Biodiversity in the Moreton Bay RegionMoreton Bay Region is renowned for its diverse natural environment which covers an area of approximately 2000 square kilometres to the north of Brisbane. From Bribie Island and the mainland coast to the mountains in the hinterlands, the region covers an array of habitats - sandy ocean beaches, mangroves, tidal creeks and rivers, marshlands, brackish and freshwater swamps and lagoons, grasslands, woodlands and forests.
The region’s natural area is a complex network of protected areas, bushland reserves and managed resource forests. There are over 1,900 plant species and more than 700 species of wildlife that have been recorded in the Region, including the second largest population of urban and bushland koalas in South East Queensland. This koala population is declining. The Moreton Bay Regional Council Koala Conservation Partnership, a collaborative partnership with community groups and government agencies, has been established by Council to reverse this trend.
Remnant and high value regrowth vegetation represents 49.9% of the total land area of Moreton Bay region. Only 0.012% (12.5 ha) of this is owned by Council and legislatively protected for the purpose of environmental conservation.
Since European settlement, changes in land use and rapid urban development have permanently altered the distribution and abundance of native flora and fauna. Surveying and subdivision of land has produced a complex crisscross pattern of roads, fences and pathways stitching together the modern mosaic of a vibrant and thriving community. Urbanisation has caused many of our ecosystems to reduce, fragment, and in some cases, vanish.
The challenge we now face is to ensure that what’s left is well managed and not lost. We all have the potential to make a significant contribution to nature conservation.
Over the next 10 years, the population of the region will likely increase by around 25% from 371,162 to an estimated 464,155 in 2021.15 The combination of high biodiversity and rapid population growth in the region will continue to place pressure on the natural environment into the future.
Council has a role to play through the planning process in minimising the environmental impacts of development. Council planning schemes and local laws provide a strategic framework and control system for pursuing biodiversity conservation.
The Moreton Bay community plays a pivotal role in environmental protection and conservation because more than half of the remaining wildlife habitat is located on private property.
Moreton Community Involvement in Protecting our Biodiversity
Council supports residents managing and protecting the conservation values of their properties. Over 600 properties are registered with council’s suite of habitat-based conservation programs, representing 3,137 Ha of wildlife habitat.
Residents can access natural habitat areas and contribute to their protection on a regular basis. Approximately 50 ha of weed removal and habitat enhancement are undertaken by Bushcare volunteers each year. In 2009/10 61,000 native trees, shrubs and grasses were planted by environmental volunteers.
Council operates three environment centres which offer contemporary environmental learning opportunities.
- Osprey House Environmental Centre at Griffin.
- Caboolture Region Environmental Education Centre (CREEC) at Burpengary.
- Kumbartcho Environmental Centre at Bunya.
Other MBRC Environmental Learning Programs and Opportunities
- Living with the Environment activities and publications for the public.
- Education for Sustainability: encouraging environmental education in the region.
- Don Perrin Environmental Bursary: tertiary student scholarship.