“We are at a critical point of losing so many species from local ecosystems that their ability to produce the oxygen, clean water, flood control, pollination, pest control, carbon storage, etc, that is, the ecosystem services that sustain us, will become seriously compromised.”


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Someone recently asked me a very interesting question. If I were able to give my 10 year old self one piece of advice about conservation, what would it be? This is a deeper question than I am used to answering, but I was surprised when the answer popped into my head immediately. I would tell my young self to not only think about preserving pristine habitats, but also consider returning nature to the many places from which we have expelled Her.

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There are four ecological functions every landscape must perform if we are to achieve a sustainable relationship with the natural world that supports us (and continuing to insist on landscapes that do not sustain mother nature is not and has never been a realistic option). It’s really very simple; our landscapes must do the things that enable ecosystems to produce the life support we and every other species requires.

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10 Things to Get You Started / Doug Tallamy

SMALL EFFORTS BY MANY PEOPLE: 83% of land in the U.S. is privately owned. If we planted native on 50% of private land we would restore biodiversity…and we can do it starting NOW. We greatly encourage municipalities and public places to participate, but right NOW, each of us can take an ACTION. Let’s start planting.

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Chances are, you have never thought of your garden - - indeed, of all of the space on your property - - as a wildlife preserve that represents the last opportunity we have for sustaining plants and animals

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Nature’s Best Hope (Young Readers’ Edition): How You Can Save the World in Your Own Yard

Douglas W. Tallamy awakened thousands of readers to an urgent situation: wildlife populations are in decline because the native plants they depend on are fast disappearing. His solution? Plant more natives. In this middle grade adaptation of the New York Times bestseller Nature's Best Hope, Tallamy outlines his vision for a grassroots approach to conservation that everyone can participate in regardless of age.

In this Young Readers' Edition, Tallamy empowers kids to use their own yards to help combat the negative effects of climate change. He does so by breaking down complex concepts into simple terms and real-world examples that kids can easily grasp. Black and white photographs help further clarify concepts. In addition to sharing the science, Tallamy encourages kids to take direct action. Some of these ideas include planting an oak tree (one of the most important tree species) at home. If that’s too large of a task, he suggests they can plant asters—a beautiful flower whose pollen bees use to feed their young. By helping the next generation see that they have power and agency over our collective future, this empowering book will drive home the positive point that kids are truly nature’s best hope.

Nature's Best Hope: A New Approach to Conservation that Starts in Your Yard

Douglas W. Tallamy’s first book, Bringing Nature Home, awakened thousands of readers to an urgent situation: wildlife populations are in decline because the native plants they depend on are fast disappearing. His solution? Plant more natives. In this new book, Tallamy takes the next step and outlines his vision for a grassroots approach to conservation. Nature’s Best Hope shows how homeowners everywhere can turn their yards into conservation corridors that provide wildlife habitats.

The Nature of Oaks: The Rich Ecology of Our Most Essential Native Trees 

With Bringing Nature Home, Doug Tallamy changed the conversation about gardening in America. His second book, the New York Times bestseller Nature’s Best Hope, urged homeowners to take conservation into their own hands. Now, he is turning his advocacy to one of the most important species of the plant kingdom—oak trees.

Bringing Nature Home: How You Can Sustain Wildlife with Native Plants, Updated and Expanded

As development and habitat destruction accelerate, there are increasing pressures on wildlife populations. In Bringing Nature Home, Douglas W. Tallamy reveals the unbreakable link between native plant species and native wildlife—native insects cannot, or will not, eat alien plants. When native plants disappear, the insects disappear, impoverishing the food source for birds and other animals.

“A fascinating study of the trees, shrubs, and vines that feed the insects, birds, and other animals in the suburban garden.” —The New York Times

The Living Landscape: Designing for Beauty and Biodiversity in the Home Garden | Rick Darke & Doug Tallamy

Many gardeners today want a home landscape that nourishes and fosters wildlife, but they also want beauty, a space for the kids to play, privacy, and maybe even a vegetable patch. Sure, it’s a tall order, but The Living Landscape shows you how to do it. You’ll learn the strategies for making and maintaining a diverse, layered landscape—one that offers beauty on many levels, provides outdoor rooms and turf areas for children and pets, incorporates fragrance and edible plants, and provides cover, shelter, and sustenance for wildlife.

A Presentation by Doug Tallamy – Nature’s Best Hope / The National Wildlife Federation

Garden For Wildlife: Nature’s Best Hope with Dr. Doug Tallamy / WWF Canada

Douglas Tallamy at The Salisbury Forum / Salisbury, CT


“Our next guest wants you to create a homegrown national park…and it’s not as daunting as it sounds. Our philosophy at Wearthy is creating environments for children to thrive, so who better to have on the show than someone who researches thriving environments as a profession…” READ MORE
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growing greener

Tom Christopher’s ‘Growing Greener’ podcast interviews Doug Tallamy – the interview will be posted Feb. 24th. 2021, and is accessible here:  Air date: February 24, 2021 6:00pm

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Monarch butterflies in the University of Delaware Botanical Garden in Newark, Del. (Douglas Tallamy/Timber Press via AP)

“Nature’s Best Hope:” conservation at home | NPR | Air Date: May 26, 2020 10:00 am | Guests: Anthony Leiserowitz, Doug Tallamy

EXCERPT “If American’s replanted half of their lawns with native plants, shrubs and trees, we would have more wildlife habitat than all the national parks combined.”

In this episode of Nature Revisited, the central topic of discussion is oak trees.

Doug Tallamy: Nature's Best Hope / Nature Revisited



Welcome bugs into your yard. You might just save the world. | The Washington Post | Outlook: Doug Tallamy | 2.2020

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(John Jay Cabuay / for The Washington Post)

A native plant guru’s radical vision for the American yard | The Washington Post | Home & Garden: Adrian Higgins | 02.2020

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The Backyard Revolution: How Native Plants Can Save Children and Other Endangered Species | Children & Nature Network | The New Nature Movement - columns by Richard Louv | 05.2014

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To Feed the Birds, First Feed the Bugs | The New York Times | In the Garden: Anne Raver | 03.2008

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10 Ways to start building a garden for wildlife / Turn your garden into a wildlife sanctuary with these eco-friendly tips | Garden Design | Article by Doug Tallamy

Excellent guidance from Doug in a simple listing of ways to start a garden for wildlife, with specific suggestions and description for each suggestion.

1. Plant an oak; 2. Add a bird bath; 3. Create a layered planting or border; 4. Build a native arbor; 5. Add groves or thickets; 6. Plant native fruit trees; 7. Screen with native hedges; 8. Encourage pools and ponds; 9. Make a meadow; 10. Grow vines


Univ. Delaware

University of Delaware - Doug Tallamy, Department of Entomology

Education, regular courses taught, research activities, professional affiliations and service.
Graduate students and post-doctoral researchers

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