Whatever your reasons are for wanting more wildlife to live at or visit your property, to be successful you need to meet their needs for food, shelter/cover, water, and living space. Food and cover are the most important of these, and in fact more wildlife will die from lack of cover than from starvation. You can still attract wildlife to your property without having all of these components, but you will have a better chance if do have all on your property or on nearby properties.
Every species has its own specific food requirements, and those requirements may change with the season or as the animal grows. The manipulation of your forest (through timber harvesting) and the planting of trees and shrubs are the most powerful tools you have for affecting the quality of food available to wildlife. What you are looking to create is a diversity of food sources that are available year round. Choose to favor the plants that your desired wildlife feed on or that the prey of your desired wildlife feed on.
Wildlife use cover for raising their young, escaping predators, and for protection from severe weather. The more diversity you have in cover, the more diversity in wildlife you will attract. This includes diversity in the types of trees and shrubs and their sizes and ages. This also includes diversity in the non-living parts of your forest like rock piles, standing dead trees, and brush piles.
Wildlife use water bodies for a number of reasons including for drinking, bathing, and for finding something to eat. Adding some kind of water feature to your property (when you had none before) will most likely get you an immediate increase in the number of wildlife that will visit your property. However, you don’t necessarily have to have a body of water on your property to get wildlife as many times they can fulfil their need for water in other ways. They might be using water bodies on nearby properties. Many animals get most of their water from the things they eat. In general, moving water with some aquatic plants will attract more wildlife than standing water with nothing growing in it.
Every wildlife species has a unique pattern of space and territorial needs. The space needs of some wildlife can be easily fulfilled in a small amount of land whereas others require thousands of acres and will most likely be something you can do nothing about. Along with size, other characteristics of living space important to wildlife include: the shape and constituents of that living space; its connectedness to other habitats; and how it will change over time.
Get in touch with us at Hosta Groundcare Ltd we can advise, create, improve and manage your sites local wildlife habitats.