Home is where the habitat is

Home is where the habitat is

Creating habitat for urban wildlife

Our local wildlife is doing it tough. You can contribute to making the city a place for all residents, including our native wildlife. It’s easy – create a habitat garden. Just add a few beautiful habitat elements to your backyard or balcony to create a wildlife-friendly stopover.

Our guide is full of practical tips to help with your garden project. It shares ideas on the different opportunities you can try on your balcony, in your backyard or small courtyard. The guide also has a planting list that shares useful information on what plant might best suit your garden.

View guide (PDF 8.5 MB)

What you can do

Many animals need your help to survive in the city. Creating habitat in your space is a great way to provide a safe and welcoming environment for them. You can do this in your backyard or on your balcony, in the common area of your apartment block, or even in your school grounds.

Here are some of our top tips to help create your own slice of backyard wildlife heaven.

Plant dense, local indigenous shrubs and grasses to provide food and shelter for little birds like the adorable superb fairy-wren and the striking New Holland honeyeater.

Avoid planting large flowering varieties (such as hybrid grevilleas) as these encourage larger, aggressive birds such as the noisy miner that bully the smaller, less common birds.

Don't be scared of water! Birds love baths and frogs love ponds. Local indigenous frog species such as the striped marsh frog and eastern dwarf tree frog are regular visitors to water worlds in the city.

Lizards go crazy for rockeries and rock retaining walls. Just ask the eastern blue-tongue lizard, bar-sided skink and wall skink. 

Avoid using herbicides and pesticides such as snail baits which can harm indigenous wildlife – try chemical-free gardening instead. 

Don't feed birds, possums or other animals as it encourages the common and most aggressive species, often at the expense of others. But more importantly it may actually be making the birds unwell as it’s not their natural food. Perhaps think about planting what these animals prefer to eat and leave a water source out for them instead.

Attract insects to your garden. Many small birds, frogs and lizards feed on insects as part of their natural diet. Plant a section of your garden with local indigenous shrubs and grasses, add a wood pile and you will encourage some great pollinators and a great food selection for native fauna.

If you live in an apartment you can also look at ways of creating opportunities that may be suitable, such as potted flowering plants, installing a native bee hive, creating a green wall or looking at possible opportunities with strata for a green roof or upgrading any common areas. 

Lend a hand 

Local bushcare groups

Community groups work hard to make our villages a great home not just for us, but for our plants and animals too. These local groups are helping to restore local bushland through planting local indigenous plants, weeding and other work to encourage birds, lizards and other species in our villages.

Plant a tree

We organise special planting sites each year as part of National Tree Day. Why not come along on the day and plant local indigenous trees, shrubs and grasses in our great, green parks. Check their website for more dates and information.

Learn more

Birds in Backyards

Find out more about Australian birds and their habitats, and learn how to create bird-friendly spaces in your garden and local community.

Backyard Buddies

For everyone who enjoys their backyard animals and wants to learn how to attract them and how to live with them. 

Frog and Tadpole study group

Fun, fascinating information about frogs and tadpoles.

Australian Association of Bush Regenerators

This association encourages best practice in bushland management and bush regeneration.

Last updated: Thursday, 6 June 2019