Help wildlife in your own backyard

Help wildlife in your own backyard

The way your garden changes from summer to autumn can have a big impact on backyard visitors, such as birds and lizards. With fewer flowers to eat, less food around, and water often scarce after months of heat, it’s a time of year when wildlife can benefit from a helping hand. Here are some steps you can take in your garden now to help critters cope with the season’s challenges.

Provide Water

Access to a reliable water source during dry seasons can literally keep wildlife alive. Hydration stations, or birdbaths, are cheap and practical, and can be ready for action in minutes. Position under some shade, pop in some rocks for refuge, and refill regularly.

Offer shade

In hot weather, animals bunker down in a shady spot until the day’s heat has passed. While all plants offer some relief from the sun, the greater the variety of plants we grow, the more animals we can support. Groundcovers and grasses, for example, offer shade and shelter to the small creatures we often want to encourage.

Create shelter

You can also create refuge on the ground for wildlife. Place logs and rocks under shrubs, or pile large stones or skinny branches cut into 30–40cm lengths to shelter lizards, frogs and insects – even these guys can suffer from heat stress.

Provide tree hollows and fauna boxes

Tree hollows are premium real estate for animals. They’re used by more than 100 species of Australian birds, mostly for nesting, while nearly half our mammals and 30 per cent of reptiles use them for sleeping and sheltering. But fauna boxes are a great alternative for your garden. Place fauna boxes in the shade or a partly shaded spot.