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General principles to keep in mind
There are many things land managers can do to actively manage for the conservation of biodiversity.
- Fencing remnant vegetation in order to manage stock grazing;
- Encouraging natural regeneration;
- Revegetation with locally native understorey;
- Creating corridors of native vegetation to link patches of remnant vegetation, including connecting to waterway and roadside vegetation.
- Pest plant and animal control;
- Fencing of waterways and roadside vegetation and revegetation to widen these strips of vegetation;
- Avoiding tidying up fallen timber and vegetation litter.
- Leaving some wood behind when collecting firewood.
When planning activities for the protection of biodiversity, actions are suggested to be directed towards the following, in priority order:
Protect patches of viable remnant vegetation that provide important habitat, and protect the flora and fauna populations these remnants contain. This is the primary way to conserve biodiversity.
Enhance the condition of remnant habitats through activities such as
- Revegetating with native understorey species
- Controlling pest plants and animals.
- Managing grazing to encourage natural regeneration.
Restoration of the former extent of native vegetation by revegetation or encouragement of natural regeneration. Revegetation for biodiversity is best undertaken in strategic locations such as:
- Connecting existing stands of remnant vegetation.
- Increasing the width of roadside vegetation inside the paddock boundary.
- Buffering vegetation along waterways to make a wider corridor.
When managing for biodiversity it is useful to keep a number of principles in mind:
- Protect the best native vegetation first:
The more intact the remnant vegetation (ie. the more structural layers that are present including trees, shrubs, native herbs and grasses) the more valuable.
- The bigger the better:
Larger patches of vegetation are more valuable as they can support a greater diversity of habitats and species and larger populations of wildlife. Large patches with a lower area to edge ratio are better (ie. round patches rather than long narrow linear patches).
- The more types of habitats the better :
Try to incorporate a range of habitat types including waterways, wetlands, grasslands and forest / woodland patches.
- The more connected the better:
When patches of vegetation become fragmented (through land clearing, grazing and vegetation decline) it affects the movement of species between patches. Increasing connectivity between areas will assist movement and ensure species don't become locally extinct.
Click here to view information relating to the DSE publication titled ' How to Plan Wildlife Landscapes - a guide for community organisations'. This guide discusses some of the main principles and considerations when planning for biodiversity conservation with a particular focus on designing landscapes for the conservation of wildlife.