Biodiversity report sets benchmark on Coast
  • Friday 11 November 2016
Image

A report has been released today providing for the first time a snapshot in time of the biodiversity assets in our beautiful Sunshine Coast.

The Biodiversity Report 2016 reports on the extent and type of vegetation, habitat areas, threatened flora and fauna and the conservation estate at both a local government area and catchment scale.

Environment Portfolio Councillor Jenny McKay said as biodiversity was essential to the region’s liveability and contributed to the Coast’s “natural advantage”, the Biodiversity Report 2016 provided valuable information for council’s strategic conservation management approach.

“The report found the Sunshine Coast landscape continues to support a diverse range of flora, fauna and ecosystems, making the region one of the most biodiverse areas in South East Queensland,” Cr McKay said.

“On the Sunshine Coast we have a total vegetation extent of approximately 124,000 hectares, which represents approximately 54% of our local government area, of which 6% is located within urban areas.  Our existing urban development represents approximately 9% of the local government area.

“The report will act as an important reference document as we work towards providing a healthy environment and maintain and enhance the region’s natural assets, liveability and environmental credentials.

“It also sets a benchmark and provides a monitoring and reporting framework to help in evaluating the effectiveness of council’s and the community’s biodiversity protection, enhancement and management efforts.”

The report identified Sunshine Coast Council’s local government area includes:

  • 124,283 hectares of vegetation;
  • 75 different vegetation types (regional ecosystems) grouped into six broad vegetation communities - eucalypt, rainforest, melaleuca, heath, mangrove and foredune;
  • A diverse range of plants and animals including 76 flora and 59 fauna species classified as either endangered, vulnerable or near threatened under Commonwealth and State environmental legislation; and
  • Around 60,000 hectares of land conserving 54,000 hectares of vegetation including contributions from state, council owned and/or managed lands and private landholders.

“The results of the report provide essential information that will enable council to better understand our biodiversity assets, identify priority investment areas and inform the review and development of new environmental strategies for biodiversity conservation,” Cr McKay said.

“We are also aiming to use the results of the report to build ownership and custodianship of our natural environment with the community including our youth through traditional communication channels, social media and partnering with schools.”

A snapshot of the report is now available on council’s website .