Thinking About Wildlife Corridors in a Garden

When we think of wildlife corridors, we are most accustomed to thinking of them on a landscape scale. That is, they cover large travel routes or pass through entire cities and urban areas. But it can also be helpful to think about wildlife corridors on a much smaller scale, in our own individual gardens.

What is a wildlife corridor?

A wildlife corridor is an area of ​​habitat that allows wildlife to move from point A to point B, transcending man-made barriers to natural ecosystems. These are important conduits that connect important habitats and allow animals to move safely between them.

why they matter

Due to human development and encroachment, natural habitats are becoming increasingly fragmented and animals are no longer able to move naturally. leads to

Creating or restoring small patches of habitat is not enough to stem large-scale biodiversity loss. We need to think holistically and ensure that steps are taken to connect critical habitats both at scale and at scale.

We need to ensure that sprawling human development and ever-growing urban and infrastructure networks do not continue to have such negative effects on other creatures with whom we share our space.

Narrow hallways are not enough. Existing habitats must be protected and lost habitats restored on a wider scale. But in the short term, we need to do everything we can to make it easier not only for the wildlife that lives in our communities, but also for the wildlife that passes through them.

What gardeners can do

Much of the connectivity, conservation and restoration work obviously has to be done at scale, but it is our own individual efforts to create and maintain the corridors that allow the free and safe movement of wildlife. There are so many amazing things you can do in your garden. around us.

It may go without saying, but we should do all we can to promote a wide range of biodiversity in our gardens. You should create a variety of habitats, welcome and provide for wildlife in any way you can, and always garden organically.

Beyond this, steps need to be taken to ensure that our gardens function within the wider environment and do not interfere with wildlife travel.

Gardening in a broader context

When thinking about a wildlife corridor in your garden, the most important thing to remember is this is to look beyond the boundaries of your property and consider how it connects with the surrounding garden. area.

Ask yourself where wildlife in your area usually comes from and where they go after passing through your space. Are there roadsides or hedges to reach the property, or is it surrounded by other gardens and homes?

In permaculture design, we often talk about sectors (flows from outside space acting on a system). The most important of these are sunlight, wind, and water. But other areas must also be considered, such as noise and air pollution, and human and wildlife migration patterns.

By considering wildlife movement from the very beginning of design, we can ensure that our gardens work well not only on their own, but within the wider system.

Find out what wildlife is present

To create the perfect layout and determine the best strategies and plants for your wildlife-friendly garden, you also need to think about what wildlife will be present and passing, and what will be around you when you are in the garden. there is.

It is important to learn more about the specific species that inhabit and visit your garden as you explore ways to allow access in and out of your garden without encountering barriers along the way.

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Create a permeable boundary

For gardeners, one of the most important things we can do is keep important species out of the garden. This means thinking carefully about how you mark and define the boundaries of your properties.

Unfortunately, many gardens are divided by walls or fences, divided or divided. These can be impenetrable to certain wildlife, blocking them as they attempt to move from their natural environment to their habitat, from one garden to the next, or between different areas within a garden.

If a wall or fence already exists, holes can be drilled near the base to allow important species (such as hedgehogs) to pass through. Even better, you can use other borders such as hedges and other plantings. These are great for wildlife and act as conduits for wildlife to enter and move into space.

Link Habitat Zone

Especially if you live in an urban area, it is important not only to protect wildlife in your garden, but also to work with your neighbors. Creating a wildlife habitat that spans several properties is often much more beneficial to passing wildlife than creating a small patch of habitat on your own property.

For example, you may have a native forest and be able to extend that habitat over a somewhat larger area by cooperating with your neighbors across hedges. Alternatively, you can create a wildflower area that leads to your neighbor’s wildflower garden on the other side of the property line.

Taking a few simple steps can make a big difference not only to the biodiversity in your own garden, but also to the wildlife that is trying to migrate in your area.

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