It’s fawning season and Dana Livingston of the newly formed Wildlife Advocate’s Collective has a message for residents of Sooke.
“If you see a deer crossing the road, slow right down and wait because the chances are that she will have some fawns waiting behind her to cross as well,” Livingston said.
“It doesn’t take a lot, just a little patience, and it can prevent the needless deaths of these animals.”
Livingston’s group has tried to drive the point home in her community in East Sooke by posting warning signs at the side of the roads in the area, warning drivers to exercise caution.
With a background as a parks naturalist, Livingston has a commitment to respecting wildlife and has applauded the efforts of local developer Wally Vowels in maintaining a wildlife corridor on his property in East Sooke.
“What Wally has done is amazing, but we can all do our part. It would be nice to create more awareness about how fragmented landscapes have impacted the wildlife’s ability to move through their natural habitats,” said Livingston.
“We build developments over their ancient wildlife trails and then are surprised when deer, bears, and other wildlife appear in our backyards.”
She has taken steps on her own property to create a covenant to protect a corridor between her land and adjacent regional parkland.
“I built my cottage at the far end of the five-acre property so that there was still plenty of wild space for the deer and other animals to use as a corridor,” said Livingston, acknowledging that this might not be an option for every development.
“I just think that we can do better, and show some respect for the fact that this is a very active region for wildlife and make accommodations where we can.”
But in an example of an opposite attitude, Livingston recounted witnessing a man in a small car trying to herd a black bear off the road with his car, as opposed to waiting until the bear moved off the road.
“It was sad to see as the bear got increasingly confused, not knowing which way to go.”
Livingston’s group is asking anyone interesting in joining the collective to contact them at firstname.lastname@example.org.
In the meantime, said Livingston, slow down and show some patience when dealing with wildlife.