Fostering a Healthy Wildlife Population

Few people understand the needs of the land and wildlife like hunters do.  After all, without healthy ecosystems, game populations dwindle, and hunting becomes impossible.  If you are a property owner looking to foster a healthy wildlife population on your plot of land, here are some reminders that will be helpful in your efforts:

  • Plant the right flora.  In many cases, attracting wildlife to your property is as simple as providing adequate shelter, food, and water.  This can often be accomplished by installing more native plants in your landscape.  Butterfly gardens are very popular, but other wildlife can benefit from these types of additions as well.  Native plants are best because native wildlife is already adapted to benefit from native plants.
  • Ensure water is clean and plentiful.  All animals need water, which can be hard to find during dry periods.  Help the critters out by maintaining an appropriate water source.
  • Leave standing dead trees and stumps in place.  What you consider an eyesore may become a nesting place for birds or a basking spot for reptiles.  Dead trees and rotting logs make excellent refuges for small animals.

These are just a few tips to help you get started.  With just a little effort, you can create your own wildlife sanctuary on your property.  The benefit to the local fauna is immense, and you may be rewarded with some cool sightings!

This column is sponsored by Wild Game Food Bank.

BIO: Caitlin Meadows is the founder of Wild Game Food Bank.  She proudly serves the community in this capacity while enjoying life as a wife, mom, and REALTOR®.  A UF graduate and Gainesville native, Caitlin has called Polk County home for the last ten years.  Her husband, an avid hunter and Polk County native, is what helped fuel the inspiration behind WGFB.  Caitlin and her husband enjoy spending time outdoors with their son, attending church, and managing their cattle.  To learn more about WGFB, go to

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