Girl and boy in garden with plant
BACKYARD BIODIVERSITY Lucio (7) and Elena (4) are doing their part by planting natives in their backyard.


Backyard biodiversity: how you can help

Published: 11 Sep 2020 3:00pm

Your backyard, balcony or selection of pot plants may seem inconsequential, but combined with everyone else’s, they create an urban habitat we can harness to help improve our region’s biodiversity.

Environmental Officer Samantha Pascall said people often don’t realise the positive impact each household can have on the local environment.

“Picture an aerial view of your neighbourhood and you begin to see how all our yards and balconies combine to create one large habitat,’ Ms Pascall said.

“What you do in your space has a very real impact on our local wildlife and our resources.”

What you can do to enhance local biodiversity

Plant natives

“One of the easiest things you can do is plant native species because they’re designed to survive in our climate,” Ms Pascall said.

“While exotics can be very beautiful, you’ll most likely end up using a lot more water to keep them alive – water which could be used elsewhere.

“Native plants are great for native birds, bees and pollination, and you’ll be able to relax come summertime instead of running around with a hose.”

Create habitat

“If you’ve got a little pond, think what you can do to make it frog-friendly. If you’ve got a few rocks, what can you do to make it friendly for skinks and lizards?

“In summer, put some water out with stones and sticks in it so birds and insects can drink safely. There’s so many little things the kids can get involved in.”

girl and boy looking a saucer filled with water, rocks and sticks
CREATING HABITAT: Lucio (7) and Elena (4) fill a saucer with water, rocks and sticks, so birds and even the tiniest insects can drink.

Watch your water consumption

“Look at your garden and ask yourself: do I need this much grass? Does it need to be watered every day in summer?

“Try to conserve as much water as you can.”

Keep cats inside

“Many of us love cats, and I think loving your cat includes respecting the hunters they are and keeping them inside.

“Recent research shows that domestic cats are killing an estimated 230 million native Australian birds, reptiles and mammals every year.

“Keeping them inside is better for cats too – the RSPCA advises that indoor cats are healthier and live longer because they’re safe from the risk of traffic accidents, snake bites and fights with other cats and dogs.

“Simply keeping your cat inside will make a huge difference to the native animals in your neighbourhood.”

Enjoy nature

“We live in such a beautiful area, it’s important to enjoy it and stay connected.

“Try something new. Go for a walk in a different location and appreciate it.

“If you see something that doesn’t look right, such as an area where there is a lot of litter, or an infestation of weeds, please let Council know.”