Ways to improve Habitat

General -

1. Call professional wildlife consultants or read specific books on habitat improvement. The Ohio Division of Wildlife is a good place to start.

2. Develop as much "edge" as possible. Wildlife is a product of the "edges" - places where two types of habitat meet. Develop woods/fields/marsh/shrub areas adjacent to each other to attract the most wildlife.

3. Vary cover as much as possible. The more varied, the more wildlife.

4. Landscape homes with plants designed to add beauty AND attract wildlife.

5. Avoid too much manicuring of yards. Develop appreciation for a "naturalized" landscape.

6. Minimize use of pesticides and herbicides.

Shelter -

1. Build and erect nest boxes and platforms for hawks, owls squirrels, bluebirds, etc.

2. Save den trees and dead trees (both standing and fallen) to provide homes for squirrels, owls, raccoons, woodpeckers, chickadees and others.

3. Leave nesting cover undisturbed in spring & summer. Plow before nesting and mow after nesting is over.

4. Plant areas not suited to farming to trees, shrubs and permanent cover crops.

5. Establish living hedges around field boundaries & maintain fence corners with natural cover.

6. Provide brush heaps for wildlife protection and nesting sites.

Food -

1. Provide natural foods for wildlife.

2. Leave nut trees in woodlots when cutting other trees.

3. Leave 5-10% of field crops in fields unharvested.

4. Favor trees and shrubs with high wildlife values, especially heavy seed, berry and fruit producing species.

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