Page 2A Plant's Home
WindStar Wildlife InstituteWhenever you can createthis kind of environment, it willsustain the widest variety of wildlife. The same can be saidof planting in
levels," fromground covers through shrubs,on into small trees and finallytall upper-story trees.
Reduce Open Areas
While maintaining open areasfor your family, there arecorner-of-the-yard additionsthat provide protectiveshelter, nesting sites, andescape routes for suchcreatures as rabbits, foxes,and woodchucks.Hedgerows of dogwood,honeysuckle, redbud, or wildcherry offer both shelter andfood, as do thickets of rosesor blackberries. If you have thespace, field crops such ascorn, grain sorghum, orsoybeans are excellent.Brush piles are anotherpossibility, and should beplaced near the edge of woods,or at the edge of a pond withpart of the brush submerged.They should be about 5 ft. highand at least 12 ft. in diameter.Discarded Christmas trees areone source of brush pilematerial. The foundation shouldconsist of large rocks or big logswhich won
t decompose tooquickly.Rock piles or walls can be atthe back of your lot, or in thecenter of a pond. They attractducks and turtles, so avoidplacing them near the edge of the water where those specieswould be more vulnerable topredators. Providing food andwater sources close to anyshelter feature will naturallymake it even more attractive towildlife.
Space to Raise a Family
As humans, when we think about desirable space, we tendto picture it wide and open. Forus, it is more of a luxury than anecessity. While we can continueto exist, even if more stressfully,within limited space, this isn
tthe case for wildlife.Each species has a minimumarea that it requires for food,water, raising a family, and basicsurvival. This varies from verysmall habitats to large tracts of unbroken forest. While there canbe two to four chipmunks peracre with a range as small ashalf an acre, ideally there will beonly one to four raccoons per 47acres, and their range can bealmost two miles.Dead trees are only oneexample of
free" shelter thatwe remove when we manicure ouryards. Mowing takes away thetall grasses that protect largenumbers of birds and smallmammals. Allowing a corner of the yard, or a strip along oneedge of your property, to growtall will help wildlife, while stillretaining lawn areas for yourfamily.Adding a fence, paths, or abench can make thisenvironment looked moreplanned and acceptable inneighborhoods with strictzoning regulations, as well asencouraging you to walk insidefor a closer look.You can let naturally-occurring vegetation grow tallenough to offer shelter, or youmight want to think aboutcreating a wildflower meadowfor additional color and beauty.One of the best places to finddiversity of wildlife is known as
edge," that area wheredifferent types of plantcommunities come together.This might involve an abruptchange, such as woods to tilledfarmland; or a more gradualtransition from woods to a tallgrass and brush-filled field.