Thanks to a booming human population and the rampant development that goes along with it, habitat destruction is occurring across the globe at an alarming rate. Although humans may gain an office building or school, birds, butterflies and other wildlife are often without the basic elements needed for survival.
The good news is, anyone with the ability to provide food, water, shelter and a place to raise young can reconstruct a suitable wildlife habitat in their own backyard.
The National Wildlife Federation recently launched a program that helps people construct and certify a wildlife habitat in commercial and residential areas. By doing so, not only are vital habitats restored, but also relaxing places to experience nature are expanded.
With helpful articles, videos, photos and links, the Certified Wildlife Habitat program makes creating a backyard habitat easy and accessible. It also just so happens that May is Garden for Wildlife Month, which makes it the perfect time to make your yard wildlife friendly.
One of the best ways to create an outdoor space that will attract wildlife is to incorporate native plants. Because they are indigenous to a specific region, native plants usually require less maintenance and are welcomed by wildlife, serving an important role in the local ecosystem.
Using non-native or exotic plants can sometimes cause serious problems for an ecosystem if the selected species spread aggressively and are not managed. These so-called "invasives" can out-compete native species for habitat and food, changing the landscape of an area forever. Check out these NWF resources for figuring out which plants are native to your area.
If you create a wildlife garden, or just happen to notice some birds or butterflies poking around in your yard, be sure to share your pictures on the Care2 Facebook page!
Image Credit: Flickr - USFWS Pacific