by Douglas W. Tallamy
With the accelerating pace of development and subsequent habitat destruction, the pressures on wildlife populations are greater than they have ever been in our nation's history. Fortunately, there is still time to reverse this alarming trend, and gardeners have the power to make a significant contribution toward sustaining biodiversity.
As this revelatory book eloquently explains, there is an unbreakable link between native plant species and native wildlife. Indeed, most native insects cannot, or will not, eat alien plants. When native plant species disappear or are replaced by alien exotics, the insects disappear, thus impoverishing the food source of birds and other animals. In many parts of the world, habitat destruction has been so extensive that local wildlife populations are in crisis and may well be headed toward extinction.
By favoring native plants, gardeners can provide a welcoming environment for wildlife of all kinds. This doesn't necessarily entail a drastic overhaul of existing gardens. The process can be gradual and can reflect both the gardener's preferences and local sensitivities. To help concerned gardeners, this clearly reasoned account includes helpful lists of native plants for different regional habitats.
Healthy local ecosystems are not only beautiful and fascinating; they are also essential to human well-being. By heeding Douglas Tallamy's affecting arguments and acting upon his practical recommendations, gardeners everywhere can make a difference.