What is Biodiversity Month?
National Biodiversity Month is an opportunity to promote the uniqueness of Australia’s biodiversity and raise awareness of the importance of protecting it. Australia is one of 17 countries that are considered ‘mega diverse’ by the United Nations. This means there are a high number of plants and animal species found here and many of these aren’t found in any other part of the world.
The importance of Australia’s biodiversity
Improving and conserving biodiversity is a vital part of preserving Australia’s unique environment. Australia is one of 17 countries classified as ‘mega-diverse’ and our geographical isolation means we provide habitat for many species that couldn’t exist anywhere else in the world.
A resilient ecosystem is able to endure disturbances and remain functional, which makes resilience a valuable quality in a climate-changing future. There are 100 ecological communities in Australia that are considered endangered, threatened, or critically endangered under the Federal Environmental and Biodiversity Protection Act (EBPC) 1999. These communities can be bolstered through legally protecting and restoring species that will help these ecosystems thrive.
What you can do
Create a natural habitat in your backyard
Look at plants that are native to your region, find out if any are threatened, and help create a backyard sanctuary for local birds and wildlife and extend this to your nature strip.
Get your credentials with a Bush Blitz Scout badge
This virtual nature challenge encourages participants to record the plants and animals in their local area. Scouts, Cubs and Joeys that complete the challenge will earn the badge for addition to their scout blanket. Information on how scout groups can get involved will be on the Bush Blitz website. The Scout Motto is ‘Be Prepared’ and this Badge will help to you ‘Be Prepared…for biodiversity’!
Take action on weeds
Check out what’s considered a weed in your part of the country and how you can stop the spread at weeds.org.au
Be a responsible pet owner
If you can no longer keep your pet do not release it into the wild. This includes pet fish. Do not flush them down the toilet or put them into local streams. Make sure your cat is de-sexed and either keep it indoors or invest in an outdoor cat run. Domestic cats can have a devastating effect on local wildlife. Keep your dog on a lead when in natural areas.
Reduce, reuse and recycle
Look at ways to avoid and reduce waste and increase what you recycle. For more information on what you can recycle in your local area go to Recycling Near You
Start your own compost bin or worm farm for food waste if you have space
Organic matter like vegetable scraps is great for your garden.
Be careful about what you put down your drains
Things like oils and chemicals can end up in our waterways and seas and harm animals and plants. Instead of using commercial cleaning chemicals, try using white vinegar and bicarbonate of soda.
Be an informed seafood eater
Make choices that support sustainability – learn what species are threatened and only buy seafood that is sustainably caught or farmed.