Habitat is a combination of food, water, shelter, and space arranged to meet the needs of wildlife. Even a small yard can be landscaped to attract birds, butterflies, beneficial insects, and small animals. Trees, shrubs, and other plants provide shelter and food for wildlife.
The plants you use for food and cover will help determine the wildlife species attracted to your backyard. Nesting boxes, feeders, and watering sites can be added to improve the habitat.
PLANNING YOUR WILDLIFE HABITAT
Planning is necessary for attractive and productive wildlife habitat. You have both a horizontal area to work with -the size of your lot-as well as a vertical area that stretches from your soil to the treetops. The vertical area is composed of the canopy formed by the tallest tree branches; understory vegetation consisting of smaller trees, shrubs, and vines; the floor which is often dominated by low-growing groundcovers; and the basement where a variety of organisms exist in the soil. Different wildlife species live in each of these zones, so numerous habitats can be provided on a small piece of land.
Trees and shrubs are the backbone of any landscaping design and are important for wildlife shelter. Many tree and shrub species are excellent sources of food for wildlife. Proper selection of plant material can meet both the aesthetic needs of the homeowner an the food and shelter needs of wildlife. Remember that you are part of the habitat too.
Things to consider in your wildlife backyard are species of flowers and trees for birds and other wildlife. Your landscaping for food and cover. Plus you need to consider food and shelter for butterflies, attracting bees and bats, frogs and other fun stuff.
Here at the Baxter County Conservation District we have a pamplet of instructions and ideas for you to pickup for free that will give you step for steps on creating a wildlife habitat in your back yard. Come pick them up here at the office from 8 am to 4:30 pm Monday thru Friday at 406 W. Wade Ave. in Mtn. Home.