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Wildlife Gardening in the Central Valley

Articles: Wildlife Gardening in the Central Valley

California pipevine swallowtail butterfly (Battus philenon). Photograph by TW Davies, courtesy www.calphoto.com

Recent evidence that birds, butterflies, and native ecosystems are on the decline has resulted in an increased interest in “wildlife gardening”— creating gardens that can better support wild creatures. Gardeners sometimes use the word “wildlife” in a narrow fashion; not many would be happy to have deer, skunks, coyotes, or mountain lions prowling their backyard retreat, but many other creatures are wonderful additions to the garden. Wildlife gardening, also called habitat gardening, generally refers to creating gardens with plant associations and vegetation communities that are inviting to birds and beneficial insects. In this new paradigm, our gardens are not just for human pleasure and food production. Gardens and urban landscapes can supply the food, water, and shelter that wild lands and fallow fields once provided for these creatures.

A search of the Internet (see For Further Reading, page 22) will uncover all the information you need on the general principles of creating a wildlife habitat...


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