Living with Wildlife
The regions rich and diverse vegetation communities and habitats support a wide diversity of native animals.
However, as our urban areas continue to spread and more people to choose to live in semi rural areas, important wildlife habitat is being cleared and lost. As a result the interactions between humans and wildlife have increased.
Many people get a great deal of enjoyment and happiness seeing a possum sitting up in a backyard tree or watching and listening to birds chattering away as they forage amongst the plants in your garden.
For wildlife, it can be quite difficult surviving in the urban jungle. Many wildlife species have adapted by developing a new range of behaviours and instincts to survive in cities, suburbs and towns. This includes living in roof cavities, making nests under eaves and patio roofs, feeding on well tendered fruit and vegetable gardens and even swimming and bathing in backyard pools.
The degree to which people enjoy and encourage their interactions with wildlife often depends on their level of understanding of individual species with regard to their needs for shelter and food sources, their natural behaviour and their contribution to ecosystems functions.
For example a possum will adapt to living in a roof cavity when there are no natural hollows available. The simple step of erecting a suitably sized nest box will provide an alternate dark hollow space.
Many native animals play an important role in the natural environment through nutrient recycling, dispersal of seeds and pollination. These natural and free services not only assist in maintaining healthy ecosystems, but also provide food for humans.
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.