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House with native plants and animalsGoing Native: Urban Landscaping for Wildlife with Native Plants
Home > Create Your Own Native Landscape > Step One-Identify Wildlife Needs

Step One-Identify Wildlife Needs


Choose a Target Species.  What type of wildlife would you like to attract to your landscape?  Most people are interested in attracting songbirds, hummingbirds, or butterflies.  Of course, if you plant the right native plants, you can attract all three! 

Determine the Basic Needs of Target Species.  All wildlife have the same basic life requirements: food, water, and cover.  Find out what your target species requires.  Keep in mind that wildlife have different needs in different seasons. Does it need a certain type of food plant?  Does it prefer a particular plant for cover?  Some butterflies need a specific host plant on which to lay their eggs.  Click below for more information on identifying the needs of native wildlife.

Determine Limiting Factor.  Once you know what your target species needs to survive and thrive, take a look at your existing landscape to see if any of these elements are missing.  That will be a limiting factor that you will need to correct.  Do you have the host plant?  Do you have an adequate source of water?  Are there any food plants?  Cover plants? Keep in mind that limiting factors may change from one season to the next.

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