Making the City Safe for Wildlife

Trees, shrubs, and grassy areas in city parks and backyards provide an important home for birds, butterflies, and other wildlife. Many migratory species need urban green spaces for food and rest, while others, such as White-crowned and Golden-crowned Sparrows, live here all year or are winter residents.

Vital habitat areas may disappear if they are not managed for wildlife. Our backyards will lose their value for butterflies and birds if paved over or planted with vegetation that cannot support them. City parks can become wildlife deserts if we forget to provide for the simple needs of wildlife, such as snags for cavity-nesting birds and low, brushy areas for birds such as the California Quail to escape predators.

Golden Gate Audubon is committed to preserving and restoring key wildlife habitats within the urban environment—and to inspiring Bay Area residents to take action to sustain native wildlife in our cities.

Our Goals

  • Conserve and restore wildlife habitats within the urban environment
  • Minimize human and human-related impacts in sensitive habitat areas
  • Ensure proper management of habitat areas
  • Integrate wildlife habitat with human uses and residences

Gardening for Wildlife

Your backyard can provide habitat for birds and other wildlife! As urban development takes over more of our natural open spaces, small areas such as backyards provide increasingly important food and shelter for birds, bees, and butterflies.

Download our brochure on Inviting Wildlife into Your Backyard:

The brochure provides resources and tips for wildlife-friendly gardens, as well as a list of local nurseries that specialize in native plants.

We also offer a brochure on bird-friendly tree care:

Other resources:

National Audubon Society has an impressive web site on bird-friendly gardens: Plants for BirdsThey offer a searchable database of locally native plants and the birds they attract, as well as advice about gardens as habitat.

San Francisco’s Department of the Environment has a good website on planting for pollinators — birds, bees, and butterflies. See