• Gus Hetcher

Wildlife Ponds: Creating an Abundant & Diverse Ecosystem

Creating diverse wildlife habitat on your property is the best way to increase the abundance and diversity of the wildlife that use it. Many landowners already do this by planting trees and prairies, improving timber stands through selective logging and planting food plots for wildlife. Even though these practices are all great ways to improve the habitat on your property, the creation of wildlife ponds or wetlands is often overlooked. Along with high quality forage that food plots provide, a wildlife pond can provide the necessary water to insure that wildlife, especially deer, remain on your property.

Wildlife ponds attract many different species of wildlife throughout the year. Waterfowl, deer, turkeys, bears, amphibians, such as frogs, toads and salamanders, and reptiles, such as turtles, all utilize small wetlands or ponds for feeding, nesting, breeding and protection. Many desirable insect species, such as dragonflies and damselflies, rely on water to complete their lifecycle. Wildlife ponds and the surrounding plantings will also attract a variety of songbirds and shorebirds that may not otherwise reside on the property.

Wildlife ponds differ from swimming and fishing ponds in that they are shallower (3-5 feet deep) and have more gradual slopes. This type of pond design supports emergent and submergent plant life, which maximizes habitat. Wildlife ponds are relatively low maintenance compared to swimming and fishing ponds.

Planting native emergent plants in the pond and native grasses and forbs around the pond perimeter are great ways to add diversity and habitat value to your property. They also increase the overall aesthetics of the pond environment.

Cason & Associates can assist you with all aspects of creating a wildlife pond on your property, including site selection, design, permitting, construction and planting. Call today to set up a pond design consultation on your property.

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