One species’ (humans) unsightly storm damage is home sweet home to other species.
That’s the message the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife has for property owners determined to clear out all of the trees and shrubs damaged during the ice storm and long winter.
Some 65 species of birds, 30 species of mammals and two species of amphibians use dead trees for shelter, food or to rear off-spring, said Howard Ferguson of the wildlife department’s Spokane office.
“Certainly there are many instances where damaged trees pose a safety hazard to people and their homes or other buildings and therefore need to be removed,” Ferguson said in a press release. “But there are many more broken-top trees that could be left standing to provide homes and life for birds and other animals.”
Tree and shrub debris can be piled to create hiding, nesting and thermal cover for many species, Ferguson said.
“Nature has provided a little habitat rearranging for wildlife,” he said. “If you look closely in storm-damaged areas, you are likely to see species you have not seen, or maybe just not noticed before.”