Don’t bury burrowing owls, says wildlife group

Pasha Donaldson, vice president of the Cape Coral Friends of Wildlife, doesn’t know how well the city’s 3,500 burrowing owls fared during Hurricane Ian.

But she knows a way for locals to help animals that survived the storm stay alive.

“Please don’t put your trash on” their burrows, Donaldson said. It’s “that big thing for people littering.”

The burrowing owl does not only occupy self-dug burrows, but may settle at the ends of a drainage culvert under walkways, under a porch, or where a post used to be. Donaldson said to trap owls in their homes for the days or weeks it takes for the piles of trash created by Hurricane Ian to be deadly.

The Florida burrowing owl is listed as an endangered state by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.

Donaldson and the other 300 members of the wildlife group have a very special reason to be about owls beyond general concern for animal welfare: Cape Coral Friends of Wildlife spent $450,000 to buy about four dozen residential plots and almost always looking to buy Suite.

Burrowing owls and gopher tortoises have been discovered or brought to one of the grounds where henceforth nothing will ever be built, establishing a patchwork sanctuary for the animals in parts of the city.

Donaldson said the storm washed away many white PVC poles that volunteers place in the ground to show where a mini owl habitat has been created, usually on residential land the group purchased before a house was built. could be built, then they let the owls dig a way.

The 300-member group has been accumulating the owl and turtle-based sanctuary since 2002. The group focuses on burrowing owls and gopher tortoises because they both burrow into the ground for protection and because most lots are easy to dig. sandy spoil dredged from the bottom of the bay when the city was created in the 1950s.

The group’s annual festival is becoming a legend, and next year’s is scheduled for February.

The 21st Annual Burrowing Owl Festival and Wildlife and Environmental Expo is scheduled for February 23, 2023 at Rotary Park. The group is asking the public to donate items that can be auctioned off to raise money for the nonprofit, and a form for doing so can be found here.

Environmental reporting for WGCU is funded in part by Volo Foundationa non-profit organization whose mission is to accelerate global change and impact by supporting science-based climate solutions, improving education and improving health.

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