There’s no doubt that healthy landscapes are beneficial to wildlife, like birds, plants, mammals, and fish. But is wildlife also beneficial to your landscapes?
The short answer is yes, absolutely.
Why Wildlife is Beneficial
Birds have a number of talents. They consume insects, pollinate plants, spread seeds, and much more. Despite these benefits, a study done in North America suggests that more than 25% of bird species have been lost in the last 50 years.
So, what is causing this?
“There isn’t one single factor that can account for these pervasive losses. Habitat loss is likely an important driver in some biomes, but can’t explain the widespread declines on its own,” claims avian conservation scientist at Bird Conservancy of the Rockies and co-author of the study, Arvind Panjabi.
“Multiple, complex environmental factors including pesticide use, insect declines, and climate change, as well as direct threats like outdoor cats and glass skyscrapers.”
While pesticides are only part of the problem, this massive decline can be seen and felt across our ecosystems. That’s why there is a growing trend for landscape owners or managers to introduce wildlife as a form of damage control. More specifically, making landscapes a welcome home to different species of birds that will control pests as an alternative to using harmful pesticides.
While this was already a common practice throughout Europe, more people in the States are becoming environmentally conscious and starting to see the value in this approach. Especially when you stop to consider that we are using billions of pounds of pesticides on a global scale to protect our food supply and own commercial interests.
So, is all wildlife good?
Balancing Wildlife and Safe Products
While birds are a valuable addition to any landscape, our feathered friends can’t solve all of our problems. Erosion, the spread of fungi, excessive water, and even other forms of wildlife are just a few examples of things that can wreak havoc on your beautiful landscapes. Some examples include fruit-eating birds or deer mice, who commonly steal or gnaw at plants.
The best approach is one that welcomes landscape-friendly wildlife like birds while minimizing the use of pesticides to control other issues or pests. One way businesses, municipalities, and landscape professionals can do this is by looking for more ecological solutions.
For instance, Barry Draycott – the owner of Tech Terra Environmental (TTE) – added two new pollinator-friendly insecticides to control Grubs and Adult Beetles to our selection of wholesale products. TTE also offers a variety of organic, EPA exempt, and OMRI listed products to make doing good by wildlife even easier.
We don’t often realize the impact of our environmental footprint until it’s too late. Many regions in the U.S. have seen a massive decline in nesting sites, and, as a result, the decline of beloved species like songbirds. The good news? You can also invest in techniques like nest boxes and falconry to attract species like the American Kestrel and simultaneously improve the health and longevity of your landscapes.
It’s not only a guilt-free alternative to using chemicals, it’s also a financially sound decision. This orchard saved been $84 to $357 of sweet cherries for every dollar it spent on nest boxes.
Plus, you might come to find that these natural (but unconventional) forms of pest management will outperform the pesticides you’ve come to rely on.
No Such Thing as a “Free Meal”
Consider this from the four laws of ecology:
There is no such thing as a free lunch. The exploitation of nature will inevitably involve the conversion of resources from useful to useless forms.
Pesticides might be the quick and easy solution, but there are immediate and long-term economic, health, and environmental costs to using them. And while the success and economic feasibility of more natural approaches may vary based on the volume and diversity of birds in a given area, they’re shaping up to be a promising form of pest control. It’s also beneficial to humans – particularly agricultural workers – who can get poisoned unintentionally from too much chemical exposure.
Our landscapes are ultimately a buffet for wildlife, but we can have a mutually beneficial relationship with those looking for a “free” meal. We can provide a consistent source of food and security to birds and other species while enhancing our landscapes, local businesses, and municipalities. Paired with the right products from the right wholesaler, and you can achieve that picture-perfect landscape you’ve always wanted.
Who knows – you may even develop a new passion for birdwatching in the process!