How to help at home

How to help at home

But what can I do to make an impact? You can create your own sanctuary at home to help out your local wildlife. Here are some tips to help help the local native species in your area

Plant native flora

Planting native flora provides the best food, shelter and habitat for native wildlife.

  • When selecting native plants, ensure they are suitable to your soil and climate conditions. A good way to do this is to choose plants that are indigenous to the local area.
  • Create multiple vegetation layers for a greater diversity of fauna. Try to include ground covers, grasses, low shrubs, medium shrubs, small and tall trees. Dense shrubs provide protection to small birds.
  • Butterfly attracting plants – local grasses, sedges, plants with small nectar pollinating flowers.
  • Nectar producing plants – Acacia, Anigozanthos, Banksia, Bursaria, Callistemon, Correa, Eucalyptus, Grevillea, Hakea, Leptospermum, Xanthorrhoea.
  • Seed producing plants – native grasses, Acacia, Banksia, Callistemon, Eucalyptus.
  • Select a variety of native flowering plants so that you have flowers at all times of the year.

 

Provide shelter

  • Fallen logs, branches and tree stumps provide refuge for birds, reptiles and insects.
  • Any large tree with hollows should be retained. It takes at least 100 years to create a suitable tree hollow and many native birds and small native mammals use them for shelter.
  • Where tree hollows aren’t available, consider installing a nest box. Ensure the nest boxes are durable, sturdily mounted, out of reach of people and other animals.
  • Organic mulch, compost and leaf litter provide shelter and habitat for earthworms, insects and small lizards. They also house microorganisms that decompose and recycle dead matter. This provides valuable nutrients to keep soil and plants healthy.
  • Flat sunny rocks attract butterflies and small reptiles, who like to bask.

 

Provide water

  • Provide a clean and reliable water source such as a pond or bird bath.
  • Ensure wildlife of all sizes have easy access to the water source. Smaller animals may need a ramp in the form of a stick or rock to avoid drowning.
  • Change the water every few days to prevent build-up of things like dirt, and algae and anything deposited by wildlife.

Responsible pet ownership

Dogs and cats are great companion animals. However, through predation and disease they can cause significant impacts on local wildlife. If you see any stray or feral dogs or cats, notify your local council or take them to you local veterinarian or shelter.

CATS

  • Cats are excellent hunters, and when left to roam can kill native wildlife. Even unsuccessful hunters can cause stress to wildlife through their scent and activity, as well as transmitting diseases such as toxoplasmosis which can be detrimental to native wildlife.
  • Keep your cats inside or build a cat enclosure. You may have seen these in new suburbs, many of which are cat containment areas. They allow domestic cats to have outdoor time without posing a risk to local wildlife.

DOGS

  • Keep your dog on-leash, except in designated dog parks or off-leash areas.
  • Pick up after your dog. Dog faeces left in parks and on trails can transmit parasites such as tapeworm which can affect native wildlife.
  • If possible, keep your dog away from sanctuaries and wildlife habitat by housing them inside during the day, or in a separate area of your garden. A roaming dog can be just as dangerous to wildlife as a roaming cat.

 

Refrain from feeding wildlife

Although this act is generally well-intentioned, there are some good reasons why you shouldn’t:

  • Inappropriate food can cause illness and sometimes death.
  • Hand feeding lowers an animals’ aversion to human presence and can even make them aggressive and a nuisance.
  • Feeding can make wildlife lazy. They will start to become reliant on being fed and may lose their ability to forage for their own food.

 

Just by making these small changes – you can make a HUGE impact on our local native species