Become an Environmental Professional
Note that each module in the Diploma in Environmental Management is a short course in its own right, and may be studied separately.
Animals Depend on their Environment.
When you change features in an environment you will affect the wellbeing and sustainability of animal populations, in many ways. Here are some examples.
Trees provide a range of uses for animals in supporting their needs. Even dead trees provide important habitat. Examples of the benefits animals derive from trees include:
- Canopy foliage provides a location for climbing animals and birds to rest and feed.
- Canopy flowers provide feed for insects and some birds (some eat insects).
- Branches provide a place for birds to nest and feed.
- Large tree trunks provide a place for birds to feed and reptiles to bask.
- Mistletoe clumps provide a place for birds and small mammals to feed and rest.
- Bark strips provide a place for mammals to feed and birds to collect nesting material.
- Flaking bark provides a place for lizards to shelter.
- Hollow branches provide a place for birds, reptiles, mammals and frogs to rest.
Understorey trees and shrubs also provide a number of roles for native animals including:
Logs, Surface Rocks and Ground Cover
- Shaded areas below understorey provide a place for reptiles to shelter from hot weather
- Flowering understorey plants provide a place for birds and mammals to feed
- Understorey grass trees give birds and insects a place to feed
- Understorey trunks and branches allow birds a place to feed and make nests
Logs, surface rocks and ground cover provide an array of roles for wildlife, as well as providing critical habitats for some animals. A list of roles as offered by each of these environments is as follows:
Logs and Fallen Branches
Surface Rocks and Piles of Boulders
- Reptiles can use the inside or underneath of logs as a place to lay eggs.
- Hollows in logs provide a place for reptiles and mammals to shelter.
- Leaf litter layer next to logs provides a place for reptiles and insects to feed and shelter.
- The log and soil boundary provides a place where leaf litter and extra moisture collects and where reptiles feed.
- The log surface provides a place where reptiles can bask and birds perch.
- Surface rock embedded in the soil provides a place for insects and earthworms to feed and shelter, as well as to be protected from bushfire and predators.
- Rock outcrops provide a place for reptiles and mammals to shelter and feed.
- Mosses and lichens on rocks are used by birds to line their nests.
Creeks, Wetlands and Dams
- Soil cracks provide a place for legless lizards to feed and shelter
- Native grasses and ground cover plants provide a place where birds can find food.
Creeks, wetlands and dams offer an important role in wildlife management and conservation, even though they may only occupy a small part of a landscape. Most importantly, they all offer water, which is essential to the survival many animals. Each environment offers specific roles as follows:
- Stream side remnants offer a place for frogs to hide and birds to roost and nest.
- Emergent vegetation offers a place for birds to nest.
- Cobbled areas along creeks offer a place for invertebrates and frogs to hide.
- Flowing water over rocks provides a place for invertebrates to live and reptiles to bask.
- Deep areas of water provide an environment for fish to live.
- Woody debris within the waterway provides an area for turtles to bask.
- Riparian vegetation offers a place for frogs to shelter.
- Floating vegetation allows a place for fish to hide and frogs to bask.
- Taller vegetation adjoining wetlands offer rookery and nesting sites for some birds.
- Low-lying vegetation in wetlands provides spawning sites for both fish and frogs.
- Act as a filter, providing cleaner water for flora and fauna downstream.
- Still water allows a place for eels and turtles to live and for waterbirds to feed.
- Islands within the dam offer a place for waterbirds to roost.
- Shallow water at the edge of dams provides a place for tadpoles to breed and waterbirds to feed.
- Aquatic vegetation gives invertebrates a place to live and birds a place to nest.
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