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To Feed or Not to Feed Wildlife


Cara J

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When it comes to the age-old question of whether or not to feed wildlife, a new study is finally providing us a step in the right direction. Depending on a few different factors including the type of animal and the kind of food it’s given, feeding wildlife can either increase or decrease instances of disease in the animals, according to the study published in Ecology Letters late last month. The study was a meta-analysis of 20 studies on supplemental feeding across the world, according to Daniel Becker, a PhD candidate at the University of Georgia Odum School of Ecology and lead author of the study. “We were motivated by knowing that supplemental feeding in a broader sense is providing wildlife with food whether it’s intentionally through birdfeeders or management methods, or through accidental means such as foraging in garbage dumps, which is sometimes associated with increased risk of disease in wildlife,” Becker said. “There were some studies that showed more animals who were being fed having a disease, and there were some cases where some people had found the opposite.” Becker and his team systematically looked at past literature, noting qualitative and quantitative data from findings in past supplemental feeding [...]

 

Read more: http://wildlife.org/to-feed-or-not-to-feed-wildlife/

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