Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Biological diversity on our doorstep

Low tide at Amity Point, Moreton Bay.

When I began working on my Greenbelt project in 2008, I was alarmed at the rate of native bushland being cleared in local areas to make way for new suburbia. I asked myself the question - How do we balance competition between conservation and development to maintain natural heritage values? Ongoing research lead me to look at the work of community volunteers in bushcare groups, waterways testing and wildlife care. This year I am looking at a larger picture, with various activities and legislation impacting on the ecology of Moreton Bay, one of Australia's high diversity bioregions.

 Figure 6 Species richness in Australia's bioregions.
Source: Australian National Heritage Assessment Tool (2011) via the Draft National Wildlife Corridors Plan, March 2012.

On the recent trip to North Stradbroke Island I took along the latest edition of Queensland Museum's book, Wild Guide to Moreton Bay. It provided a wonderful resource for identifying many species in Moreton Bay as well as overviews of the region. On the subject of Biological Diversity it states "Moreton Bay lies at the heart of a major biogeographical overlap zone, where the southern and northern biotas meet, forming unusual communities of both temperate and tropical species."
Moreton Bay has also been listed under the United Nations Convention on Wetlands of International Importance, Ramsar Convention, and provides important sites for thousands of migratory shore birds. Bird variety was one of the highlights on our trip, along with many marine species I'd never seen before, or could even have imagined. I feel very fortunate to be able to experience these wonderful places.

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