Some interesting facts about our wildife:
- Squirrels are credited with planting more trees than the human race!
- The gray bat population in Missouri eats 440 tons of insects a year
- Woodchucks move large quantities of soil and contribute to the aeration and mixing of soil
- Coyotes and Foxes are beneficial in rodent control, help to clean up the woods and fields and are important to ecosystems
- Skunks are beneficial to farmers, gardeners and landowners because they feed on a large number of agricultural and garden pests
- Raccoons eat berries and nuts and help to spread the seeds of valuable plants
- Flying squirrels feed upon the buds of trees which helps to stimulate tree growth
- Opossums keep our neighborhoods free of harmful garden pests and rodents
The health of wildlife is an excellent indication of the health of the environment on which we depend, and healthy wildlife populations and habitat are important to our social and economic well-being.
U.S. Fish and Wildlife estimates that wildlife viewing and wildlife associated recreation will generate nearly 2 billion dollars in the year 2010. Approximately 108 million people, over the age of 16, take part in wildlife related recreation each year.
Remaining in the shadows of human existence has become more challenging for animals as an increasing number of developments have resulted in the destruction of much of their natural habitat. Consequently, human encounters with wildlife have become more frequent.
The challenge for humans is to balance necessary progress and growth with the need to preserve our natural world and its inhabitants so all will flourish.