FLORA and FAUNA
What’s the difference? Any plant life is considered flora, while any animal life is categorized as fauna.
Delaware is home to incredible diversity in both categories. The bad news? Many natural habitats for both plants and animals are threatened due to overdevelopment, pollution, climate change and invasive species of both plants and even life in our fragile waterways.
The good news is there are plenty of local organizations addressing these issues. Delaware Nature Society (DNS), for example has multiple programs for educational programs, volunteers, habitat protection, water quality issues and land preservation.
They also serve as a voice for advocacy – climate protection, environmental regulations, water quality and many other issues facing our beautiful state.
Joe Sebastiani, Director of Adult Engagement for DNS emphasizes the importance of grassroots and individual efforts to keep Delaware clean and safe for wildlife and our native plants – essential for everything from insects to birds to our land itself.
Here we focus on native plants and trees, and birds in Delaware, and how we can help them thrive in a changing climate.
Some practical suggestions discussed have been:
- Create a butterfly garden by choosing plants that require pollinators (bees, butterflies, etc.)
- Plant milkweed, an essential food source for Monarch butterflies whose population is in grave danger
- Start a rain barrel to prevent excessive water runoff and conserve precious water for watering plants and gardens or household cleaning
- Choose native trees and shrubs that attract and feed birds that propagate new growth
- If possible, for the benefits of birds and other wildlife, decrease lawn area and plant flowering and shade trees
- If you own a cat, try to pay limit “hunting” access. According to the American Bird Conservancy, domestic and feral cats kill 2.4 BILLION birds every year in the US alone
- Consider purchasing an Acopian Birdsaver, which helps to prevent birds from flying into windows (their perception of reflection is much different from humans’), another hazard to birds
- YouTube has plenty of DIY videos to help you make your own window protectors, also known as Zen Curtains (FYI: Stickers on windows depicting other birds of prey has been proven ineffective.)
Other resources for choosing native plants include:
- Delaware Nature Society
- University of Delaware – Native Plants List for DE
- Delaware Center for the Inland Bays
Resources About Delaware Birds
- Delaware Shorebird Project (through DCNR)
- Tri-State Bird Rescue & Research
- E Bird (Identify, report species, etc.)
- What Bird
- Delaware Audubon Society
- Cornell Lab of Ornithology
To borrow the slogan of the Delaware Audubon Society, we should be “Preserving our State.”
Did you miss Part 1: Conserving Energy and Natural Resources ?