WindStar Wildlife Institute
Talk to anyone involved in the improvement of
wildlife habitat and you will hear four words -
food, water, cover, and space.
These are the four essentials for wildlife.
Without them you can have the best intentions in
the world, but you won't attract a wide variety of
species to your property.
Cover & Space
Essential Elements
of a Wildlife Habitat
hen it comes to wildlife, we
automatically think about
food and water, but cover needs
are also critical for species
survival. Usually our involvement
with cover for wildlife ends with
putting up a few bird nesting
These are fine, and have the
added benefit of being
attractive and easy to place in
the yard, but other kinds of
wildlife require other types of
shelter. Wildlife needs
protection from both predators
and harsh weather, a place to
stay cool or warm in season,
and a well-concealed location to
raise a family.
Trees are obvious additions to
the landscape, particularly
pines which retain their
sheltering qualities throughout
the winter. Letting the branches
of evergreens - and deciduous
trees during the summer - grow
unpruned to the ground is an
easy way to increase cover for a
variety of small species.
While we tend to be quick to
remove dead trees, standing
"snags" and fallen logs are
invaluable for wildlife. They offer
both shelter and food to over
40 species of birds and more
than 20 kinds of mammals. In
addition, by attracting insect-
eating wildlife, they indirectly
serve to protect the living
plants on your property.
Leave Dead Trees
If they are not threatening
people or structures, or if they
can be reinforced or moved to a
safer location, letting dead
trees remain part of your
wildlife habitat will be of great

Cover & Space:

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