Backyard Biodiversity

Every home gardener can increase biodiversity in our communities by creating a wildlife haven in their backyard. Birds and animals rely on the miniature garden forest we create for shelter, nesting and food.

Construct a bird feeding station and you'll quickly make feathered friends. Photo: Robyn Windsor

Construct a bird feeding station and you'll quickly make feathered friends. Photo: Robyn Windsor

Although the limited size of gardens prevents them from being complete habitats it is suprising how many species can live in a small space if the right conditions are created. A balance of ground cover, shrubs and trees will attract lizards, butterflies and insects as well as native birds like the tui, bellbird, silvereye and kereru.

Not everyone realises the difference they can make for our native wildlife by planting natives on their own property. The backyard presence of native plants provides a miniature habitat for native birds, lizards, butterflies and other invertebrates.

Native plants create shelter, shade, nesting places and leaf litter, prevent erosion and provide food in the form of leaves, nectar, berries, seeds, and associated bugs.
They also help to provide a wildlife 'corridor', allowing wildlife to jump easily from one feeding and/or nesting area to another, with the added benefit of giving you the enjoyment of watching nature close to home.

New Zealand has some 2000 native plants, and many are easy to grow at home - even some of those plants that are rare and threatened with extinction in the wild, such as kakabeak.

Follow these links to learn how you can minimise pests and maximise your native backyard: