To improve your land for fish and wildlife, you must first think of the food, water, cover and space needs of the wildlife you want to attract throughout the year. Then begin to establish plants, water sources, and other practices that fit those needs. The Shiawassee Conservation District and Natural Resources Conservation Service offers technical and financial assistance to landowners in planning for wildlife habitat on their lands.
Here are eight of the top habitats for wildlife:
- Restored wetland. If you had to choose a single habitat or practice, this is the one used by the most species.
- Windbreak/shelterbelt. Rows of trees and shrubs offer prime shelter and food in the winter.
- Riparian buffer. Habitat value is enhanced by being next to water, and vegetation along streams improves water quality for fish and wildlife.
- Diverse grass planting. Block of native grasses and forbs intermingled with forage land and crop fields can offer grassland birds nesting and cold weather cover, and protection for predators.
- Habitat connection corridors. Large blocks of grassland, wetlands or woodlands are most useful when connected by corridors of grasses and trees that protect wildlife on the move.
- Edge plantings. “Edge” cover, a strip planted between a crop field and forest, meets several wildlife needs at once.
- Managed woodlots. Improving woodlots for the wildlife species you want to attract will also improve it for other wildlife, beauty and personal enjoyment.
- Clean water. Conservation practices that protect upland soils and streamsides also produce cleaner water for wildlife, fish, livestock and people.
Stop in the Conservation District office to get started on your conservation plan today!
Pictured: A Shiawassee County woodlot owner built brush piles in his 6 acre woodlot. The brush piles will provide shelter for many animals, including cottontail rabbits. The landowner worked with the Shiawassee Conservation District and a forester to develop a Forest Management Plan. Over the last three years he has been completing the practices scheduled in his plan.