Nature in the city
A great diversity of animal species is important for nature. Bumblebees, bees and other insects fertilize plants, birds spread trees and control pest insects such as the oak processionary caterpillar, worms and microbes clean up dead leaves and the trees themselves provide clean air and cooling in summer. The city's ecosystem is well attuned and keeps each other in balance. Unfortunately, biodiversity in the Netherlands is declining, causing the system to become unbalanced. The decline in animal and plant species is partly due to urbanisation. As an important green space in Amsterdam, ARTIS believes it is important to stimulate Dutch biodiversity. Because of the many different species of trees, perennials and flowerbeds, many insects feel at home here. But the old buildings with their cracks, shady spots and clean water features also ensure that ARTIS attracts many animals.
In new enclosures, space is always made for urban nature. For example, bats have a place to rust at the elephant enclosure and are hung under the ornamental bridge between the Chilean flamingos and the golden gibbons swallow's nest. The same kind of nesting boxes will also be hung under the bridge near the black swallow monkeys. The new home of the golden gibbons will also have a green roof that attracts insects. And the insects will have much more space in ARTIS: the native planting of large parts of the park will remain in place to attract as many insects as possible.
In addition to making the park as suitable as possible for urban animals, ARTIS also conducts research into the species. The wild Dutch birds that live in ARTIS, such as the grey herons and the quacks, are ringed for research. By following the animals, ARTIS helps to map their distribution area and learn more about the species. This is important for the conservation of these species. In addition, ARTIS wants to make the city's nature visible to visitors, among other things by placing animal information boards of birds that arrive and by using the app the Evening Walk.
Getting started yourself
Endangered animal and plant species can be found not only in rainforests, oceans and savannas, but also in the Netherlands. Even in your own garden or on your own balcony. All flowerbeds, verges, green spaces and green roofs in the city provide food and protection for animal species. You can also become part of the chain. You help nature by putting plants on your own balcony or garden that bloom for a long time and give a lot of nectar. You can also set up an insect hotel outside, or hang birdhouses. And actually, maybe the easiest thing you can do: let nature take its course. Leave weeds a bit more often, many butterflies use these plants to feed themselves or lay eggs. Sparrows and mice love messy gardens, and fallen autumn leaves provide food and shelter for snails, worms and beetles. Together with microbes, these soil animals in turn ensure that nutrients return to the soil that trees and other plants can use again.