Habitat Improvement Projects


The days are shorter in fall, and the air is cooler. This is a great time to help wildlife. The good news is, the greatest threat to wild populations and species diversity is habitat loss, and you can do something about it! Here are several ways to create or improve habitat in your own yard or community. Most are easy and fun! Not only does your habitat work give wild animals more place to live and grow safely, it also gives you a more chances to watch them as they make themselves at home.

  • Build a brush pile - brush piles provide wildlife with escape cover, nesting sites and shelter. All are important elements of healthy habitats.
  • Feed the birds - Fall is when many species, including hummingbirds, begin to migrate south for winter. Much of Texas falls inside their migratory flyway. Migration is triggered by length of the days. Putting up feeders will not cause them to stay too long. Give them a drink for the road. (Bird Feeding Basics)
  • Plant prairie grasses - Some grasses can add beauty to the land, prevent soil erosion, and provide food and habitat. These native grasses also save you money and time, decrease pollution, and conserve water.
  • Build a dragonfly pond -Dragonflies play a major role in controlling mosquito populations. As  nymphs, they prey on mosquito larvae. In adulthood, they eat mosquito adults. Try attracting these beautiful hunters to your yard. Don't be surprised if you attract toads too!
  • Create a toad abode - If you don't have a pond, an old clay pot will do. Frogs, toads, lizards, and some snakes eat lots of of harmful or unwanted insects. (How to Make a Toad Abode)
  • Plant a tree - Fall is a great time to plant trees across most of Texas. They offer food, nesting sites and protection. They also help clean the air, reduce erosion, and provide shade, all while increasing the value of your home. Planting trees shows you have a long-term commitment to wildlife conservation. (How to Plant a Tree Properly)

Additional Resources

Backyard Habitat Projects
Feeder Plan Links
Backyard Conservation
The Natural Inquirer - middle school science education