How residents can help conserve native wildlife and vegetation
As more Victorians take the tree change and live outside the metropolitan areas, there is a pressing need to be more aware of and care for our native wildlife such as koalas, and their habitat. The City of Ballarat has produced a series of booklets for residents highlighting:
“Threatened species of Central Victoria”. A booklet for young readers that journeys through the various habitats of Central Victoria, from the forested highlands down on to the plains and introduces threatened species such as White Goshawks and Brush-tailed Phascogales
“Meet the locals”. A booklet which explains how to make sure your fire protection, fencing, pets and general bush block living enhances rather than harms “the locals”.
Take care with what goes into the gutter. Chemicals, phosphates and organic waste in stormwater can be detrimental to biodiversity in creeks and rivers.
Consider planting a native garden or having an indigenous section in your garden featuring plants that occur naturally in Ballarat. These indigenous plants are a good choice for Ballarat gardens because they are easy to grow and don't require special treatment such as fertilizers and pesticides, while non indigenous plants, both native and exotic, can and do grow very nicely in Ballarat's climate, come of these may require extra care and the use of chemical fertilizers and pesticides.
Balance your need for fire preparation witht he needs of local flora and fauna - instead if removing large old trees, remove leaf-litter and shrubs that are the greater fire risk.
Minimise the use of chemical fertilizers and pesticides in gardens as these can upset the natural balance between organisms.
Control cats and dogs so that they do not hunt or harm other birds and animals. Observe the cat curfew, and keep your dog in an appropriate enclosure - especially if you live in a koala habitat area.
Take care when driving; drive slower at dusk and dawn as this is when most wildlife such as koalas and kangaroos cross roads.
Be aware of and don;t plant exotic plants that can become invasive weeds. Click here to view pictures of weeds common to the central and west regions of Victoria.
Dispose of garden waste responsibly so that weed plants don't become invasive. Don't dump them on roadsides or in bushland.
Consult with Council's Statutory Planning Department if you plan to undertake works to subdivide, build a fence, remove natural vegetation, build or renovate a dwelling. Only collect fire wood from designated areas to limit the removal of dead wood that provides habitat for small animals and insects.
Reduce waste materials, water and energy in your household and workplace.
How business can help conserve native wildlife and vegetation
Depending on the type of business, there may be specific or general actions you can take to protect biodiversity.
Generally, all efforts to work more sustainably by reducing waste of materials, water and energy will represent a contribution to a healthier environment and thereby conservation of biodiversity.
Specifically, particular industries can have a greater effect on the environment. For example;
Largely, impacts from these sectors relate to the use of chemicals, land and soil disturbance and waste management. The EPA and you Industry Association are useful sources of information relating to the best environmental practice relevant to your business. An online library of sustainable industry resources can be found at the Swinburne University Resource Bank.