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Do your part to keep wildlife healthy

(U.S. Air Force Graphic/James Rainier)

(U.S. Air Force Graphic/James Rainier)

PATRICK AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. --

Patrick Air Force Base and Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla., have a variety of indigenous wildlife that share where we live and work. Some of the wildlife is considered to be protected, endangered species. Care and caution must be considered when we encounter them.

 

All personnel are reminded that feeding and/or harassment of wildlife, as well as destruction of their habitat, on 45th Space Wing property is prohibited. Harassment is defined as touching, chasing, or interfering with natural behaviors, which may cause serious harm to the animals.  Personnel are asked to keep pets and children away from all wildlife to reduce disturbance to the animals, as well as reduce the likelihood of injury to pets and people.

 

Feeding wildlife causes animals to lose their fear of people and potentially become a danger to humans. In some cases, animals have had to be euthanized after habitual encroachment into populated areas. Providing food to wildlife that is not part of its natural diet is unhealthy and causes them to lose their ability to forage naturally and may impede natural migration patterns. 

 

Feeding alligators is especially dangerous; alligators that have been fed have been known to attack and kill people. Feeding certain species of wildlife, such as listed/ and protected species, is prohibited by federal law and may result in monetary fines and/or imprisonment.

 

The following tips are provided to ensure that 45th Space Wing wildlife remains healthy and wild:

 

  • Stay away and avoid walking through groups of birds on the beach. Many of these birds have long migration routes and are resting for their return trip

  • Do not allow pets on the beach. Note that pets are prohibited on all 45th Space Wing beaches

  • Avoid walking on the beach at night from May to October to avoid disturbing nesting and hatching of sea turtles

  • Properly dispose of trash in receptacles

  • Do not feed any wildlife; this includes providing fresh water to manatees

  • Keep pets and children away from water bodies where alligators are known to occur

  • Do not put a tortoise in the water; tortoises are terrestrial animals and cannot swim well. If unsure if it is a water turtle, notify the 45th Space Wing natural resources personnel for guidance at (321) 853-0964/6822

  • Do not attempt to handle or disturb any wildlife

  • Report violators to natural resources personnel at (321) 853-0964/6822

  • Help educate others

Anyone caught feeding or harassing and/or harming wildlife on the 45th Space Wing property will be reported to the proper authorities so that the appropriate action can be taken.