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How to attract wildlife to your yard (why it is important in the GTA)

Though many of us wish to keep wildlife out of our yards so we don’t have to deal with pests and make it easier to keep everything pristine in our outdoor space, we can all agree that seeing beautiful birds and butterflies in our backyard can be a truly enjoyable experience. I would think that most people in southern Ontario would be shocked to hear that the area with the most at risk species in all of Canada is between Toronto and Windsor. This area is known as the Carolinian zone. 9 million people have moved into this area leaving just 2% of the original native habitat in tact. This has put over 125 species in this area at risk. With that being said making a few changes to your yard in the direction of being more animal friendly can have a big impact in your area and can often help reduce pests in your yard at the same time.

Depending on the size of your yard and how much you would like to allocate to wildlife will determine the best options for you. Space for yourself however does not necessarily mean space that wildlife cannot use. If you have a home in a subdivision for instance and you don’t have acres to work with you will often have gardens on the outside edge of your property which you can use to aid wildlife and also achieve the softening look these gardens are designed for. Simply planting native species to your area can have the desired affect. Planting a variety of flowering plants that will bloom at varying times a year can help supply hummingbirds, butterflies and bee’s food through out the year. It also gives you something pleasant and colorful in your yard to enjoy year-round. The Canadian wildlife federation website has lists of the best flowering plants for each birds, butterflies and bee’s and also sells packages with several species of plants in them. Also, your local garden center should be able to help you chose good plants for your yard.