About Us

Habitat Stepping Stones is an Australia wide, non-profit initiative, developed at Macquarie University.

Our project helps you find food, water and shelter elements to add to your backyard, balcony, work or outdoor space in order to create a habitat stepping stone for local wildlife. 

It's easy for you to bring wildlife to your outdoor space!

Just pledge online to add 3 or more habitat options to your place, and we'll send you a colourful plaque for your front fence! In the FOOD, WATER and SHELTER sections below, we showcase many habitat options, including birdbaths, nest boxes and specific plants that are beneficial to wildlife by providing nectar, seeds, shelter or nesting materials. We make sure the plant selection includes plants of varying heights, to promote habitat diversity, and also a range of flowering/fruiting/seeding times, to maximise biodiversity outcomes. 

Note: If you have an existing garden which includes non native plants, we aren't expecting you to remove these plants. Habitat Stepping Stones is about adding water, native plant food and shelter elements to link wildlife corridors.


See Angus Stewart from ABC TV’s Gardening Australia talking about the Habitat Stepping Stones program in the 2-min video below.

Follow us on social media.    


  • Showcased: In the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) #NatureForAll list of International success stories.
  • Winner: National Trust Heritage Award for Conservation of Natural Landscape     
  • Finalist: UN World Environment Day Award for Sustainability Education
  • Finalist: Blue Star Sustainability Award for Habitat & Wildlife Guardianship
  • Invited as a partner: In the IUCN's #NatureForAll global movement 

Research Results

Research into the effectiveness of the program has shown that:

  • So far, participants have pledged to add over 10,000 habitat elements to their gardens
  • 75% of surveyed participants reported a greater awareness of the importance of habitat for local wildlife.
  • 98% are likely to continue adding habitat elements to their gardens in future.

The Habitat Stepping Stones program was designed and developed by the Australian Research Institute for Environment and Sustainability at Macquarie University.

Participating Councils


Friends of Habitat Stepping Stones


  • food
  • Low plants
  • Medium plants
  • Tall plants
  • water
  • Bird baths
  • Water features
  • Ponds
  • shelter
  • Rock / Brush piles
  • Nest boxes
  • Shelter plants