Leave the wildlife alone

By FRITZ MAYER 
Posted 6/2/20

REGION — This is the time of year when young fawns can be spotted resting in tall grass or some slightly hidden spot, as well as other species of newborn wildlife. New York State Department of …

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Leave the wildlife alone

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REGION — This is the time of year when young fawns can be spotted resting in tall grass or some slightly hidden spot, as well as other species of newborn wildlife. New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Basil Seggos warns people to resist the urge to touch or pick up such creatures.

 “In an effort to reduce the spread of COVID-19, New Yorkers are spending more time at home than normal and some are seeing more young birds and other wildlife as a result,” Seggos said. “At this time of year, people are more likely to see a young rabbit or a recently fledged bird in their yard and mistakenly think it needs help to survive. I encourage you to enjoy encounters with wildlife from afar and avoid approaching or touching the animal. Remember, if you care, leave it there.” 

White-tailed fawns are born in late May and early June. They spend most of the time in the first few weeks of life sitting still, and sometimes they are in plain view. During this time, the mother doe often leaves the fawn alone for long stretches. People who happen upon a fawn during this time often assume that the fawn had been abandoned by the doe, which is almost never the case. And there are good reasons why people should not pick up a fawn.

Per the DEC, “If human presence is detected by the doe, the doe may delay its next visit to nurse. A fawn’s best chance to survive is to be raised by the adult doe. Fawns nurse three to four times a day, usually for less than 30 minutes at a time, but otherwise, the doe keeps her distance. This helps reduce the chance that a predator will follow her to the fawn. A fawn’s protective coloration and ability to remain motionless help it avoid detection by predators and people. By the end of its second week, a fawn begins to move about and spend more time with the doe. It also begins to eat grass and leaves.”

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