The Registry of Nature
Attracting Wildlife to Your Own Back
A Guide to Increasing Wildlife Diversity
and Aesthetic Value Around Your Home
In 1948, Aldo Leopold, father of conservation wrote: "there are
some who can live without wild things, and some who cannot. " Fifty
or more years later, many of us agree that wildlife does play an
important part in our lives. National statistics show that over 60
million Americans feed, photograph or view wildlife. Much of this
activity is conducted by individuals living within urban areas.
In most of the US, one in every four individuals takes part in
feeding, photographing or viewing wildlife. Back yards are one of
the most popular and accessible spots for this activity.
Since more people are moving
into urban areas it may not come as a surprise that landscaping for
wildlife and wildlife viewing are becoming more important to urban
homeowners. Folks who once lived in rural areas, where wildlife is
plentiful, have learned that wildlife viewing in an urban setting
can be equally rewarding. Many city folks have become so busy with
day to day life that a back yard provides some of the only
wildlife-associated recreation available to the family.
Landscaping to attract wildlife
does more than simply bring wildlife closer to you. By using native
plants adapted to living in this climate, you will benefit
economically through decreased watering and reduced maintenance.
In addition, native trees and
shrubs provide visual screens for privacy, help reduce noise and
provide windbreaks, all making your yard a more enjoyable place to
spend time. Many native plants bear fruits which can be eaten fresh,
dried or used in desserts and jellies.
The healthy environment created
for wildlife means a healthy environment for you and your family.
Your back yard can become a classroom to learn how plants and
animals interact between species and with one another. Important
lessons such as minimizing the use of pesticides and other harmful
chemicals can be learned. Reduced maintenance allows more time to
spend weekends with family or friends rather than mowing or watering
Landscaping for wildlife is no
solution to reducing the enormous tracts of habitat such as native
prairie or forests which have been destroyed. However, planned and
completed correctly, small areas like your back yard can provide the
essentials for many wildlife species, particularly birds and small
Your question about what one
person can do to better the environment is answered in your good
faith concern for wildlife where it may mean the most to you-- in
your own back yard.
Presented in the following
pages are methods to attract wildlife to your yard. This material is
introductory in nature and therefore will be supplemented with
references for you to obtain additional information.
Section -- Foreword
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