The feeding of native wildlife is generally not encouraged as it can have some very negative impacts on the health of many native animals. The feeding of processed human foods like bread and honey can make native animals very sick and even cause death in some cases.
Native animals that are fed routinely can also develop a dependency on the food source and become too lazy to forage and hunt for their own food. This can lead to additional health problems and obesity.
Feeding native wildlife can also contribute to an unnatural increase in population numbers and result in higher densities of particular animals in one area. If the food source is stopped these animals will not be able to support themselves.
Increased number of animals also leads to increased noise and fighting between individual animals and different species. Hygiene and cleanliness can also become a problem where large numbers of animals are gathering and leaving behind unwanted deposits.
Your Best Alternative to Feeding WildlifeIf you want to attract native animals into your backyard to watch them feed and to give them a helping hand with finding food, the best thing you can do is to plant local native plants in your garden. By planting a mix of plant species that provides a range of flowers, fruits, seeds and attracts insects throughout the year, you can enjoy watching wildlife in your backyard all year round for free. There are also other backyard features such as a bird bath and frog pond that will attract wildlife.
For more tips on how to attract wildlife to your backyard, check out our Bringing your Garden to Life page.
For further informationLinks and Other Resources
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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.