What is happening with the wildlife in your garden?

How to measure your success in monitoring wildlife and garden wildlife.

Vicki Jauron, Babylon and Beyond Photography / Getty Images

Vicki J. Jauron, Babylon and Beyond Photography/Getty Images

As gardeners, it is easy to lose sight of exactly how much we have achieved over the years—and also so easy to focus on the things that go wrong rather than looking at the many things that go right.

Biodiversity is a major indicator of what we are doing well in our gardens. We should try to increase biodiversity as organic gardeners by the plants we choose, the way we combine them and the ways we welcome wildlife to our gardens.

We may not always be aware what animals are actually sharing our space. We may not be able tell immediately if we are successful in our efforts at increasing biodiversity.

It is important to keep track of the wildlife that lives in your garden. Small, simple actions can be taken to increase the species number, attract certain species, and most importantly, to increase the number beneficial interactions.

We can gain confidence in our gardening skills by collecting data, monitoring what is happening around us and proving to ourselves that we are doing the right thing. It helps us to see what we are doing well, as well as where we can improve.

How to Monitor Wildlife in the Garden Over Time

The simplest and most effective way to monitor wildlife in a garden is by using your basic powers of observation. You may have noticed that you’ve seen more birds of a certain species in your garden after adding a feature or planting native plants.

By monitoring wildlife more rigorously and scientifically, we can be sure of the veracity of our observations. It can also help us to ensure that we are not just observing. Think of the following: There are actually more birds than in the previous example. The following are some of the most effective ways to improve your business..

Everyone in the family can be taught to count and identify species.

Of course, there are plenty of times in a garden when we cannot monitor wildlife with our eyes and other senses—times we are not around when a lot of wildlife is likely to be active. Wildlife cameras are a great option for this. On the market, there are many cameras that can be used, both expensive and less costly. We could also install footprint tunnels to record the species that have walked on them.

Monitoring wildlife is not limited to counting the species and number of animals present. They are data points that can be easily gathered to help us better understand the wildlife living in our outdoor spaces.

Start by identifying and recognizing each creature you see in your garden, when viewing video footage or looking at footprint tunnels.

After making sure that we know which visible species are present, we can count how many we see over a given time period—the course of a couple of hours, or a day, for example.

What Does Success Look Like?

Abram Katz / Getty Images

Abram Katz / Getty Images

We have collected some data to help us better understand the biodiversity of our gardens. This is only a part of the story.

After we have drawn our own conclusions, we should determine whether we are successful in attracting wildlife and boosting biodiversity.

We need to take a look at the data—for example, perhaps there are more of a particular bird species present—and look at it in the broader context.

It isn’t always possible to state definitively whether a certain addition or strategy was responsible for the positive outcome. We can sometimes make educated assumptions and learn to be more aware of the natural environment with which we’re working.

Monitoring wildlife in your garden is a great way to start measuring success.

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