Creating a wildlife habitat: research

Time Allocation: 30 - 45 minutes*

Activity Level: Moderate


Creating a native wildlife habitat is a great way for kids to discover what is living in their backyard and local area. Not only will children learn about plant and animal species, they will understand the importance of urban habitats. The research phase is essential to discover the animals that already call your garden home.

We encourage our Junior Landcarers to learn more about wildlife habitats by exploring these other learning activities. These include the Creating a frog-friendly habitat sequence: research, design and construction, Creating a bee hotel sequence: research and construction as well as Building a nest box.

*Time allocation will be dependent on site selection and travel time. Additional time may be spent in consultation with your local Landcare group, council, or native plant nursery.


  • Field Guide or App for Australian Fauna (animals) and other research materials, e.g. books, pamphlets, devices with internet access and those resources listed in the Reference List.
  • Printable Activity Sheet
  • Pencils
  • Clipboards (optional)
  • Camera/Device for taking photos (optional)
  • Instructions

    Step 1

    Tuning in

    To create a wildlife habitat, you need to know what animals live in your local area and the plants that make up their habitat. The best place to start is by making observations.

    Look, listen and learn

    Go outside, sit quietly and listen for 2 minutes. Using the Activity Sheet, circle in the urban and natural sounds and list any extra sounds you hear.

    Now look around your backyard and local area. What is the main environment you see? Circle the one in the activity sheet that you think matches best.

    Step 2

    Delving deeper

    Explore your garden or local park for 10 minutes. Remember to look on the ground, in the trees and shrubs, and up in the air.

    There are lots of animals you might not see during the day. You can use a Field Guide (book/handout or an App for Australian Fauna identification) to help discover what other animals could be found in your local area.

    Record the names of native animals you discover or research in the Activity Sheet.  Tick if they were observed or found in the field guide.

    Step 3

    Honing in – looking for clues

    What other evidence can you use to identify the animals in your local area? Discuss in a group what animal clues you have seen before.

    Go outside to photograph or collect some animal clues. Tick off any animals clues you discover in the activity sheet. Remember to tread lightly so you don’t disturb animal homes.

    Draw one of the tracks or traces you have discovered in the activity sheet.

    Step 4

    Processing and applying learning

    Reflect and discuss – what have you learnt from looking more closely at species and habitats in your local area?

    How would this be different if you looked in different seasons or even at different times of the day? 

    Biodiversity boosts ecosystem productivity; every species has an important role to play.

    Watch one of the suggested videos in the reference list on biodiversity. Discuss why maintaining biodiversity is important.

    Extension Activity

    Research natural hazards that have affected your local area in the past: fire, floods and drought. Describe how these natural hazards may have impacted native wildlife and their habitat?


    Start a Junior Landcare group can help kick-start some great biodiversity initiatives in your local areas and backyards. Find out more about how to start a Junior Landcare group. Check in with your local Landcare group or local council to find out if there is a community planting event coming up in your area.