The Backyard Buddies program was originally developed by the NSW National Parks & Wildlife Service (NPWS) in response to social research by Ian Woolcott BSc et al, called 'Urban Wildlife Renewal – Growing Conservation in Urban Communities' (November 2002).
This research revealed that only a fifth of urban respondents would be interested in being involved in initiatives to conserve native plants and animals. According to the research, however, conservation behaviours that are simple to incorporate into daily life are the most likely to be adopted. This is why Backyard Buddies was started - to provide simple tips for you to help your buddies.
In 2007, an Australian environmental not-for-profit organisation called the Foundation for National Parks & Wildlife took over the program. Today, Backyard Buddies operates as a national environmental education and engagement program. Backyard Buddies enjoys the support of many schools, councils, Catchment Management Authorities, and community members.
Backyard Buddies provides positive environmental information and advice to support individuals to become as involved and active as they wish in backyard and local conservation measures. Backyard Buddies is the only national backyard wildlife appreciation program in Australia.
Each month, FNPW creates and emails out B-mail - a completely free e-newsletter that raises awareness about native plants and animals you are likely to see in your backyard.
B-mail promotes awareness of and involvement in biodiversity conservation at a local level. It encourages readers to enjoy native species in the urban environment, and make their backyards and local areas safe and inviting for urban wildlife.
B-mail is a positive, easy to understand community education tool. It speaks to individual readers and provides them with simple ways to be a part of a larger environmental solution.
The Backyard Buddies toy program is managed by a partner company as a separate business to FNPW, and it is based in a separate office to FNPW.
To date, funds from the Backyard Buddy toy program have supported conservation programs for Little Penguins, Koalas, wombats, wallabies, numerous native birds, and more. You can read about these projects on the FNPW website.