Turning gardeners into conservationists: using gardens to conserve wildlife

Scientists from The University of Western Australia Albany and Perth Natural Resource Management (NRM) are seeking participants for research on the biodiversity and human wellbeing benefits of wildlife-friendly gardening.

UWA research associate Dr Bronte Van Helden is asking residents from the south-west of WA to complete a short questionnaire. Other researchers involved in this project are Dr Paul Close (UWA) and Jason Pitman and Hannah Gulliver (Perth NRM).

Adding a well-maintained water source is a key way to encourage wildlife biodiversity in gardens. Photo credit: Dr Paul Close

“We are looking to work with citizens all over south-western Australia to help us monitor wildlife in gardens and install wildlife-friendly structures to investigate whether wildlife and wildlife-friendly gardening have biodiversity and human wellbeing benefits,” Dr Van Helden said.

The research is part of a three-year Federal Government-funded project through the Inspiring Australia – Science Engagement Programme.

It aims to connect residents with the biodiversity in their gardens, raise awareness of our urban wildlife and inspire an appreciation for nature and conservation within both city and natural landscapes.

It will also provide valuable new knowledge in urban ecology, build community capacity to contribute to conservation, and create a long-term wildlife monitoring database in gardens.

Participants in the 10-minute survey will be asked questions such as: How do you feel about wildlife in your backyard? Does it contribute to your wellbeing?  They can also choose to register their interest in taking part in a citizen science project investigating what wildlife is found in gardens in the State’s southwest and how wildlife-friendly structures are used.

To complete the survey, click here.