The Gardens for Wildlife scheme (GFW) was launched in August 2008. Participation in this conservation scheme is voluntary and non-binding. The scheme aims to encourage and recognise people who wish to make their property friendly for local wildlife and the environment. The scheme has been developed as a sister program to the long-running Tasmanian
Land for Wildlife
By joining GFW you clearly demonstrate your support and commitment to protecting wildlife species and habitat. You can contribute to bringing nature home by welcoming wildlife to share your garden and by providing a healthy environment for them to do so. Environment - friendly practices are very important too, as what you do in your garden can affect other places far beyond your garden boundaries.
Membership to GFW only costs $16.50 and is open to anyone who wishes to show their support for protecting wildlife species and habitat. No matter how small your garden - regardless of whether it is just plant containers, or a courtyard, roof top garden, deck or larger space - we can all contribute to the survival of wildlife and increase awareness of protecting our natural diversity.
As at March 2017, there were 576 GFW members, 2,819 hectares.
Benefits of membership to the GFW scheme include:
- Contributing to the conservation of local plants and animals;
- More time to enjoy your garden by reducing maintenance time and costs;
- Reducing excess water through wise water use, such as mulching and use of local native plant species which are better able to tolerate drought;
- Benefits from having native birds and insects in your garden through natural pest control (no need for chemicals), increased pollination and fruit/flower set leading to better production;
- Increased environmental awareness; and
- Access to the members only section of the
Gardens for Wildlife website.
Big bully in the garden - Yellow wattlebird
Photo: Eric Woehler
A rather large noisy boisterous bird found only in Tasmania and on the islands of King, Three Hummock and Hunter is Australia’s largest honeyeater, the yellow wattlebird (Anthochaera paradoxa). They actually get their name from the fleshy long pendulous skin that dangles from their cheeks known as wattles. With the yellow wattlebird the wattles are yellow-orange in colour and do give the bird and interesting look!
The yellow wattlebird is found in a variety of habitats from dry and wet forests, coastal heaths and urban gardens. Their main diet is nectar where they probe flowers with their long brush-tipped tongue which soaks up the liquid nectar. They also eat insects, spiders, grubs, berries and ripe fruit.
They have a very characteristic, audible and amazing call to hear, some describe it as being quite harsh and grating. In fact it has been likened to the sound of someone vomiting!! These can be quite varied, I have even heard a yellow wattlebird that sounds as though it is imitating a Scottish person screeching ‘och aye’.
They were actually considered a good flavoured game bird and were subjected to a limited hunting season from the early days of settlement in Tasmania. Fortunately this practice was stopped in the early 1970s and numbers have recovered well. It is now listed as a protected species.
- Iona Mitchell
Read the full article about the yellow wattle birds in the December 2016 edition of The Running Postman newsletter:
The Running Postman December 2016 (1Mb)
If you would like more information about becoming a member of GFW please visit the
Gardens for Wildlife website
or fill out an