Biodiversity in Your RegionThe intricate connections between plants, animals, fungi, air, soil and water and ecosystems are scientifically described as “biodiversity”, which is short for biological diversity, and is commonly referred to as the “web of life”. No one life form exists or functions in isolation to another, each plays a significant role within a finely balanced ecosystem. If one of these links is severed, altered or impacted upon in even a small way it has a rippling effect on the whole ecosystem balance, whether it is visible to us (humans) or not.
Australia is recognised as one of 17 ‘megadiverse’ countries and is home to many endemic and uniquely Australian species. Queensland has a rich biodiversity, with 47% of the nations plants and 66% of all native bird, mammal, frog and reptile species found in the state while the South East Queensland bioregion is one of the states most biodiverse areas.
Protecting the natural environment ensures current and future generations of residents can enjoy and appreciate the region’s diverse coastal and hinterland areas. The environment is a natural resource that:
- Sustains ecosystem functions that are vital to all life.
- Provides aesthetic inspiration and increases well-being
- Presents recreational opportunities
- Offers educational opportunities
- Has cultural significance
- Expands economic possibilities
- Generates tourism
The biggest threats to our flora and fauna are vegetation clearing for urban development, weeds, feral animals and climate change. Many of the region’s rare and threatened species require particular types of habitat for survival. For example, vulnerable species such as the ground parrot and wallum or ‘acid’ frogs live in coastal wetland swamps. The current practices of draining, filling (with soil) and developing of our low lying ‘swampy’ coastal land for urban development is significantly reducing the available habitat and impacting on the natural hydraulic processes these species depend upon for their survival.
It is critical that as we grow we hold on to land for natural habitat and green space. Our unique lifestyle depends on it. The challenge for us all is to ensure the preservation and sustainable management of an abundant and healthy network of diverse natural areas that are:
- Connected and protected
- Valued for the ecosystem services they provide
- Resilient to current and future threats
- Sustained by an active and engaged community