Visiting the Wash
Feeding the animals at the Wash can be harmful
A visit to the Las Vegas Wash can lead to wonderful experiences with wildlife, and many people may be tempted to feed the animals they encounter. While some may think that feeding them helps them survive, providing wild animals with a steady, human-supplied food source nearly always leads to problems.
One of the most biologically productive ecosystems in the world, wetlands are home to a variety of plants and active wildlife, including insects, amphibians, reptiles, birds, fish and mammals. The wetlands at the Wash are no exception. Everything needed to survive is provided by the Wash and when visitors feed the animals, it interrupts that cycle and can be detrimental to their health and the ecosystem.
A good example of the cycle of life at the Wash starts with wetland plants, which are a source of food for many insects. Those insects are a source of food for fish, which then serve as food for the many birds that call the Wash home. If fish or birds are fed by Wash visitors, it disrupts the life cycle and can cause an imbalance in the ecosystem.
When wild animals depend on human-provided food as a source, it hinders their foraging and survival skills. Wild animals fed by humans lose their fear of humans, which could result in death. It can also lead to overpopulation, affecting the natural balance and putting humans at risk. In addition, human food can cause serious health problems when consumed by wild animals, especially when they are young and still developing.