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Southern Nevada Water Authority

Wildlife Habitat

Wildlife Habitat

Create a Wildlife Habitat in your back yard.

Design a landscape that attracts hummingbirds, chipmunks and other creatures by creating a wildlife habitat in your own backyard. There are five elements of a wildlife habitat:

  1. Food: Grow foliage that is native to the area. Be sure to provide food sources for wildlife by including trees and plants that supply fruits or seeds.
  2. Water: Since most wildlife require water to drink and wash themselves, arrange a bird bath or shallow water source.
  3. Cover: Animals need shelter from poor weather conditions and predators. Plant heavy shrubbery or create hollowed out areas for their protection.
  4. Places to Raise Young: Wildlife need secure areas to raise their young. These areas might include trees for birds and squirrels or ponds for amphibious creatures.
  5. Sustainable Gardening Practices: Remember that your habitat not only affects you and your backyard, it affects our environment. Helping our environment includes planting native vegetation, reducing chemicals and building healthy soil.

Wildlife Habitat Certification

The National Wildlife Federation (NWF) certifies backyard wildlife habitats. You must meet the above five criteria before applying. NWF provides several benefits, including a certificate and a lifetime subscription to the NWF newsletter.

Other Tips

Keep these tips in mind when planning your wildlife habitat backyard:

  • If you are the proud owner of a cat, keep it indoors so it doesn't frighten wildlife away.
  • Attract beautiful hummingbirds by providing flowers and nectar for them.
  • Brightly colored flowers will attract adult butterflies that are in search of nectar.
  • Piles of rocks placed in sunlight will attract lizards.

For more information about attracting animals to your habitat and coexisting with wildlife, visit the National Wildlife Federation website.

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Video: Planning a Water Smart Landscape

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Use these tips to plan your landscape design. Play

Photos: Landscape Awards Winners 2013

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View the winners of the 2013 Landscape Awards. See

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