Backyard biodiversity supports native species

A black cockatoo in a Nelson Bay backyard. Photo: Marian Sampson.

BACKYARDS play an important role in local biodiversity and the ecosystem.

This means that everyone that has so much as a pot plant on their verandah can make choices that work for local wildlife.

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Choosing endemic species of plants for our green spaces is a great start.

In aid of this, Port Stephens Council has been working on community education around species habitats, particularly koalas.

“Port Stephens provides habitat for a number of significant flora and species, including one of the state’s most iconic koala populations,” said Brock Lamont, Council’s Section Manager, Strategy and Environment.

“Council is committed to identifying and managing these native landscapes with our community through community education on how they can improve habitats on private lands and help protect the local koala population.

“Council has a quarterly newsletter, ‘Our Environment’, which provides seasonal updates on Council’s environmental projects and programs, and also has a dedicated web page which provides information about koalas and what the community can do to help this iconic species.

“The webpage includes factsheets on how to improve koala habitats, help protect wildlife in the heat and some frequently asked questions.”

Council has also launched its ‘Koala Landholder Partnerships Program’, which allows landholders to register their interest in collaborating with Council on projects such as mapping, surveys, tree planting and habitat restoration works to enhance koala habitats in the LGA.

Across the Bay, MidCoast Council also plays an important role in helping save native wildlife by working with other agencies to educate the community about protecting the natural environment.

This includes promoting the role of backyards.

Midcoast Council’s Backyards for Biodiversity program aims to alert the community about the little things that everyone can do in their own backyard to provide much-needed habitat for local fauna.

“You can help make your backyard more wildlife friendly by planting native species, including a mixture of ground cover, shrubs and larger trees,” said MidCoast Council’s Senior Ecologist, Mat Bell.

“If you can, it’s also great to include a water source for native animals to have a drink or a splash by including a birdbath or pond.

“It is also important to be a responsible pet owner by keeping your dogs and cats in their yard as they are a big threat to native animals,” said Mr Bell.

Community members can register for the Koala Landholder Partnerships Program at


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