Zealand Plant Conservation

Wildlife Foundation

Also, native plants need little water once established and thus reduce water usage and provide texture and color from the otherwise stale, thirsty, grass lawn. Non-natives, or plants that have been imported from another region, lack the natural predators that provide populations control. Birds eat and digest the seeds, dropping them in undeveloped areas where, left growing unchecked will choke out entire native populations of plant life that wildlife depends upon for food, nesting and shelter. A good example of this is an herbaceous weedy vine known as kudzu, imported from Japan and planted heavily in the 1930's and 1940's to prevent erosion in the southeastern United States. Unfortunately, in this warm, moist environment, kudzu can grow at the rate of 1 foot per day, quickly taking over and choking out native vegetation including trees, plants, vines and anything else in its path. Kudzu is a wildly respected plant in Japan where it is used as a food additive and for medicinal purposes.

Plant Conservation Initiative

Trees are an important element in a wildlife habitat. They provide shelter for a variety of wildlife species including birds and squirrels. Before planting trees it's best to conduct research or consult with a landscape specialist to determine which species are best suited for your yard. Shrubs are one of the most convenient elements to plant, as they require little maintenance and provide excellent shelter for a wide variety of wildlife that lives on or near the ground. In order to provide the highest level of shelter for your chosen wildlife, avoid the temptation to prune the lower branches. Doing so will expose your wildlife to predators, making them easy prey.