Urban 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 and hummingbirds? Perhaps you’re looking to attract other wildlife visitors, like squirrels, rabbits, or maybe even bats.
In urban settings, those who like observe various species of wildlife going through their routine can accommodate them with a fairly simple “backyard” project. Once you’ve decided on what kind of critters you’d like to welcome to your property, then you can consider some of the options that might be available, as well as the land management actions that will need to be taken.
The planning process for your wildlife enhancement should take into consideration several important factors. Start by evaluating your property. Look at what is presently there, as well as what might be missing. Consider any of the limitations (permits, ordinances, necessary equipment, costs, etc.), as well as some of the possible alternatives. Once you have made this integral assessment, then you will be able to formulate and implement your management plan.
Fundamentally, 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 you hope to attract on repeated occasions. Time and again it’s been proven that, just like in Costner’s Field of Dreams, “if you build it, they will come”!
As far as where you can 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 numerous agencies and non-profit organizations that can provide all kinds of ideas and options. Feel free to also contact the Erie Conservation District office or our area’s ODNR Division of Wildlife, Private Land Biologist, Mark Witt.