In the spirit of ‘The 12 days of Christmas,’ WRD presents 12 Gifts that support Georgia Wildlife! These are great for any friend or family member who loves the outdoors. The process is simple: Pick out a gift (or 12), and get to shopping!
1. Bat Houses
Do You Wanna Build a Bathouse? Give the gift of a safe home to your neighborhood bats! Bat species worldwide are experiencing habitat loss, but bat houses can provide a safe and comfortable place for them to roost. Building your own bat house also provides backyard pest control and nightly aerial acrobatics shows. You can buy a bat house or build your own.
2. Outdoor Cat Enclosure
Pricey but Purrrfect. Whether you refer to them as Outdoor Cat Enclosures, Cat Patios, or Catios, they allow your feline friend to experience the natural world while also protecting native birds and wildlife. Unlike similarly-sized native predators, domestic cats habitually kill prey even if they do not need to eat. Domestic cats are one of the leading drivers of global bird extinctions. Georgia bird species most at risk include songbirds such as the Painted Bunting, in addition to species that forage on the ground like Georgia’s state bird, the Brown Thrasher.
3. Turtle-safe Light Fixtures
Livin’ life on the coast? You probably know that artificial lighting can prevent sea turtle hatchlings from safely returning to the ocean. GA DNR management efforts helped make 2019 a record year for sea turtle nest counts, contributing to data that suggests Georgia’s loggerhead sea turtle population is making a slow and steady comeback. Help our hard-working biologists and invest in turtle-friendly light fixtures to increase the chances of survival for sea turtle hatchlings.
4. Hunting Buddy (Puppy)
I know parents, you’re currently cringing at the thought – the walking, the feeding, the potty training! But c’mon! There’s nothing like a good dog! We love to see hunting dogs hard at work, so submit pictures of you and your hunting buddy at any time on Facebook or Instagram to be featured. And if you decide to give in to a fur ball this Christmas, make sure to send us a video! In case your heart still needs warming…
5. Wildlife License Plate
DNR wildlife plates only cost $25 more than a standard “peach” plate, and that extra money goes a long way for conservation. Purchase a bald eagle or butterfly plate and support The Wildlife Conservation Fund, which covers 95% of Georgia’s native species. Purchase the quail, deer and turkey plate, and you’re assisting The Bobwhite Quail Initiative, Georgia’s program to bring back huntable populations of wild quail. Purchase the Trout Unlimited plate to support trout hatcheries, stocking, and survey programs, or purchase the Coastal redfish plate to help fund coastal habitat restoration projects. You really can’t go wrong here.
6. Field Guides
Whether you prefer an old-fashioned, vinyl-bound field guide, pocket-sized field guide, or an easy-access app on your phone, leaving your wildlife identification guides at home is not an option for the true outdoor enthusiast.
7. Lifetime Sportsman’s License
Give the gift of hunting and fishing for a LIFETIME by purchasing a Lifetime Sportsman’s license. With a lifetime license, the Georgia resident hunter or angler on your list will not have to pay for another state hunting or fishing license, even if they become a resident of another state. From hunting trophy white-tailed deer to casting for lunker largemouths, their Georgia recreation activities are covered.
8. Georgia State Parks & Historic Sites ParkPass
Parking in Georgia’s State Parks costs a mere $5, but visitors can splurge a tad for the $50 annual ParkPass and avoid the hassle of pulling out their wallet each visit. The purchase of ParkPasses helps fund renovations, trail maintenance, dock replacements, and more. History buffs can opt for the Historic Site Annual Pass instead, which gives unlimited admission to all of Georgia’s historic sites. To ensure the largest amount of holiday cheer, purchase both!
9. Bear-proof Trash Can
Yes, we got you a trash can for Christmas. GADNR’s Urban Wildlife Program is in the business of helping people live responsibly with black bears. The balance between wildlife and people has changed as we’ve moved in on each other’s territory, creating conflict wildlife biologists (and da bears) would like to avoid. Modify your trash can or purchase a bear-resistant container (this includes coolers) to ensure safe, positive interactions with Georgia’s wildlife.
10. Gardening Kit for Beginners
Native seeds, native plants, and a handy tool or two: This gift requires a little creativity, but we’ve done our best to guide your green thumb. Share the love of gardening by assembling an affordable DIY gardening kit for your friends and family. Three basic things to include: native flower or plant seeds (you can even plant for bats!), simple tools, and gardening accessories like gloves or a wide-brimmed hat. Sunscreen and bugspray could also be fun additions to your kit!
Whether you’re a backpacker, traveler, or outdoor enthusiast, you need a hammock in your life. You can set up a stationary backyard hammock for the occasional fresh air or purchase a portable one to take with you wherever you go. Hammocks are easy to set up, lightweight, and comfortable.
12. Snakeproof Boots
There’s a snake in my boot! (Just kidding because I got Snakeproof Boots for Christmas.) It’s exactly what it sounds like. Snakeproof boots are footwear designed to prevent snakes from being able to bite your feet. Made from rubber or leather, they’re not 100% effective, but they may give you some peace of mind as you wade through tall grasses or marsh.