Improving habitats for wildlife in your backyard and neighborhood
A habitat for wildlife is as an area that provides their basic needs: food, cover or shelter, water, and space. Each habitat component is an important part of a wildlife-friendly yard. For example, providing supplemental foods for birds can create opportunities for closer observation. Building birdhouses provides nesting space to attract bluebirds, wrens, purple martins, chickadees and other species. Additionally, planting and managing for an appropriate mix of food and cover plants in proper locations can benefit wildlife, butterflies and other pollinator species. Planning ahead is crucial to developing a successful habitat. It is also helpful to understand some ecological concepts that provide the basis for implementing various management activities. This will help you identify specific habitat components that are in short supply for species of interest and address any deficiencies through active management. With proper planning, you can design habitats that suit your interests and preferences. By the same token, you can design a plan and manage habitats in your yard in such a way that prevents certain species that you consider to be a nuisance from becoming abundant.
Archive version. For most recent information see extension.missouri.edu.