SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) – Right now, parts of coastal Georgia are in a drought. This includes Chatham County, which, according to the U.S. Drought Monitor, is in a moderate to severe drought.
With that in mind, you might be wondering how you can help the animals in your area until this drought ends.
According to the Wildlife Habitat Council, most wildlife is able to adapt to drought, as it is a natural process. However, as global warming increases the frequency and severity of droughts, it may be beneficial to extend a helping hand to the wildlife in your area.
Here’s a list of some things you can do that could benefit your local ecosystem.
Fill up your birdbath
If you have a birdbath, now is the time to make sure that it is full at all times. Birds can use the bath in order to bathe and drink, which they might not be able to do if there is no water around.
If you don’t have a birdbath, now might be the time to consider investing in one. Not only will you help the local wildlife but you will also have the opportunity to watch the birds as they gather to enjoy some water in the heat of the Georgia spring.
Use a water dish
Some animals may benefit from being given a little extra water, but they don’t have a way to get up to the bowl of a bird bath. To help them, you can place a small water dish in your yard at the ground level. This will allow for smaller animals to stop by and grab a drink or bathe themselves. It’s also something you can do without having to shell out extra cash for something like a bird bath.
Make a fruit tray for the butterflies
There are several ways that 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 will show you all you need to know on different methods of feeding butterflies, as well as additional steps you can take to make your fruit plate most effective.
Keep your bird feeder full
The Georgia Department of Natural Resources (DNR) recommends that, in addition to keeping fresh water available for wildlife, you also consider keeping your bird feeder stocked up. In an article by Terry W. Johnson that discussed how you can aid plants and animals during a drought, they recommended using white millet and black oil sunflower seeds as well as suet in your feeders.
Should you go the feeder route, the DNR stresses the importance of keeping it clean. Neglected feeders can increase the risk of diseases in birds, from salmonellosis to avian pox. Visit this link for advice on keeping feeders clean.
Plant native plants
Looking forward, if you would like to further help your local wildlife in the coming years, the Georgia DNR recommends planting native plants that produce nectar, in addition to seeds, berries and fruit in your yard.
Native plants are more well adapted to the environment and more likely to survive a drought than plants that are not native to the area. Because of this, they will be more likely to survive and yield food for local wildlife.