Biological diversity or biodiversity refers to the variety of all living organisms – the plants, animals, microorganisms, the genes they contain and the variety of ecological systems that are created with the interactions between species and the non-living components of the environment.
Biodiversity is important in both urban and regional settings. Urban areas provide a surprisingly diverse range of natural and artificial habitat niches and conditions that can support a wide diversity of fauna species.
A diversity of species brings resilience to natural systems and improves the ability of these systems to provide ecosystem services that underpin the health of the environment and its ability to support human needs. This includes basic requirements such as the production of oxygen, creation of soil, nutrient cycling and purification of water and breakdown of wastes. Biodiversity regulates the climate and provides the basis for many popular recreational pursuits in the City.
Protecting and managing remnant native vegetation and bushland, and restoring a mosaic of habitat linkages and corridors across the city are the primary objectives of biodiversity management in the City of Tea Tree Gully.
An essential component of the habitat mosaic are the 39 conservation reserves in the City that have been recognised as supporting important native vegetation communities. Currently, 30 of these remnant bushland sites are regularly maintained by specialist contractors, CTTG biodiversity staff and Bush For Life volunteers to protect and restore biodiversity values.
Creekline corridors, bushland, streetscape vegetation, parks and suburban gardens enhanced with suitable vegetation and habitat elements are all recognised as essential components of a healthy natural environment that enable the spread of wildlife and plants. A total of 39 hectares of habitat revegetation has occurred across the City since 2000, covering 42 reserves. This revegetation also creates habitat for target species such as the Superb Fairy-wren.
Home owners are also encouraged to contribute to the habitat mosaic by introducing native plants to their gardens. The annual Get Growing native plant sale subsidised by council can help gardeners achieve this goal.