I think 3 things have increased the quantity and diversity of birdlife around us in Mt Victoria, Wellington, NZ:
- About 10 years ago members of Forest and Bird planted a whole lot of cabbage trees and other native plants nearby.
- The Karori Sanctuary, a mere 3 or 4 Kilometres away as the tui flies, is increasingly better established
- The Council implemented a pest poisoning programme a few years ago.
Just a few weeks ago, when we had an early summer spell there were more birds around than I think I’ve ever seen before. At one point there were 4 tui sitting on the power wire just above our front garden.
Would you like to see images of NZ Birds and listen to their song? Visit over at the New Zealand Birds site.
We’ve also done a bit. When we had a major extension put on our house a few years ago we had the front garden totally replanted in native plants: grasses, flax, miniature kowhai and sundry others.
We’re also gradually adding more native plants to our back garden too.
Every little helps
But even if you don’t have a whole garden, or don’t want to change out exotic plants for natives, there are still things you can do to give our native wildlife a bit of a break:
The more native bush or plants you have the more likely you are to encourage more species there,says Lincoln University ecologist Mike Bowie.
Mr Bowie has helped produce a simple DIY guide for how to transform a manicured garden into a teeming haven of interconnected wildlife. …
Other ways to encourage biodiversity are easy-to-make shelters for the likes of lizards, and everyone’s favourite creepy crawly, the weta.
Backyard Biodiversity, a 1.4Mb PDF, is specifically written for Canterbury, but it has information that’s useful for all Kiwis.
Because all of nature is so interconnected, even helping out the spiders and worms can make life easier for the birds and other species.
As the booklet says:
The greater the diversity of an ecological system the better its chances of being resilient to impacts such as climate change or invasion by pests. It is the native and endemic species of a region that are most significant. …
New Zealand’s biodiversity is unique but extremely vulnerable. To conserve this biodiversity New Zealanders need to value it.
The Guide also includes some gorgeous photos, and very handy links for more information. It’s free. What are you waiting for?