The greatest threat to our wildlife is loss of habitat. You can help them by creating a garden that uses native plants that provides food, protection, nesting sites and water.
The best native gardens provide different layers and include tall, medium and small trees. You can add shape and colour by planting lots of flowering shrubs, grasses, ground covers and climbers.
Native animals need a wide variety of food including pollen, nectar, blossoms, fruit and seeds, so providing vegetation with natural food sources is important.
Seeds from eucalypts and wattles provide a tasty meal for many native birds including rosellas. Other birds feed from plants that produce nectar such as bottlebrush and grevilleas. Fruit eaters love berry producing plants such as lilly pillys, blue flax lily and blueberry ash.
To provide the best protection and shelter for our wildlife, create a variety of layers using tall, medium and small trees, low shrubs, scramblers, vines and ground plants that shelter ground feeders.
You can create nesting sites for small native birds by planting clumps of dense prickly shrubs close together to make thickets. Other nesting-friendly matter includes mosses, sticks and dead plant material.
Trees with hollows are used as nesting sites by many animals such as parrots, kookaburras, possums and gliders. These hollows occur only in large mature trees or dead trees, but nesting boxes can be a great substitute.
Creating a pond will satisfy the needs of frogs, lizards and most birds. Place your pond away from bedrooms and neighbours’ houses as frogs can be noisy.
Dense vegetation around the pond, along with rocks and logs, will offer protection to small ground animals. Partial shade is also important.
You can also provide a birdbath for drinking and bathing that is out of reach of your cat. Installing the birdbath close to shrubs or trees will provide cover for the birds.
Other Things to Remember
- Provide a cat-free area in your yard where birds can feed and lizards sunbathe. Train your dog not to harass wildlife.
- Keep pets indoors at night.
- Pesticides and fertilisers can be toxic to small children and animals, and they can end up in our waterways.
- Encourage natural pest controllers into your garden, such as blue tongue lizards, leaf tail geckos and bandicoots by providing rocks and logs for them to live in. These animals assist in controlling pests such as snails, cockroaches, slugs, lawn beetles and spiders.
- Keep weeds under control.
- Don’t feed wildlife. It is much better to provide them with the natural resources so they can feed themselves.
- Teach children to observe, respect and enjoy our wildlife.