Backyard Buddies

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Wildlife are the animals that live freely in the natural environment.

And they need a place to live. For people, such a place is called "home." For wildlife, the place is called "habitat." But wildlife habitat is not just trees, shrubs, grass, or crops. It is a complex mixture of plant communities, water, weather, animals, and other environmental features that provide the cover and food that wildlife need.

Find out more about what you can do to help our native wildlife.

Build a Bee Hotel

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Photo credit: Arthur Chapman

Build a Bee Hotel

Unlike birds, bees don't need you to get out your hammer and saw and spend an afternoon in the shed. Bee hotels are much easier to make than bird houses. Native Australian bees are mostly solitary and build their nests in existing environments like hollow logs, holes in trees, burrows in the ground and hollows in dead plants. They will even set up house in cracks in building walls. Before you construct your bee hotel, you should consider ..

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Build a Butterfly Box

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Photo credit: David Cook

Build a Butterfly Box

Encourage butterflies in your garden by including lots of nectar-giving flowering plants, muddy puddles for them to drink from, and somewhere to shelter. This lovely Butterfly Box makes a graceful addition to any garden. Using a few tools and some untreated wood, it's easy to build with the help of an adult. You will need Untreated wood Sand paper Nails Hammer Drill Screws A pole or wire Twigs Paintbrush Non-toxic pai..

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Build a Frog Pond

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Photo credit: Tereza T

Build a Frog Pond

A pond creates a home for frogs and adds a lovely water feature in the garden for you to feast your eyes on. You can design your own, in a few simple steps. Frog ponds can come in all shapes and sizes. You can even leave out an old plastic kiddy pool or old bath. Let it fill with rainwater and add native plants and rocks. Location Build your pond away from existing large trees. This avoids problems with roots and with leaves falling in..

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Build a Ladybird House

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Photo credit: Emily

Build a Ladybird House

Ladybirds are a welcome sight in any backyard. Not only are they colourful and lovely to watch, but they also eat up aphids from your plants and help keep your garden healthy. This Ladybird House makes a creative addition to any garden. It will be used by ladybirds and other insects in winter. Adult help is required to make this project. Your ladybird house can help attract ladybirds to your garden or encourage those you release to st..

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Build a Microbat Roost Box

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Photo credit: Doug-Beckers

Build a Microbat Roost Box

Have you watched bats swooping insects? If you visit a park with streetlights at night and watch - you may be lucky! Insect eating microbats are alive and well in your area. Construct your own roosting box to help out tiny bats. This design is suitable for most kinds of Australian microbats. Adult help is required to make this project. You will need 3 cm thick plantation pine or structural or external pine plywood. Rough-sawn or ..

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Build a Nest Box

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Photo credit: M Hooper

Build a Nest Box

Nest boxes replicate natural shelters such as tree hollows. They are fun, easy and cheap to make, and will provide a secure home for many years to come. Brushtail Possums, Sugar Gliders and many bird species such as Kookaburras and Cockatoos will use a nest box as they sleep in tree hollows if they can find them. Ringtail Possums build a nest of sticks called a "drey", but will occasionally use a nest box, too. The Foundation for N..

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Chemical Free Garden

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Photo credit: Sunphlo

Chemical Free Garden

A chemical free garden is a healthy garden for you, your family and the animals that visit. But you also want it to be free of garden pests and weeds. Chemical fertilisers and pesticides are designed to provide a quick solution for common gardening problems, but they can harm visiting animals, and there are often very simple, much cheaper chemical-free solutions at hand. If you spray chemicals or pesticides in the garden, you might..

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Create a Lizard Friendly Garden

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Create a Lizard Friendly Garden

Blue tongues, skinks, water dragons, and other lizards are fantastic buddies to encourage in your backyard. Skinks will eat up insects and their larvae, and larger skinks will take care of slugs and snails for you. To encourage lizards in your garden: Try to: Plant local native grasses and ground covers. A thick ground cover gives lizards plenty of good places to hide. Plant berry or nectar producing local natives as these will ..

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Habitat for Big Birds

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Photo credit: Michael Todd

Habitat for Big Birds

Making your garden a friendly place for big birds will turn it into a fantastic, enjoyable, thriving place. Large birds such as parrots, cockatoos, kookaburras, honeyeaters, birds of prey and others will add colour and excitement to your backyard. These bigger birds are also great to have around as they will eat up snakes, skinks, lizards, insects, and rodents. Nectar-eating big birds will help to pollinate some of your plants. Wi..

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Habitat for Small Birds

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Photo credit: Butupa

Habitat for Small Birds

By making your garden a friendly place for small birds, you will create a good habitat for them to live, feed and nest in. Making your patch a thriving place also helps to reconnect habitats across the landscape. This means that when small birds fly from place to place in search of food, shelter and nesting trees, they have an easier task ahead of them. Making your backyard into a safe and friendly place will help more small birds ove..

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Create a Habitat Haven

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Photo credit: Bidgee

Create a Habitat Haven

Australia's wild animals are far outnumbered by its diversity of plants. There are over 18,000 species of flowering plants alone in Australia. Including other types of plants such as conifers, ferns, mosses and plant algae, Australia is home to over 21,000 species. The numbers given here are only for species identified so far. Local native species are easy to grow, are adapted to the extremes of our climate, and can offer a lot of colour ..

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