Biodiversity underpins our quality of life and our livelihoods. We rely on healthy, complex and functioning natural ecosystems to keep our air and water clean, pollinate our crops, grow food and fibre, and help keep pests and diseases in check. Everyone has a role in managing biodiversity.
Aussie Backyard Bird Count
Become a citizen scientist by participating in the Aussie Backyard Bird Count, run by Birdlife Australia and Birds in Backyards each year in October.
The data collected from the Aussie Backyard Bird Count fills a knowledge gap, particularly on urban bird species, and gives researchers access to areas they usually wouldn’t be able to survey, such as your backyard.
As well as helping ecologists track large-scale biodiversity trends, it also gives the community a chance to connect with the natural environment and gain a greater appreciation of our unique fauna. Download the Aussie Bird Count app to keep count of birds and gain access great information and identification tools.
Habitat Stepping Stones
Are you interested in creating habitat for native animals in your backyard but don’t know where to start?
Habitat Stepping Stones is a non-profit initiative that helps you find beautiful food, water and shelter elements to add to your backyard or balcony to create a habitat stepping stone for local wildlife.
- planting local native plants and food trees in your garden for birds and insects
- provide water through bird baths or ponds
If you would like to register for the Habitat Stepping Stones project, go to their website for more information. Note: there is a one off pledge fee of $25 to join this program, however members are entitled to discounts at selected nurseries on purchases to support their participation.
You can also get involved in the following ways:
- Learn and act on weeds and control these in your gardens, as many escape from residential gardens and into our bushland areas.
- The Cessnock Mens' Shed and Community Garden is a community organisation which welcomes volunteers to assist with a range of projects, including bird boxes for local parrots to breed and live in.
- There are some urban Bushcare groups working on public land in the Cessnock local government area, which helps to support and assist the restoration of public lands and support our local biodiversity values. If you would like to find out more, please contact us via email at email@example.com .
Opportunities for local landholders and acreages include:
- Hunter Local Land Services offers advice to landholders to improve land management, biodiversity, agricultural practices and conservation of native vegetation on properties. They provide financial incentive opportunities through their annual grants program (run July to June each financial year).
- Groups of local landholders in rural areas can form Landcare groups.
- Land for Wildlife is a voluntary property registration scheme for landholders who wish to manage areas of wildlife habitat on their property, along with other land management objectives. Land for Wildlife is free to join and not legally binding, nor will it change the legal status of a property.
- The Benefiting from Biodiversity Guide provides a guide to the opportunities available to the owners and managers of private land with biodiversity values.