Wildlife Neighbors

Courtesy of Landings Public Works

With its beautiful maritime forest, intricate lagoon systems, spectacular marsh views, and six championship golf courses, it’s no wonder that The Landings is a paradise for its human residents. These same features that are so attractive to our human residents are equally as attractive to a whole host of wildlife that also call The Landings home.

This appeal to both human and wildlife residents is by design and started with the development of the property by the Branigar Corporation (the developer of The Landings). This included protecting a 50’ to 100’ buffer along the marsh, limiting docks on private lots, protecting the existing old growth forests, developing the lagoon systems and golf courses, and creating buffer areas like the Nature Trail. These measures quickly attracted both buyers and wildlife!

While living in such close proximity to nature can be an enriching experience, it’s important to keep in mind that wildlife is wild! Certain activities, such as feeding wildlife, are detrimental to the health and safety of both wildlife and residents. Residents are reminded NEVER to feed wildlife. Although this might seem a bit strict to some residents, it is a basic step to ensure healthier and safer coexistence between human residents and our wildlife neighbors.

It's against state law to feed certain wildlife…namely alligators. When alligators are fed, they lose their fear of humans and start to associate humans with food. The alligators can become overly aggressive, and ultimately it’s necessary to have them lethally removed.

Following are a few reasons why you should not feed the wildlife:

  • Human foods aren’t nutritious enough for animals and may cause serious health problems.
  • It makes wild animals lose their natural fear of people. Feeding can make large, potentially dangerous animals become too comfortable in residential or recreational areas. Once animals learn they can panhandle for food, they can become a nuisance or, even worse, a safety risk.
  • Wild animals that depend on people for food can cause injuries or spread disease. When wild animals gather for food handouts, it causes crowding and competition. These unnatural conditions increase the chances of fighting and injury among animals. It also can increase the spread of diseases, some of which may be transmitted to pets and humans. 

Landings residents love to see wildlife. below I have created a list of enhancements or practices you can make to your property that can increase wildlife activity in your yard but in a responsible manner:

  • Hummingbird feeders (do require regular cleaning)
  • Bird baths or other water sources
  • Bird houses
  • Bat houses
  • Leaving or enhancing native tree cover
  • Native pollinator plants
  • Keeping your pets indoors when you aren’t with them (especially free-roaming cats)

If you want to be a good neighbor of the wildlife at The Landings, do you part by observing wildlife from a distance and by not feeding it!

If you want to learn more about to enhance your property for wildlife or just wildlife generally on Skidaway Island, Skidaway Audubon is a great resource: https://skidawayaudubon.org/.

If you have a specific concern related to wildlife (deer, feral hogs, coyotes, or migratory birds), please report the issue by calling the Public Works Office (912-598-5506).

This article was originally published by The Landings Association on their website.

Visit landings.org to read the original article.