Wildlife Habitat in Your Back Yard

January 2017 ENews

While some animals migrate to other habitats or hibernate during winter months, others stay put, often growing thick coats and consuming extra food to keep them warm.

Western Reserve Land Conservancy works year-round to permanently preserve high quality habitats for wildlife across the region. Below are some quick ideas on enhancing habitat in your back yard to help wildlife thrive during the winter:

  • Create cover: Wildlife seek shelter to hide from predators, people, and bad weather. Though native trees, shrubs and thickets are ideal, you can create this habitat by making brush piles when cleaning up twigs and branches in your yard. Fallen trees can be left in place too. You can also stack firewood logs in a crisscross (or Lincoln Log) pattern to provide shelter for small animals like chipmunks and rabbits.
  • Provide for nesting: Creating cover also provides places for wildlife to mate, bear and raise their young. Additionally, you can build nesting boxes or houses for specific species in your back yard.
  • Supply water: Water is often more attractive to wildlife than food, especially in the winter because it’s hard to find. Natural water features like creeks and waterfalls are best, but you can also provide an unfrozen source like a heated or aerated birdbath.
  • Provide food: The best way to provide food for wildlife is to plant trees and shrubs that yield nuts and berries. Native plants are best as they’re adapted to our climate and provide the food native wildlife need at the time these creatures need it.

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