Blueprint for saving local plants and animals

After careful research and consultation, the City's Urban Ecology Strategic Action Plan is now on public exhibition. It sets out practical steps you could take to maintain biodiversity in Australia's most densely populated area, inner city Sydney.

Our extensive urban ecology survey last year found bandicoots, falcons, red bellied black snakes and endangered frogs living in the inner city.

Everyone gets a kick out of surprising sightings of wildlife in the city, and the Strategic Action Plan will act as a blueprint for saving local plant and animal species. We all have a role to play in protecting and preserving our amazing wildlife, before it's gone forever.

There are dozens of ways to create suitable habitats to support our wildlife. Conserving even the smallest green space can help save our local wildlife populations from extinction.

The plan identifies 63 native birds, eight mammals, 11 reptiles and five frog species living in the City of Sydney. Among them, the green and golden bell frog, the powerful owl, the grey-headed flying fox and the long-nosed bandicoot are threatened species that still call Sydney home.

To fight the pressure of urban development, predators and disease, the City wants to expand bush restoration and ensure that ecology is properly considered in development assessments. We will also run workshops about how to create habitats in backyards, balconies, footpaths and schools.

Other wildlife success stories detailed in the plan include restoration work by volunteers on Arthur (Paddy) Grey Reserve in Glebe, which has made the tiny park part of an important wildlife corridor and a new home to the endangered superb fairy-wren.

The City is already creating habitats for small birds in pocket parks in Glebe and in Blackwattle Bay Park, while at Sydney Park in St Peters, wetlands that support birds, frogs and reptiles are being incorporated into the stormwater harvesting project that is now underway.

Other target areas for habitat regeneration include:

  • Sandstone cliffs at Embarkation Park and McElhone Stairs, Potts Point;
  • Bannerman Crescent Reserve, Southern Cross Drive Reserve, and Kimberley Grove Reserve, Rosebery;
  • The wetland at Woolwash Park, Zetland;
  • Rail corridors where restricted public access adds to their habitat value;
  • The University of Sydney, home to one of few known superb fairy-wren populations in Sydney;
  • Freshwater ponds at the Chinese Gardens, Darling Harbour, home to the eastern water dragon and eastern water skink; and
  • Victoria Barracks, Paddington, where the Defence Department has bush restoration works underway.

If you'd like to find out more about our Strategic Action Plan and the many native plants and animals calling Sydney home, join me at a community information session at 11am on 24 August in the Maiden Theatre at the Royal Botanic Gardens.

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