Providing food plants for birds and lizards
There are a few things to keep in mind here. For example: what plants can you plant that provide food. For what species do they provide food. And also can my variety of plants provide food all year long? This link is very good in providing answers to all those questions with a nice table.
One video you should not miss is this one when it comes to feeding native birds.
Why plant natives?
Native plants are a vital part of the natural web of life. Removing a certain native plant from the landscape will likely remove the insects that feed on that plant, which in turn may remove the birds that feeds on that insect. And this is just a simplified example. The local loss of a species can quickly escalate to affect an entire ecosystem. To paraphrase Ecologist Paul Ehrlich: removing native species from an ecosystem is like taking rivets out of an airplane wing; it is impossible to know which one will be the last one that was holding the whole thing together. The best thing to do when you want to attract native wildlife is to plant native plants. Those native birds and lizards have evolved to feed on the native plants. I also like to think that learning and growing native plants promotes a deeper understanding and respect for our whenua. What makes New Zealand so unique is not it’s ‘sheep to people ratio’ but it’s outstanding native flora and fauna. Plants are great, natives are better! If you interested in reading more about the beautiful story of Aotearoa’s Evolution, have a look at this link. And in this link you’ll find 5 more reasons for planting natives.
This is a really great way of looking after, and looking at New Zealand’s astonishing critters. It is basically a hollow wooden box, with a lid that allows you to peak inside without disturbing them very much. It provides ideal habitat for weta, as they love hollow tree trunks. Click here to find out how to make them yourself or purchase one here.
Learn here how to attract Lizards to your garden. If you already have some you may want to identify them and add them to your sighting lists.
It’s in the cats nature to hunt, even if it’s just recreational hunting. Truthfully, if you have a cat then it will be a lot harder to establish a sanctuary. One really capable predator (such as a cat) can take down all your birds in no time. You can however do a few things to reduce the impact:
-Make your cat be seen by the birds and use hi-vis collars. If you have signed up with us you can purchase them from us for a highly subsidized price of $5 (incl. postage). Just send us an email, by clicking the ‘contact’ page above. Otherwise buy them at any of these Vets or contact Kiwi Cat collars directly.
-keep the cat indoors only. To train a cat how to do this, you can find help at this link.
-have your cat neutered or sprayed so they can’t produce unwanted offspring which then often turn into feral cats.
You heard it before but you are not entirely sure what it means? Using local plant species that have come from local seeds. Why does this matter, your may be asking now. Eco-sourced plants & seeds are well-adapted for the climate and soil in your area, which makes them much better candidates for successful survival and growth. Basically a better investment! Don’t get frustrated planting natives that struggle away in your backyard.
Here is a fabulous free guide on Restoration panting including a guide to what plants can handle which conditions.
No need to worry too much about getting it wrong, as nature will sort it out anyway.
What to plant in your backyard
We can recommend this fantastic native plant guide that includes a map, which allows you to identify what plants have the best chance to survive and flourish within the greater Wellington region. Here you can find another great guide for suitable plants specifically for the Miramar Peninsular. And here is a nice guide on how to care for your plantings.
Where to get the plants from
The best option is to get your plants at the WCC annual open day at the Berhampore nursery (ussually around April). They are mostely eco-sourced. Additionally they provide talks, demonstrations and are a very helpful bunch of people. Be aware that most regular garden centers won’t eco-source their natives which may result in them being less successful in your garden.
If you have a reserve next to your property you could also apply for free plants from the WCC. Click here for more on that.
You may want to get rid of invasive plants for a number of reasons. Whatever your reason: the Weedbusters are your go to people. They help you identify and battle the weeds.
Te Motu Kairangi
The Motu Kairangi is another fantastic conservation project that is focusing on ecological restoration on the Miramar Peninsular. Their website is an excellent resource for plantings and you can visit it by clicking here.
This website is still under construction and we are working hard to finalise the information.