Our native wildlife is precious and important to our ecosystems. Here are some ways that you can make your backyard and surrounds, wildlife friendly. There are many ways you can help them, whether you have a small apartment balcony, or a large property on acreage. Inner city suburbs and populated areas might not seem like a place for native wildlife to be, but they are there, and they need us.
Bird baths, shell pools or bowls, can all be left out to provide water. Our country is one of ‘droughts and flooding rains’ and will remain so for ever. Every living species needs and access to water. Don’t forget to place a rock, or a suitable size stick in large/deep water sources to ensure frogs, lizards and smaller animals can get out if they happen to fall in.
FEED THE BIRDS
Bird baths can also be used to put seed in for the birds in your area. Ensure that bird baths are placed away from pets such as dogs and cats. Bird feeders and seed sticks can be hung in your trees to provide an easily accessed snack, which allows birds to feel safe in a more natural environment than on the ground.
BEE HOTELS & GARDENS
Making your backyard bee friendly is a great initiative to support local ecosystems. Bees are so vital to our ecosystems and with your help, we can help stabilise their population. Planting bee-friendly plants and flowers in your backyard is an easy way to start. Flowers and plants like lavender, bottlebrush, daisies and honey myrtle are a crowd favourite of our native bees. They also smell amazing for us humans too! Bee hotels are a great DIY project. They are available from hardware stores and plant nurseries. These can be hung from fences, placed in garden beds or hanging baskets in trees.
FEED THE NIGHTLIFE
The evening is a great time to place food along the tops of fences, or in trees for our nocturnal wildlife friends. Fruits like apples, pears and bananas are favoured, and should be cut up into smaller pieces. Bats desperately need our help. They are the pollinators of our native trees and fruits, and without them we risk impacting on many things, such as the eucalypts, which koalas need to survive. The bats in many areas are literally starving to death and falling from the sky. If you use netting for fruit trees, we recommend Fruit Saver nets, Hail Guard or Vege Net. These nets are all white and the colour best seen by animals at night. Better still, take the net off and allow the ‘batties’ to dig in. As we say at our HQ, if you save the bats, you save the world.
Road trauma is a huge threat to wildlife. If you see an injured animal on a roadway, and if it is safe to do so, pullover and check if you may be able to help in some way. Move it off the road to prevent further damage if needed. If it’s a macropod that you have come across, check that the pouch is empty, and you can mark a small cross on the animal with a tin of spray paint to indicate that for the info of others. Become familiar with Wildlife Rescues in your area and record their contact numbers, so that when you come across injured wildlife, you can contact a professional to provide appropriate care. If you do find injured wildlife, it is important that you observe the map coordinates and general location, and record them. This is essential information when the time comes to release the animal back into the wild should it survive the trauma. Native animals, should ideally be returned for release within close proximity to where they were found.