in your yard. This allows smaller animals to come by to have a drink or wash. It’s also something you can do without spending extra money for something like a bird bath.

Make a fruit bowl for the butterflies

There are several ways you can feed the butterflies in your area, but this one is probably one of the easiest. All you need is fruit – whatever kind you have on hand – and a plate. The link here shows you everything you need to know about different methods of feeding butterflies, as well as additional steps you can take to make your fruit bowl as effective as possible.

Keep your bird feeder full

The Georgia Ministry of Natural Resources (DNR) recommends that in addition to keeping freshwater available for wildlife, you should also consider keeping your bird feeder stocked. In an article by Terry W. Johnson discussing how to help plants and animals during a drought, they recommended using white millet and black oil sunflower seeds and suet in your feeders.

If you follow the feeder route, the DNR emphasizes the importance of keeping it clean. Neglected feeds can increase the risk of disease in birds, from salmonellosis to bird pox. Visit this link for advice on keeping feeders clean.

Plant native plants

Looking ahead, if you want to help local wildlife in years to come, the Georgia DNR recommends planting nectar-producing native plants in addition to seeds, berries, and fruits.

Native plants are better adapted to the environment and more likely to survive a drought than plants not native to the area. This will make them more likely to survive and provide food for the local wildlife.

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