Biodiversity is the diversity of life, species and their genetics and is a major part of our focus. A healthy landscape needs biodiversity to function properly as it provides essential services to our catchment, our community and our agriculture such as pollinating crops, filtering water, cleaning air and enhancing soils.
A species can be listed as vulnerable, threatened or endangered at a state, national or international level. Victorian legislation for threatened species is the Flora and Fauna Guarantee Act 1988, federally the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999, and internationally the IUCN red list and the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species.
Some threatened species in our catchment include:
- Australasian bittern (Botaurus poiciloptilus)
- Hooded plover (Thinornis rubricollis)
- Orange-bellied parrot (Neophema chrysogaster)
- Painted snipe (Rostratula benghalensis)
- Swift parrot (Lathamus discolor)
- Yarra pygmy perch (Nannoperca obscura)
- Golden sun moth (Synemon plana)
- Growling grass frog (Litoria raniformis)
- Hoary sunray (Leucochrysum albicans)
- Spiney rice-flower (Pimelea spinescens)
Biodiversity on farms
There are simple steps that landholders can take to enhance on farm biodiversity, thus helping agricultural productivity and community well-being.
Protecting paddock trees with fencing or designing them into shelter belts provides habitat for insects, animals and has benefits for livestock, providing shade and shelter. Paddock trees can be hundreds of years old and would take multiple generations to replace – protecting them now provides benefits long into the future.
Connecting habitats with shelter belts, riparian restoration works or planting new paddock trees provides biodiversity to move through the landscape. This is important as many species move through the landscape seasonally or on a regular basis, for example birds which predate crop damaging insects.
Conserving old habitat, also known as remnant vegetation, provides the landscape with an area for species to breed and shelter, helping to add to diverse and healthy landscapes.
If you would like to know more about protecting biodiversity on your farm please contact the Corangamite CMA on 1800 002 262.
How you can help
Biodiversity in our region is threatened by a range of issues including invasive species, historical land clearing, grazing and climate change. There are many ways landholders can help maintain biodiversity on their properties, such as by retaining fallen timber, leaving paddock rock, fencing waterways and including paddock trees in shelter belts.
For more information about biodiversity projects in your area, contact our Land & Catchment Health Officers on 1800 002 262.