Bushland and Biodiversity
What is biodiversity?
The variety of all living things, including plants, animals and micro-organisms, the genes they contain, and the ecosystems of which they form a part. It is not static, but is constantly changing. It is increased by genetic change and evolutionary processes and reduced by processes such as habitat degradation, population decline, and extinction.
— National Strategy for the Conservation of Australia's Biological Diversity (Department of Environment (then DEST) 1996)
Ecosystem Elements in Woollahra
Despite its small size, level of development and proximity to a major city, the Woollahra municipality contains a diverse range of ecosystem elements. Ecosystem elements and habitat types include:
- Wooded sandstone slopes and gullies (e.g. Cooper Park)
- Exposed coastal heaths (e.g. Christison Park, Gap Park)
- Freshwater and tidal creeks (e.g. Cooper Creek, Parsley Bay Creek, Rose Bay Creek)
- Intertidal estuarine areas (e.g. Vaucluse Bay)
- Sandy beaches (e.g. Parsley Bay, Murray Rose Pool, Watsons Bay, Nielsen Park, Camp Cove)
- Rock platforms (e.g. Glass and Bottle Bay, Parsley Bay)
- Seagrass meadows.(e.g. Rose Bay, Watsons Bay, Vaucluse Bay)
Threatened and Vulnerable Species
Due to the range of habitat areas, and the sections of remnant native bushland, Woollahra provides feeding grounds, shelter, nesting and transport corridors for a range of threatened and vulnerable species.
Listed fauna species include:
- Little Penguin (Eudalypta minor)
- Sooty Oystercatcher (Haematopus fuliginosus)
- Large Bent-Winged Bat (Miniopterus orianae oceanensis)
- Southern Myotis (Myotis macropus)
- Powerful Owl (Ninox strenua)
- Common Scaly Foot (lizard) (pygopus lepidopodus)
- Grey-headed Flying Fox (Pteropus poliocephalus)
- Greater Broad Nosed Bat (Scoteanax rueppellii)
- New Holland Mouse (Pseudomys novahollaniae)
- Water-Rat (Hydromys chrysogaster)
- Red Crowned Toadlet (Pseudophryne australis)
- Seahorse (Syngnathidae) Hippocampus spp.
Listed flora species include:
- Sunshine Wattle (Acacia terminalis subsp. Eastern Sydney)
- Nielsen Park She-Oak (Allocasuarina portuensis)
- Magenta Cherry (Syzigium paniculatum)
- Seagrass (Posidonia Australis)
Weeds and Biosecurity
Weeds are everybody’s responsibility. We can all work together to protect our unique bushland and waterways.
Weeds are plants that do not occur naturally in the bush. They compete with native plants and often overshadow or supplant them. They damage and destroy the habitat of our native animals.
What is biosecurity?
Biosecurity refers to the protection of native plant communities - reducing the risk to human health and the risk to agricultural production, from invasive weeds.
Learn more about what Council is doing and what you can do.
Fish and Biosecurity
Keeping fish is fun, but releasing fish from your aquarium, pond or other sources can pose a serious threat to our aquatic environment. Many fish are not native to Australia or to your local area and if released are difficult to eliminate and can pose a serious threat to fragile ecosystems and important industries. They may spread disease and parasites, and damage natural habitats. It is illegal to release fish into public waters in NSW without a fish stocking permit.
NSW Department of Primary Industries is responsible for the conservation and management of fish and marine vegetation of NSW. Find out more about releasing fish into NSW waterways and recreational fishing practices and guidelines to minimise impact on the environment and other members of the community.
Why is biodiversity important?
Examples of how urban biodiversity can provide ecosystem services to the residents of Woollahra include:
NSW Department of Primary Industries is responsible for the conservation and management of fish and marine vegetation of NSW.
|Carbon sequestration||urban trees remove carbon dioxide from the air and act as a sink by storing carbon in their biomass|
|Air pollution removal||in particular ozone, nitrogen dioxide and sulphur dioxide by large street trees and other vegetation|
|Microclimate regulation||vegetation and waterway areas reduce the heat island effect; trees also keep cities warmer in winter by blocking wind and reducing wind speed|
|Flood regulation||vegetated areas can store large quantities of water and slow water movement, thus reducing flood damage|
|Noise abatement||vegetation belts act as barriers for traffic noise along roads|
|Recreational values||natural areas are highly valued for opportunities to play and exercise|
|Aesthetic values||natural areas provide attractive surroundings, increase property values, promote tourism, and may even shape the cultural identity of urban localities|
|Educational values||easily accessible natural areas provide numerous opportunities for nature study, research and environmental education through field trips and excursions.|
|Health and Well-being||General health, Increased social interaction, Management of mental fatigue, Opportunities for reflection|
|Economic Values||Many commercial interests rely on the natural environment for their products and services e.g. kayak hire, sailing clubs, waterfront cafes|
Biodiversity Conservation Strategy
In 2015 Council adopted the Woollahra Biodiversity Conservation Strategy 2015-2025. This Strategy represents the first documentation of the strategic direction of Council to conserve the valuable flora and fauna within the Woollahra municipality.
Download the documents:
Woollahra Biodiversity Conservation Strategy 2015-2025 (12 MB)
Woollahra Biodiversity Conservation Strategy 2015-2025 - Appendices (3 MB)
Our Biodiversity Targets
Council has developed a community strategic plan which details Council’s targets and commitments in relation to key priority action areas (energy & emissions, water, biodiversity, waste, transport).
Our biodiversity targets are:
- 75% of bushland under regeneration by 2025
- 1,750 trees planted in bushland annually
- 4,250 shrubs planted in bushland annually
- 4,000 ground cover plants planted in bushland annually
- Increase the number of bush regeneration volunteers by 30% by 2030
Read the full Woollahra - 2030 Our community, our place, our plan
Council is undertaking a range of projects to protect our local flora and fauna and to ensure the biological health of our local area.
Upcoming Events View more events
Sign up to one of our e-newsletters to stay up to date.