When most people consider making a wildlife garden, they might immediately think of animal-proofing features such as nesting boxes, bird houses, and rodent feeders.
These can certainly be excellent additions to bring more wildlife into a space. However, the best wildlife garden additions that really work well are the ones that add to the overall natural biodiversity of a given site and build indigenous community ties. Such approaches do not necessarily depend on human touch or even necessity. They simply enhance existing biodiversity and biological systems. These two things are particularly important in areas such as parks and reserves, where human encroachment and habitat modifications have threatened local plant and animal life.
In the case of parks and wildlife preserves, certain additions make it easier for wildlife species to reproduce and thrive. Examples include nesting boxes and bird houses, which allow different species to nest in different areas, giving them a chance to establish and grow in those areas. Birdhouses and nesting boxes can also attract other species as well and help enhance the ecological function of the area. Many people choose to purchase nesting material, such as nesting houses or nesting sites, in order to build an attractive nest and give wildlife the chance to nest there. In addition, adding water features such as ponds, bird baths, or other features that mimic a natural habitat also encourages wildlife gardens and enhance biodiversity.
And the best wildlife garden additions are those that add to the ecological value of the existing habitat.
The same is true for parks and wildlife preserves: Creating beautiful gardens and landscapes is a great way to enhance the ecological function of the existing habitat and add biological diversity. This type of landscaping is often referred to as “ecosystem integration.” There are a number of different ways that landscape gardeners can incorporate wildlife gardens. Some landscaping techniques may even be considered as wildlife-friendly additions. Let’s take a look at a few.
One popular technique is to mix different types of vegetation together in a design theme similar to an urban park. For example, by creating “green spaces” where birds and other wildlife can find food and hide, a garden can be created. An example would be to place birdhouses near food sources, such as table leaves or branches, providing the animals with a source of food and water. By placing plants in the spaces, you create a habitat where wildlife can live. In addition to providing an area for wildlife to live, a park or preserve can also help native species, such as songbirds to flourish.
By integrating multiple types of vegetation, an existing site will look different from its surroundings, making it unique.
A second popular technique is to plant habitats close to roads or edges, providing birds with easy access to a birdhouse. By doing so, you create a more natural setting for the wildlife to find shelter and nesting places. This adds attractiveness to the site, as well as helping local birds to reproduce. In addition, plants can make a park or preserve look more appealing to visitors.
Another added feature that works well is putting birdhouses near the entrance to a park or preserve. By doing so, you provide an easier way for wildlife to find their way into the preserve or park. In addition, by providing an easy entry point, you may discourage other animals from using the space, which can be detrimental to the wildlife. Another idea is planting smaller species of birds close together, so they can nest and raise their young in close proximity to each other. This can be useful to help promote bird migration patterns and family units.
Creating a garden that features multiple features that attract local wildlife can help ensure a sustainable population. By planting different wildlife species in and around a natural garden, many benefits can be achieved. It will encourage natural reproduction, create better habitats for wildlife, reduce mosquito activity, reduce soil erosion, provide shelter and nesting areas for birds and other wildlife, and add beauty to the surroundings.
There are many additions that actually work. All it takes is some research and a commitment to plant the right plants. Once these plants start to grow, you will likely be amazed at the difference. From butterflies to hummingbirds, nature has provided all of us with an amazing range of amazing species to provide habitat for in return.
If you have never considered building a wildlife garden before, now is as good a time as any to do so!
Provided by Antonio Westley
Disclaimer: This article is meant to be seen as an overview of this subject and not a reflection of viewpoints or opinions as nothing is definitive. So, make sure to do your research and feel free to use this information at your own discretion.