Wildlife References and Resources
Attracting birds, bees, butterflies and beneficial insects and other critters to your garden is not difficult and reaps multiple rewards by pollinating your fruit trees and food crops, keeping pests at bay and creating a diverse eco-system in your garden. People are often amazed at the abundant life in the garden after removing or reducing their front lawns and planting the right plants. Plant it and they will come! Be sure to emphasize local native plants as you make your selections as they have co-evolved with the native wildlife. Here are some resources to get you started creating your own wildlife habitat garden:
BooksBringing Nature Home: How You Can Sustain Wildlife with Native Plants
by Professor Douglas Tallamy, Timber Press 2007
The information in this book offers a solid foundation for understanding the role our gardens and landscapes play in maintaining healthy (or unhealthy) eco-systems, including the fragile balance between bird populations and reproduction and the quantity and variety of local native plants to attract and support the insects birds (and other insectivores) need to reproduce and rear their young. Visit the Appendix in The New American Front Yard: Kiss Your Grass Goodbye, or the virtual appendix for a synopsis of the book and more information.
Going Native: Biodiversity in Our Own Backyards – Brooklyn Botanical Garden Series
by Janet Merinelli, Editor. Brooklyn Botanical Garden 1996
This small book is packed with natural landscaping tips and provides detailed recommendations for creating a biodiverse habitat in various regions of the US.
Sustainable Practices for the Landscape: Bay-Friendly Landscape Guidelines Professional 3rd Edition
Teresa Eade and Cynthia Havstadt Editors. Stop Waste.org. 2008
These comprehensive guidelines for the design, installation and maintenance of can be purchased or downloaded for free at the Bay-Friendly Landscape and Gardening Coalition’s website: http://www.bayfriendlycoalition.org/
The Habitat Garden Book: Wildlife Landscaping for the San Francisco Bay Region 2nd Edition
by Nancy Bauer, Coyote Ridge Press 2008
A little pocket guide designed for the San Francisco Region, this book is concise and very useful if you live in this area.
The Wildlife Gardener’s Guide – Brooklyn Botanical Garden Series
Janet Merinelli, Editor. Brooklyn Botanical Garden 2008
Another small book by the Brooklyn Botanical Garden, this book provides detailed description of the various insects, birds and other beneficial creatures we can attract to our gardens, including plant lists by region and other how to design habitat gardens.
Urban Wildlife Habitats: A Landscape Perspective, by Lowell W. Adams
University of Minnesota Press, 1994
This book reviews the negative impact of development upon natural plant and animal communities and describes how, with judicious use and placement of native plants to provide the proper structure, pattern and species composition, wildlife can co-exist with humans within the urban fabric.
The National Wildlife Foundation (NWF)For more than 35 years, NWF's Certified Wildlife Habitat® program has shown people the benefits of gardening for wildlife. Visit their site to learn more about attracting wildlife to your garden and how to register your landscape as a certified wildlife habitat.
Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower CenterLady Bird Johnson, our former first lady, and actress Helen Hayes founded an organization in 1982 to protect and preserve North America's native plants and natural landscapes, which has grown into the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center. The center’s mission is to increase the sustainable use and conservation of native wildflowers, plants and landscapes. Visit the website for tips and suggestions, including recommended plants by each state in the US.
Wildlife GardenersAccording to their website: “Wildlife Gardeners promotes environmentally sound practices to preserve biodiversity. We do so by encouraging discussions of the preservation, restoration and establishment of native flora and fauna AND sustainable gardening practices. The Best science will prevail. We are an environmental tutelage and advocacy organization dedicated to fostering a love of ecosystems and education in the areas of environmental science and natural history”.
Montana Wildlife GardenerThis site is full of information for Montana native gardens, as well as general tips and suggestions that apply to all gardens and a sustainable lifestyle.
Backyard NatureArticles about natural and organic living options with sustainable lawn care, organic gardening, organic foods, organic farming and healthy homes for babies, kids and adults.
Natural Resource Conservation Service - Backyard Conservation Tip Sheet.A concise summary that describes how to create a garden that will attract abundant wildlife. Be sure to cross-reference the recommended plants with a local resource on native plants.