As our state continues to grow, wildlife is experiencing habitat loss due to development. In Florida, urban areas are a dominant feature in the landscape, and many of these urban areas are situated near natural wildlife preserves. What people do in their own yards affects local and nearby wildlife populations. Last Water Wednesday, the Natural Resources Agent in Osceola County, Krista Stump gave us some tips how we can make our backyard a wet oasis for wildlife.
Habitat includes food, water, and shelter. A shelter needs a cover and a place to raise young. Just like humans, animals need all three to survive. The great news is our backyards can serve as a habitat for wildlife. Maintaining a habitat for wildlife in a yard increases biodiversity in the neighborhood. Biodiversity is simply the number of different species occurring in a given area. One of the easiest ways to turn your yard into a wildlife habitat is by adding water sources for the birds, reptiles, and small mammals in your neighborhood. Water sources can be a simple bird bath or a beautiful water garden. Whatever you choose, remember to change water regularly to keep it free of disease and to control mosquitoes.
Mosquitoes are not only a biting nuisance. They can carry many dangerous diseases. Mosquitoes can easily reproduce in standing water. You can buy mosquito dunks. These donut-shaped products gradually release the bacterium Bti (Bacillus thuringiensis israelensis) that kills mosquito larvae but is safe for plants, pets, and the environment.
For more information about Water Gardens, please visit: https://gardeningsolutions.ifas.ufl.edu/design/types-of-gardens/water-gardens.html
To watch the Water Wednesday recording, please click the video below: