Wisconsin DNR: Help wildlife by planting native landscaping | News

These colorful plant lists can be downloaded from the DNR Native Plants website. If you subscribe to the magazine now by February 1, 2021, the instructions will be delivered directly to your mailbox. You can also find other great features there, like winter hiking recommendations and snowshoeing trails.

The annual publication of Field Notes is also included in the winter edition. It’s packed with short stories and photos from DNR Natural Heritage Conservation staff, partners and volunteers who protect endangered species and state natural areas.

Native plants that evolved in Wisconsin have a far greater ability to fuel life in the food chain than non-native plants such as ornamental trees and flowers that are common in many courtyards. This is because native plants have evolved along with the insects that eat them, and the insects are better able to digest the native plants.

It is particularly important to offer the birds more natural habitat. A landmark 2019 study of seven leading bird conservation organizations, including the Smithsonian Migratory Bird Center and Cornell University’s Lab of Ornithology, confirmed a nearly 30% loss in breeding bird numbers in North America since 1970.

Other research has shown that habitat loss and degradation are two main drivers of decline. For example, one study showed that suburban neighborhoods on the east coast, where less than 70% of native vegetation is present – and that means most neighborhoods – birds do not have the insects and seeds they need to eat and problems have in reproduction.

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