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Our local biodiversity is distinguished by the variety of native plants and animals found in the district. A significant amount of this biodiversity has been lost since European settlement. This decline can only be reversed by protecting native vegetation and renewing links to the original local landscapes. Many unique indigenous plant species occur naturally in the District. Trees, shrubs, wildflowers, grasses and many other plants provide food and shelter (habitat) for our native animals. These plants are found on roadsides, on private property (large and small) and in Council reserves.
Fauna rely on habitat for protection, food, breeding and other ecological aspects. If habitat is threatened, for example by degradation, fragmentation, human impacts, introduced pest species or inappropriate fire regimes, then fauna may be threatened or impacted. In order to protect fauna and threatened species in particular, habitat needs to be maintained and protected.
Key pressures on biodiversity:
- Degradation of roadside vegetation
- Degradation of limited remnant vegetation (in reserves and private land)
- Lack of connectivity between remnant vegetation and degradation around the edges of remnants (the ‘edge effect’)
- Wildlife conservation, including:
- Reduction in habitat (vegetation, dead timber)
- Reduction in biodiversity
- Predation by pest species (cats, foxes and stray dogs)
- Grazing competition (rabbits, deer, straying sheep and cattle).
- Weed invasion
- Pest diseases
- Fire management regimes
- Recreational impacts (bicycles, off road vehicles, horses).
Council has many reserves and hundreds of kilometres of roadside that contain native vegetation and highly valuable habitat.
Some of the larger or more significant bushland reserves include:
- Mount Barker Summit
- Coppins Bush and Turners Bush in Littlehampton
- Stringybark Reserve near Echunga
- Yantaringa Reserve near Hahndorf
- The Macclesfield Parklands
- Echunga Cemetery
- Macclesfield Cemetery
- Survey Hill Reserve at Prospect Hill
- Totness Conservation park (managed by the State Government)
What is Council doing to protect Biodiversity?
Council has an active biodiversity program aimed at protecting and enhancing native vegetation and habitat in reserves and roadsides. 22 Bush for Life sites are cared for by volunteers and Council funds an annual bushcare program throughout the district.
Council’s revegetation program is targeted at linking and buffering remnant vegetation sites, establishing habitat in urban areas and along linear trails and in supporting schools and community groups.
To see how to protect and enhance biodiversity at your property or neighbourhood check out the Living Sustainably virtual community or sign up and make a pledge at Sustainable Mount Barker.
Snakes are a natural part of our environment
The Mount Barker District has large areas of open space, bushland and grassland - a perfect environment for snakes especially in the summer months.
Snakes are a natural part of our environment and should be left alone. To help control snake numbers this summer, we encourage residents to mow long grass and remove hard rubbish from their property.
Snakes are a protected species, and can be found on public and private land. Council does not have authority to take any action other than provide details of snake removal specialists.
Residents can contact Council on 8391 7200 if they find a snake on their property. Council will provide contact details for local snake catcher specialists, who will come and collect the snake for a separate fee for their services.