Habitat for Wildlife
The Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries wants to help you help wildlife on your property. The Habitat Partners© program encourages corporate landowners, private landowners, schools, and homeowners to improve habitat in their community that will benefit Virginia’s songbirds, mammals, amphibians and other wildlife.
Habitat refers to the essential elements that all wildlife species need to survive: adequate food, water, and shelter in an appropriate arrangement. A diverse habitat is one that has a wide range of plant types, layers, and edges that provide cover from weather and predators, nectar sources for insects, nuts and berries for birds and mammals, and places to raise young. The more diverse the habitat features, the greater the diversity of wildlife that can live there.
The face of our landscape is constantly changing, and with increasing urbanization and development comes fragmentation and loss of critical habitats. Habitat loss is the greatest single factor adversely affecting wildlife populations today.
- Managing Land in the Piedmont for Birds & Other Wildlife
- Bobwhite Quail: the Virginia Quail Recovery Initiative
- Habitat at Home© Examples
- Habitat Booklet (PDF)
- Purchase the Habitat at Home© DVD
- This program showcases four homeowner habitats: a butterfly garden, water gardens, shrub and woodland garden, and a native plant garden. Learn about invasive exotics, the importance of native plants for wildlife, and many tips for making your yard a sanctuary for nature. The DVD comes with informational brochure and plant list. Total running time 40:15.
- Habitat Gardening for Wildlife (PDF)
- VDGIF and the Chesapeake Conservation Landscaping Council invite you to learn “The 8 Essential Elements of Conservation Landscaping” and see examples of good landscape design at the CCLC’s website.
- Increasing the Use of Virginia Native Plants – VA Native Plant Marketing Partnership – Coastal Zone Management Program
- Schoolyard Habitat Program
- “Habitats Bring Your Schoolyard to Life!” Poster (PDF)
- Creating or Improving a Schoolyard Habitat (PDF)
- Teaching the SOLs in an Outdoor Classroom (PDF)
- Schoolyard Habitat References: Top Picks (PDF)
- Schoolyard Habitat Web Sites (PDF)
- Grant Writing Tips & Web Sites (PDF)
- Additional Outdoor Classroom Resources
The Corporate Habitat Program is open to businesses and industries interested in habitat improvement projects on their lands which will make a substantial contribution to the welfare of wildlife communities.
Improving Habitat for Wildlife
Gardening & Plants for Wildlife
- Virginia Plant Lists: Native Plants for Conservation, Restoration and Landscaping
- Booklet from USFWS: Native Plants for Wildlife Habitat and Conservation Landscaping
- EPA Wild Ones Handbook: Landscaping with Native Plants
- US Forest Service: Native Gardening with Wildflowers
- NAPPC: “Selecting Plants for Pollinators” Eco-Region Planning Guides
- Piedmont Virginia Native Plant Database
- Suggested Native Plants for Wildlife
- A Woodland Habitat Garden
- Creating a Butterfly Garden
- Grow a Native Grass Meadow (PDF)
- Selecting Trees and Shrubs for Birds
- Native Alternatives to Invasive Plants (PDF)
- Native Plant Nursery List