Diversity in the wildlife on your ranch is a strong sign that your ecosystem is in line with nature, but it can also open up the door to potential streams of revenue for your ranch. Ranchers like you are embracing wildlife and biodiversity on their ranches as a way to capture opportunity through hunting and fishing leases, wildlife viewing opportunity and even camping.
Regenerative ranchers know that a diverse population of plants and animals is a signal that your land is in sync with nature.
Noble Research Institute has provided an education series called Wildlife Watch, which highlights ways in which ranchers can capture opportunity to build diversity on their ranch, which can lead to opportunities for both sustainability and profitability. Check out their tips for improving wildlife habitat on your ranch, including:
“Different wildlife species have different niches. They use different plant species, have different digestive systems and different ways of scattering seed,” Josh Gaskamp, Noble Research Institute consultation manager and wildlife and range consultant says. “The differing impacts to the soil and vegetation community help to get carbon back in the ground instead of in the atmosphere. More species create more opportunity to build the soil, if managed correctly.”
Embrace the Mess
Messy and unkempt wildlife habitats may not be aesthetically pleasing, but they provide for a rich array of biodiversity.
Ensure your Entire Landscape is Compatible to Habitat Management
While most of your ranch will be dedicated to working lands, make sure that you are looking at your whole ranch as an opportunity to provide habitat management. “Diverse wildlife is more likely to thrive when their habitats concisely provide for all their basic needs – shelter, food, water and space,” says Noble Research Institute.
Keep Weeds for Wildlife
While brush is sometimes considered the bane of ranchers managing pasture lands, it can have a positive purpose in a piece of land managed in a way that balances grazing animals with promoting healthy habitats for wildlife.
Consider Adaptive Grazing
Adaptive grazing imitates the impact that large herds of grazing animals such as bison, help and other large ruminants once had on a landscape. It also encourages diversity among plants because grazing smaller paddocks at a high density encourages livestock to eat a wider range of plants.