Wild animals should obtain their food and shelter naturally. This helps to maintain natural adaptations to ensure their survival. Feeding of wildlife is also prohibited under the City of Mississauga’s Animal Care and Control By-law.
Here are a few reasons not to feed wildlife:
- It causes them to become dependent on a food source making them unwilling to search naturally for food which can lead to illness or disease.
- It 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.
- Providing food for wildlife such as birds or 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.
- Predators such as coyotes that have eaten human food lose their natural fear for humans and as a result they can become aggressive towards humans.
The City of Mississauga encourages residents to enjoy and live in harmony with native wildlife. This can happen if we do not interfere with a wild animal’s natural instincts, behaviours and ability to search for food.
To learn more about wildlife in the city, visit mississauga.ca/citywildlife.