Helping Wildlife – Helping Ourselves

Not Just a Feel-Good Thing

Sure, we all support wildlife–theoretically. Who doesn’t enjoy the sight of a bird flying overhead or a furry-tailed squirrel dashing along a fence or up a tree?

But supporting wildlife goes much deeper than pleasant aesthetics.  All living things are dependent on each other to grow and thrive in our own habitat.  When habitat is degraded, all life is impacted, beyond what we are able to see on the surface. The US Fish and Wildlife Service estimates that losing one plant species can trigger the loss of up to 30 other insect, plant and higher animal species.  Extinctions occur naturally, but current rates are growing alarmingly–due to human activity.

The main force driving higher rates of extinction is habitat loss. We all depend on wetlands, grasslands or fields, and forests to purify our air, clean our water and supply us with food.

Southwest Ranches taking action – Creating A Wildlife Habitat Community!

Town staff has teamed with Ranches volunteers and is working to earn the National Wildlife Federation’s Wildlife-Friendly Certification for our Community. To achieve certification, we must meet two sets of goals:

First, a certain number of properties (including homes, places of worship, and commercial properties) must become NWF Certified Wildlife Habitats by providing the 4 basic elements that all wildlife need: food, water, cover and places to raise young.

Second, we must provide education and outreach to earn points toward our certification. Through this website, as well as the town newsletter and community events, we are working to spread the word about the importance of wildlife habitat.

Read here about other efforts by Southwest Ranches to help people better understand the needs of wildlife with which we share our Town.

What You Can Do:

Get certified. The elements for certification with the National Wildlife Federation include providing what wildlife needs: Food, Water, Cover, and places to raise young. This is almost effortless here in Southwest Ranches:

  • Everyone needs to eat! Plants like shrubs and trees are the easiest way to provide the foliage, nectar, pollen, berries, seeds and nuts that wildlife require to survive and thrive.
  • Wildlife need clean water sources including ponds, canals, wetlands, bird baths, puddle areas, and swales.
  • Wildlife require places to hide and feel safe such as shrubs, thickets and brush piles or even dead trees.
  • Wildlife need a sheltered place to raise their offspring. Many places for cover can double as locations where wildlife can raise young.

 Let us know:

  • When you have certified your property, contact the Town.
  • Spread the word.  Teach your children and grandchildren. Tell neighbors and friends about habitat and the important role wildlife plays in our daily life.
  • Practice sustainable gardening. Use native plants, conserve water, avoid using pesticides or herbicides, except in spot applications to help wildlife thrive with healthy habitat.

 

Please be advised that under Florida law, e-mail addresses are public records. If you do not want your e-mail address released in response to a public records request, do not send electronic mail to this entity. Instead, contact this office by phone at (954) 434-0008, or in writing at 13400 Griffin Road, Southwest Ranches, FL 33330.

Legal: Disclaimer