Encouraging wildlife and habitat
Did you know? Australia is one of seventeen countries described as being 'megadiverse'. This group of countries has less than 10% of the global surface, but support more than 70% of the biological diversity on earth.
The outdoor areas of your home are your very own piece of potential habitat for local wildlife. We can all 'bring nature back' to our yards and you don't need a big backyard to make a big difference. It can be as simple as adding a birdbath, planting natives or providing shelter like an insect hotel or hollow within your yard.
Below are some top tips on how to add habitat for wildlife into your backyard.
Quench their thirst!
Wildlife get thirsty in hot weather just like us, so providing a clean water source in our yards is helpful especially when conditions are dry.
- Add a shallow birdbath to provide a water source for birds.
- Make a bee or butterfly bath by adding rocks into a small plate, tray or bowl and fill with water.
- Consider a running water feature or shallow bubbling pond.
Provide a smorgasbord of food sources!
Food sources can be made available through planting native trees, shrubs and grasses which produce nectar, fruits and seeds.
- Plant native plant species in your yard to provide a variety of food sources for wildlife.
- If you can, try and have something flowering all year round, just like it happens in nature.
- Let nature feed itself. Their food can't be bought in shops and feeding wildlife can encourage aggressive behaviour or make them dependent on you for their food source.
Create shelter for wildlife!
Mimic nature in your yard and where possible provide five levels of vegetation - upper canopy (large trees), mid storey (small trees and shrubs), under storey (small shrubs), ground layer and leaf litter layer.
- Check out some 'how to' guides for making insect hotels, frog havens, or butterfly houses.
- Add some hollow logs, curled bark, branches or rock clusters on your ground layer for lizards and beneficial insects.
- Conserve any natural hollows in trees, or if appropriate, add an artificial nest box installed high off the ground and faced away from western sun.
- Be mindful of where you encourage wildlife to visit your yard - keep it separate from your domestic animals and be a responsible pet owner.
There are so many more helpful resources available to encourage wildlife habitat in your yard. Check out some of them below.