Wildlife Habitat Management
When it comes to wildlife habitat, there are many configurations that can be designed and created, depending on the landowner’s perspective and personal objectives. First and foremost, determine the type of wildlife you would like to attract. Is it song birds or upland, game birds? Perhaps you’re looking to put out a “welcome sign” for deer, wild turkey, waterfowl, and other wildlife.
How large of a project are you interested in undertaking? Perhaps you’re looking at more than a “backyard” project, particularly if you have the back forty acres to work with. Once you’ve come to that conclusion and considered several of options available, then you can set out to implement your land management strategy.
Start by evaluating your property. Look at what is presently there, as well as what might be missing. Consider any of the limitations (required permits, special equipment that may be needed, costs, etc.), as well as some of the possible alternatives. Once you have made this integral assessment, then you will be able to proceed with your management plan.
Requirements for any wildlife habitat, regardless of the type, are food, water, shelter (type of cover), and a sufficient amount of space. Of course, all of those things will be determined by the kind of wildlife, furry or feathered, that will not only make their visit, but hang around for a while, as well.
As far as where you can turn to find wildlife habitat ideas, recommendations, and technical assistance, the list is as long as you want it to be or until you find the info you’re after! There are several conservation programs available, like the Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program, the Environmental Quality Incentives Program, the Wetland Reserve Program, and others that can provide technical and possibly, financial assistance.
Numerous agencies, like the Natural Resources Conservation Service, and the ODNR Division of Wildlife, non-profit organizations, such as Pheasants Forever, the National Wild Turkey Federation, and Ducks Unlimited can provided you with tons of resourceful tips. You can also contact the Erie Conservation District office or our area’s ODNR Division of Wildlife, Private Land Biologist, Mark Witt. Like we’ve demonstrated on more than one occasion, it’s been proven that “if you build it, they will come”!