This World Wildlife Day, consider giving the gift of habitat to Aussie native wildlife.

Habitat destruction has seriously impacted many native animals and they need our help.

Even if your backyard is small and water is limited you can make a difference.  Did you know that 50% of our threatened native fauna lives on the urban fringe?  Encouraging native animals back to the garden can make a huge difference to the environment.

It is a good idea to understand the right plants to grow for your area so perhaps check with your local nursery or garden centre before you begin to ensure a good mix of indigenous and non-indigenous plants in the mix. Where possible, having a variety of these in your yard will help to assist the natural food chain to flow.

Plants like native peas and daisies and other garden plants like lavender attract native bees.  Other easy to grow natives like Banksia, Bottlebrush, Lilly Pilli and Eucalypt attract insects, birds, lizards and frogs. 

Plants with a good amount of nectar will help ensure the survival of Pollinators, a group of animals that play a critical role in the food supply for wildlife and people.  The majority of crops we enjoy (ie fruit, veges and nuts) rely on animal-mediated pollination to grow.  Without Pollinators it will be difficult to source the variety of minerals and vitamins we all need to stay healthy.

Beautiful butterflies are also struggling to survive as urbanisation in Australia increases rapidly and recreational activity in coastal regions intensifies. Most of them too need nectar and their caterpillars need plant matter to survive.  So in urban areas you can team up with neighbours to give butterflies a more extensive menu to feast on.  And also try to avoid harsh chemicals in your garden – ie those that end in ‘cides’ – herbicides, fungicides and pesticides.

Having tall trees will make the magpies and kookaburras happy, whilst thorny shrubs offer birds of all sizes a place to perch.

Just like us, wildlife needs water to survive. Place a bowl of fresh water in your garden and replenish it each day or perhaps install a bird bath that will offer somewhere for them to drink and a bath at the same time!   As a reward for your efforts, grateful wildlife will repay the favour by providing entertainment for you to watch as they perform unique bathing rituals or enjoy a quick dip.

There are many ways you can help make a world of difference to help conserve and preserve our precious native wildlife for generations to come to enjoy.

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