Landscaping for Wildlife
With Florida’s rising population, more and more people now live closer to natural wildlife areas. Although this is of concern, Florida residents can make their landscape more friendly and beneficial to wildlife with a few suggestions.
If you want provide a better habitat for wildlife, use the following tips.
- Plant a butterfly garden or create sections of native ground cover, wildflowers, and other vegetation. Reducing the amount of mowed lawn in your yard will provide more cover and food for wildlife.
- Incorporate vertical layering to your yard by planting bushes below trees and clumping plants of different heights together.
- A birdbath or small pond in your yard can be a great addition to attract wildlife.
- Landscaping with native Florida plants gives food and protection for wildlife, and they are typically easier to maintain than nonnative species.
- Like a birdbath or small pond, adding bird feeders and bird houses will draw in a variety of bird species.
- Determine if there are any invasive exotic plants in your yard and remove them.
- Reducing pesticide use will benefit wildlife, because many pesticides kill other insects that are beneficial to your lawn or garden.
By creating habitats with food, shelter, water, and space, homeowners can design yards and neighboring areas to attract and benefit wildlife.
If you’d like to learn more about establishing a wildlife-friendly yard, then reach out to your local County Extension office, which will be able to provide help and give expert advice.
Adapted and excerpted from:
M. E. Hostetler, G. Klowden, S. W. Miller, and K. N. Youngentob, “Landscaping Backyards for Wildlife: Top Ten Tips for Success” (CIR1429), UF/IFAS Wildlife and Ecology Department (Accessed 09/2014).