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How to Help the Wildlife in Your Garden

 When we talk about natural habitats for animals, we often just think of beautiful countryside, but our gardens can also be a crucial refuge for wildlife. In fact, if you have a garden you can make a huge difference to the local wildlife. Here are some easy tips that will help you help the wildlife in your backyard.
 
1. Keep Fresh Water out for Birds and Other Wildlife
Helping the Wildlife in Your Garden

All animals need fresh water. You can help them out by keeping water in fountains, birdbaths, and ponds. You can also place water bowls around your garden for thirsty wildlife as urban and suburban wildlife can sometimes have difficulty finding water depending on where they live. Change the water every couple of days.

2. Avoid Feeding Mammals

Mammals such as raccoons, deer, possums, and skunks should never be fed. By feeding them, they will become dependent on humans and might lose their ability and desire to find their own food sources. Feeding them leaves them more vulnerable to starvation and harm by humans.

3. Hang Birdfeeders to Feed Birds

Providing birdseed, especially during winter, can help birds survive the perilous conditions. If you do start feeding birds, then you should make sure you don’t abruptly stop as they can become dependent on you for food. Try to feed them high-quality, non-commercial birdseed, and select a food mixture that’s specifically made for the birds that visit your garden.

4. Avoid Using Insecticides, Pesticides, or herbicides Outside
Helping the Wildlife in Your Garden

If you use these chemicals, you risk killing a whole host of plants, bees, lizards, and even local pets. Insects are food for birds and they’re all needed for a healthy ecosystem. If you have weeds in your garden, pull them out with your hands instead of herbicides.

5. Grow Plants That Are Natural Insect Repellents

In your flower bed, you can grow plants that naturally repel insects, instead of using noxious chemicals. Plants such as clovers, dill, fennel, citronella grass, and common lantana will help to keep a variety of insects at bay.

 

6. Plant a Bee-Friendly Garden

Help bees carry out their important job of pollination by providing them with flowers that produce nectar and pollen throughout the season, such as lavender and salvia.

7. Avoid Using Bug Lights or Bug Zappers
Helping the Wildlife in Your Garden

These lights and zappers end up destroying many good and harmless bugs that are food for birds, bats, lizards, and countless other animals. Wear insect repellent and protective clothing instead.

8. Rake and Pile Leaves in a Corner of Your Garden

Leave a pile of twigs, fallen leaves, branches, and other yard debris in a shady corner of your garden. Let it pile up and decay – it will eventually break down into mulch, providing a great home for newts, frogs, worms, and other types of small creatures.

9. Keep Domestic Cats inside Your House

Since cats are fierce predators, you should train them to be house cats. To allow them some fresh air, you can build a cat enclosure or kennel on the patio or at the side or back of your house. Add shelving, a ladder, and a cat-flap so that your cat can easily access the enclosure.

10. Avoid Cutting Trees Down

Trees provide valuable habitats for all different types of wildlife. When making a decision whether to cut down and remove a tree or shrub, consider the impact it could have on your local wildlife. A single tree can provide protection from predators, shade, food, shelter, and a nesting territory.

11. Create Needed Cover and Protection for Wildlife
Helping the Wildlife in Your Garden
Animals need safe places to hide as well as somewhere to go to take shelter from the elements. Add plants to your garden that provide cover such as native shrubs, brush, vegetation, and even dead trees.

12. Dispose of Waste Properly in a Container

Avoid injuring wildlife in your garden by disposing of waste in a container with a securable lid. Many forms of plastic can be ingested by animals causing suffering and death. Open containers of paint and household or yard products can cause serious harm if ingested. Keep all your waste containers securely closed and inaccessible to animals.

13. Don’t Use Wildlife Traps

Trapping wildlife is not only illegal, but it’s cruel and causes the animal to suffer profoundly. To add to this, it’s actually illegal to trap and remove or relocate wild animals.

 

Source: humanedecisions
Images: depositphotos

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