Conservation Actions at Home

By Sandy Masuo

Bewick’s wren, photo by Charlie Morey

Even as we’re doing what’s necessary to “flatten the curve” during this Covid-19 event, we can all take actions to support wildlife and sustainability for the good of the planet we all share.

  • Green up your home by finding ways to eliminate plastic, test your plumbing for leaks to conserve water, check your weather stripping for energy efficiency, or research possibilities such as cisterns to capture rainwater and solar panels.
  • Add some native plants to your yard or balcony to support our native insects and birds. Although most nurseries are temporarily closed, many (including native plant specialists Las Pilitas Nursery and the Theodore Payne Foundation) offer online shopping for seeds and plants.
  • While you’re remaining safer at home, you can offer a home to your neighborhood feathered friends! Wild Birds Unlimited generously provides the Zoo with bird seed for our on-campus feeders. A variety of next boxes and bird houses are available on their website.
  • When we’re open, we offer our members bird walks three times a year. While we’re all practicing physical distancing at home, it’s a great time to do some bird watching on your own! Chances are you can enjoy birding without even leaving your house. Spend a little quiet time observing your yard or a green space nearby and chances are you’ll see some of your wild avian neighbors. The Cornell Lab of Ornithology, the Audubon Society, and Bird Life International all offer terrific online guides to birds and birding!
  • Write letters encouraging companies to adopt more wildlife-friendly policies regarding plastic packaging, pesticide use, and palm oil production. The Cheyenne Mountain Zoo’s “Orangutans and Palm Oil” web page includes helpful letter templates.
  • Contact your legislators and voice your personal support for wildlife corridors and crossings, preservation of parks and green spaces, reduction of single-use plastics, or reducing our dependency on fossil fuels. Find contact information for your elected officials here.

Although we cannot be together, our combined efforts can still keep making a difference.