We appreciate our pets and the presence of wildlife on our property, but need to be careful to ensure we are not negatively impacting the environment around us. Wildlife is just that – wild. By being aware of how our actions affect the plants and animals around us, we can make sure that the natural environment maintains its healthy form and function.

Maintain natural levels of wild animals by reducing and eliminating attractants on your property.

  • Place all garbage in good storage containers that cannot be accessed by animals.
  • Do not feed wildlife.
  • Keep your compost far away from water in a sealed, animal-proof container. Turn regularly to reduce odours.
  • Keep all pet food inside.

Populations of wild animals such as squirrels and raccoons generally increase in developed areas. These animals can impact turtle populations by preying on hatchlings and digging up turtle nests to eat the eggs. It is important to remember that predators are not “bad” species and that predation is a part of a natural ecosystem. However, by keeping our land free of attractants, we can avoid artificially raising predator populations to levels that would not occur naturally.

You are responsible for your pet and its actions. Keep your cat and dog on a leash or in an enclosed area when outdoors.
Cats and dogs can disturb and kill wildlife. Under the Nova Scotia Wildlife Act it is against the law to allow a dog to run “at large” or unaccompanied by its owner. Free-roaming cats are estimated to kill hundreds of millions of birds, reptiles, amphibians and mammals every year. One cat can have a huge impact on wildlife (even if it has a bell or is de-clawed), and can kill many animals per week. Most wildlife kills go unnoticed and it is difficult for a pet owner to realize the full impact of their pet.

Prevent the spread of invasive species when fishing and boating.

  • It is illegal to move fish from one body of water into another. This includes Chain Pickerel and Smallmouth Bass which can severely impact freshwater ecosystems.
  • Do not release live bait (see 'Invasive Fish and Prohibited Bait Species' page for a list of prohibited bait species).
  • Drain live wells and bilge water from your boat before leaving a water body. Remove all plants, mussels, and other visible organisms from your boat.
  • Wash or dry all your fishing gear (trailer, boots, tackle, etc) away from water bodies to kill the aquatic species on them, which can live for two weeks out of the water.
  • Before entering a water body, spray your boat with hot water or dry it in the sun for five days.

Invasive species like Smallmouth Bass and Chain Pickerel compete with native species (including fish, turtles, and snakes) for prey such as small fish and amphibians. Invasive species can alter entire food webs, and eliminate native fish populations (including important traditional angling species like brook trout). Chain pickerel have also been observed to wipe out entire amphibian populations and eat snakes.

Report invasive alien species sightings.
Call 1-800-563-7711 to report your observations to the Invading Species Hotline (www.invadingspecies.com). If you catch or observe smallmouth bass or chain pickerel you can report this information to the Mersey Tobeatic Research Institute by calling 1-866-727-3447.
Beaver dam removal requires a permit and should be avoided whenever possible.
Contact the Department of Natural Resources for information regarding nuisance beavers (refer to the 'Contact Information' page). Ask about alternative approaches to manage conflict situations, which may include beaver leveler devices to help keep water at acceptable levels. Provincial regulations prohibit unauthorized persons from disturbing or removing a beaver dam or lodge at any time. In most situations removal of the animals and/or their dams is not necessary or even the most effective approach.
Do not release pet species into the wild or keep wild animals as pets.
Releasingspecies like goldfish and red-eared sliders into the wild can disrupt and harm the ecosystem and can spread exotic parasites and diseases to native species with no resistance. Wild animals are not meant to be kept as pets and suffer when they are removed from their natural habitat.


Beaver Maintained Wetlands

Blanding’s Turtle habitat is strongly associated with the presence of beavers and the wetland habitat they create and maintain. Beaver dams play an important role in maintaining constant water levels (which is particularly important during times of drought) and sustaining nutrient levels. Blanding’s Turtles often spend both the summer and winter in habitat created by beavers. Eastern Ribbonsnakes are often found in beaver maintained wetlands and have been observed on both dams and lodges.


Department of Natural Resources “When Beavers Become A Nuisance” brochure
Provides information about living with beavers. Call 902-679-6091 to request a hard copy or view online.