Caring for our bushland and wildlife 'vital': Council

AN urban corridor to aide our vegetation and wildlife is a step closer to fruition.

Lismore City Council is currently implementing the first year of its Biodiversity Management Strategy projects, which includes the development of a Green Urban Corridors Plan.

Council is currently undertaking an assessment of bushland on public land throughout Lismore's urban area to evaluate its health and identify future management requirements.

The Green Urban Corridors Plan is set to guide future bush regeneration and revegetation works to restore Lismore's bushland and link green corridors for wildlife, including our sensitive urban koala population, council's Environmental Strategies Coordinator Theresa Adams said.

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"There are pockets of healthy bushland in Lismore, but often there is no linkage to other habitat, making it challenging for wildlife to traverse the city to surrounding breeding or feeding areas," Ms Adams said.

"It is important that we have a coordinated approach to make sure we are regenerating priority areas.

"Bushland and wildlife in urban areas are particularly susceptible to a number of threats, including weeds from garden escapees, stormwater pollution, mortality from roadkill, and predation from dogs and cats.

"Improving wildlife habitat for priority species can often be as simple as connecting these corridors so they can find food more easily.

"Actively managing the threats to urban wildlife and habitats and improving links to urban fringe habitats will improve the long-term health of the environment within our city limits."

Council's current bush regeneration program includes the management of more than 20 sites covering around 40 hectares of bushland throughout the Lismore urban area.

The sites range from riverbanks and rainforest to koala habitat, with much of Council's work focused on maintaining the integrity of these ecosystems through control of noxious and environmental weeds, and tree planting with the aim of restoring native vegetation communities.

As part of the Green Urban Corridors Plan and with funding through Council's Biodiversity Management Strategy, the bush regeneration program will expand in 2017 to include regeneration of three extra hectares of bushland at two sites: Curry Park, an area of remnant Big Scrub rainforest, and Tucki Tucki Creek in Goonellabah, which includes important koala habitat and areas of rainforest regrowth.

"These sites contain high conservation value vegetation, providing important habitat for wildlife including koalas and platypus and a range of native frogs and birds," Ms Adams said.

"To have an urban koala and platypus population like we do in Goonellabah is truly unique.

"Caring for and enhancing these wonderful pockets of bushland where wildlife are living among us is vital.

"Connecting these valuable environments throughout the city will foster healthy biodiversity throughout Lismore."

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