This report shows that every Australian can play a role in conservation. We can protect species where we live and work. The report states that Australia’s cities are home to over 96% of its population and 46% of threatened species. We have mapped the occurrence of hundreds of endangered species within urban areas.
It can be dangerous for wildlife to navigate through cities. The animals have to avoid cars, fences, roaming pets, and large expanses of concrete.
Councils and road agencies have been looking for creative solutions to help wildlife travel from point A to point B. The solutions range from rope bridges to help the sugar gliders of western Sydney, tunnels to support Melbourne’s bandicoots, and forest bridges in Brisbane for bush birds. Many gardeners in Bunbury have built “possum bridges” in their backyards to help the western ringtail.
In the conservation world, it is considered a “negative” to have threatened species living close to humans. This closeness is an advantage if the local community is engaged and aware.
If not for the volunteer hours, the crowd-funding efforts, and the passion shown by the local community, orchids such as the sunshiny diuresis or Frankston spider would be extinct.
Join your local council or “Friends of” groups and learn how you can help the environment in your area.
Urban habitats are often small but always valuable.
There are many ways to help nature thrive in cities. Recent examples include:
Conservation goats are saving native skinks.
Floating habitat-rafts on city waterways.
Using flowers to support marine life.
All over Australia, new ideas are being tested and explored.
The Living Seawalls Project restores biodiversity along seawalls, which cover over half the foreshore of Sydney Harbour.
Some of the most inspiring examples combine all of these ideas. Melbourne’s Pollinator Corridor is a project led by Heart Gardening Project that helps community members transform their small urban patches into bee-friendly gardens. Once completed, 200 gardens will create an 8km pollinator oasis between two of the largest parks in Melbourne.
At the moment, champions are driving efforts to preserve nature in our cities. These individuals, whether they come from local councils, communities, or industries, see an opportunity and work to make a change, however small. Imagine what could be achieved if we all pitched in.
Look around. You can add a small patch. You can contact your local council to turn a neglected roadside patch into a paradise for pollinators. You could set up a B&B in your backyard for wildlife.