Living Smart with Biodiversity
Creating a backyard wildlife habitat can be low maintenance but rich in diversity and beauty. It doesn't matter what type of garden you have; a courtyard, balcony, roof top, small or large backyard, we can all contribute to the survival and wellbeing of our local native wildlife species by providing suitable places (habitat) and resources for them to feed, shelter and nest safely.
While just one garden can make a difference, many wildlife friendly gardens together can form important linkages through and across backyards to create safe corridors and stepping stones to nearby landscapes for wildlife to live and move safely.
The Living Smart Biodiversity resources guide your household to explore the value of our unique flora and fauna species and the intricate connections between individual plants, animals, fungi, air, soil and water and the ecosystems they form a part of.
This module challenges your household to learn how you and your neighbours can begin recreating and protecting important wildlife habitat right in your own backyard today by providing resources for foraging, roosting, nesting and water supply for native wildlife species such as:
• Erecting a nest box for native birds, gliders or possums
• Building a frog pond
• Planting native plant species to either directly or indirectly provide a food source for native wildlife species
• Learning to live with existing native wildlife
• Practicing responsible pet ownership.
Outcomes for your household might include:
• Increased numbers of backyard wildlife (e.g.birds, butterflies etc)
• Lower garden maintenance
• Reduction in water usage/energy usage
• Increased sense of environmental connection and wellbeing
Navigate your way through the Biodiversity space for practical information and complete the corresponding activities to complete the Living Smart Biodiversity module and become a Backyard Biodiversity Smart household!
What wildlife species would you like to attract most to your backyard?
Complete the Backyard Wildlife Habitat Survey to gain an understanding of your household's current position in providing wildlife habitat.
challenges, tools and games.
Useful Tips and Facts
- Create urban wildlife corridors and stepping stones to larger local bushland or parkland areas.
- In nature there is no such thing as waste everything is linked and contributes to the cycle. As a plant reaches the end of its life cycle it is not discarded by nature, instead it provides habitat for animals and food for micro-organisms as it lies on the ground, the waste from the micro-organisms, bacteria and fungi feeding on it replace nutrients and organic material to the soil for new plants to grow.
- Plant local native species
- The best way to attract native wildlife to your backyard is to provide a variety of healthy natural foods in the form of seeds, leaves, flowers, nectar, pollen, fruits and nuts throughout the year.
- The use of pesticides and herbicides can damage your soils and kill non target species. The poisoning of insects with chemicals can also cause larger species relying on those insects as a food source to become sick or even die from eating poisoned insects.
- To create habitat for smaller native birds you can grow shrubs close together to create dense corners or pockets in your garden which will provide protection and refuge from larger aggressive birds such as noisy miners
- Wattles (Acacias). While most wattles only live between 6 - 10 years, they are an important pioneer species which colonise disturbed areas, where other plants find it hard to grow. They improve soil conditions enough to allow other species to germinate and thrive by fixing nitrogen into the soil through their roots and adding high levels of organic leaf litter.