What is pond wildlife?

Wildlife or not?

Wildlife or not?

Someone asked me the other day – What is pond wildlife?

It’s a good question.

I suppose the best answer is it’s the wild plants and animals that live in ponds. The plants and animals that can make their own way to your pond, and can live there happily without too much help from you (other than keeping the pond clean and unpolluted).

But what about fish, what about water lilies?

Wild fish, that live wild in the country where the pond is, are wildlife.

So how about goldfish or koi carp? I think these are really pets – your watery companions, like a cat or dog, though not quite so affectionate.

On the other hand a tench, or a roach, or a 3-spined stickleback are wildlife. And whatever the resemblance to (fill in the blank), they are not part of your family.

And lilies – well, these could be wildlife – in Britain native wild water lilies are the white water-lily (the botanical name is Nymphaea alba), yellow water-lily (the botanists call this one Nuphar lutea), the fringed water-lily and the least water-lily (in the ponds and pools of the wilder parts of Scotland).

Ornamental water-lilies, of which there are many, on the other hand are plants invented by people that we grow because they look great, a kind of planty pet. They’re not really wildlife as they wouldn’t survive (or exist) without the help of people.


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