image to enlarge - Canavalia coastal vine - Cungulla
the Townsville region there are a range of pressures on local biodiversity
including; urban sprawl, agriculture, clearing of native vegetation,
altered fire patterns, habitat loss or modification, noxious weeds
and feral animals. Pollution of the land, air and water also places
pressure on biodiversity, but this topic is covered in the SOE section
is clear that different pressures on ecosystems are associated with
different land uses. These uses which are identified in the Town
Plan include: areas of land zoned for future development growth;
remnant vegetation or existing bushland under threat; and areas
of land used for agriculture (see also Human
Settlement and Land).
alteration and degradation of native habitat also impose pressures
on local ecosystems. These pressures are reflected in many ways
– e.g. by the extent of land with altered fire patterns (based on
frequency and seasonality, by documented induced wildfires, through
GIS information, by current burning practices, in EPA and QFRA records),
and in the rate of current and proposed clearing of native vegetation.
flora and fauna species also place pressure on local ecosystems
by degrading land and/or competing with native plants and animals.
The extent of these pressures is directly linked to the distribution,
abundance and specific adverse impacts of individual pest species.
previously mentioned in the ‘Atmosphere’ section of this report,
weather conditions (heavy rainfall events, cyclones, and droughts)
create various pressures for local ecosystems and human efforts
to conserve biodiversity.
conditions impact on different types of ecosystems in different
ways. Because Townsville is situated in an area where the northern
and southern tropics of east coast Australia meet, the city has
a unique and large variety of local ecosystems with four distinct
botanical ‘bioregions’ (Northern Brigalow – Townsville Plains Province;
Wet Tropics; Einsleigh Uplands; and Central Queensland Coast).
image to see QLD EPA Regional Ecosystems
important biological and geographic attributes of the area include
the proximity of Magnetic Island and World Heritage Great Barrier
Reef, access to the Wet Tropics (Paluma and Mt. Elliot), Wetlands
such as the Cromarty, Town Common, Ross Dam, South Bank, Serpentine
Lagoon and other smaller wetlands. Townsville is the place where
the tropical savanna meets the coast (Muntalunga/Sisters/Mt. Stuart,
the Vine Thickets /Monsoon Scrub of Many Peaks, Mt. Stuart, Magnetic
Island/Harvey Range Mt. Flagstone/Black Mountain, and Cape Cleveland
and the mangrove/chenier grasslands and seagrass wetlands, South
Bank) - see TCC Natural Assets Database and the Dry Tropics Biodiversity
Group (DTBG) local
native plant "Hot Spots".
image to visit CRC Savanna Explorer
coastal region surrounding Townsville (Lucinda-Mackay Marine Bioregion)
is characterised by complex high-island groups, sandy-mud substrates,
mangroves with a lower level of seaside animal diversity than areas
further north. There is a large tidal range in the south of the
area. Animal and plant life consists of 20 mangrove species, 25
tree and understorey species, 8 saltmarsh species, with low closed-open
forest communities along sheltered coasts and rivers. There are
more than 70 types of corals.
IMCRA Technical Group (1998)
condition of local ecosystems can be assessed with a number of
indicators, including the;
of species of vertebrates, invertebrates, vascular plants, non-vascular
plants, micro-organisms and fungi present within the local area
(CSIRO Fauna Studies, Queensland Herbarium; and Defence Lands);
number of endemic and common species and vegetation communities
(Regional Ecosystems) of the Townsville region;
conservation status of species (Rare, Threatened, Endangered and
Extinct Flora and Fauna Species);
number of subspecies (useful for showing genetic diversity within
a species); and
area of natural vegetation cover, including numbers and size of
fragments of remnant vegetation (habitats).
image to enlarge - Dragonfly - Tropical savanna fauna
Coastal Tropics of Townsville and Fauna
rich biodiversity provides a habitat for a wide range of migratory
species. It also includes many animal species either only found
in this region (otherwise known as “endemic”) and or closely related
to other species in surrounding regions. For example, the occurrence
of endemic species on Mount Elliot (leaf-tailed gecko and a small
frog) which have close affinities with species restricted to the
Wet Tropics and rainforests in the Eungella-Proserpine area.
bird species, which are common of found in Townsville region, reach
the southernmost limit of their range along the coast between Townsville
and Mackay/Broad Sound areas. These include:
Brown backed honeyeater
Orange footed scrub fowl
species which migrate from Indonesia and Papua New Guinea, such
as the Pied Imperial Pigeon and Buff-Breasted paradise kingfisher
do not travel further south than the Mackay region.
and wetland birdlife are also characteristic of Townsville suburbs.
Birds often seen include; Yellow Honeyeaters, Spangled Drongos;
Sunbirds, Brahminy Kites, Spoonbills and Ibis.
significance of the rainforests around Townsville is reflected in
some scientific views that the Townsville lowlands and Mount Elliott
should be considered as part of the Wet Tropics. One example is
a review of vertebrate distributions and patterns of diversity within
the Wet Tropics bioregion (Williams et al, 1996). They reiterated
that the Elliot uplands should be included in any analysis of the
Wet Tropics fauna. Three species found locally are only found in
the Wet Tropic (Nix Switzer, 1991) and reach the southern-most limit
of their range in the Townsville area namely;
Tooth billed catbird (Mt. Elliot)
Golden Bowerbird (Paluma)
Limbless snake-tooth skink (Mt. Elliot)
All above sourced from Planning to Protect Biodiversity (Environment
North 2002) and local knowledge
endemic fauna includes:
Elliot Spiny Crayfish (Euastacus bindal)
Elliot Nursery Frog (Cophixalus mcdonaldi)
tailed Gecko (Phyllurus amnicola) a newly described species
which is found in dense forest on the upper slopes of Mt. Elliot
(Couper et al., 2000).
Sunskink (Lamproholis mirabilis) – endemic to Mt. Elliot,
Cape Cleveland, Mt. Stuart and Magnetic Island only.
Elliot is also known to have a number of endemic insect species
(Graham 1991, cited in Williams et al.1993).
Snakes of Townsville
has a variety of snakes including the following common snakes of
the area: Brown Tree Snake (see photo below); Common Tree Snake;
Keelback; Water Python; Spotted Python; Carpet Python; Death Adder;
Black Whip Snake; Northern Crowned Snake (rarely seen); Orange-Naped
Snake; Eastern Taipan (one of the world's most DANGEROUS snakes
and uncommon around Townsville); and Eastern Brown Snake (Townsville's
most common DANGEROUS snake and often mistaken for the Taipan).
Source: from TCC
Snake Poster 2000, produced by G.Calvert (Earthworks Environmental
image to enlarge
Brown Tree Snake - private photo collection North Ward Resident
FOR ENQUIRIES REGARDING SNAKE IDENTIFICATION OR REMOVAL PLEASE
CONTACT QUEENSLAND PARKS & WILDLIFE SERVICE OFFICERS ON Tel:
a local scale bird and animal lists have been prepared by a range
of community groups for South Bank (Bird Observers), Ross Colony
(RIVER Group); Stuart Creek (Earthworks); Blakey’s Crossing (Bird
Observers Club). This community-based research is invaluable and
provides excellent data for consideration in biodiversity conservation
planning in Townsville. The RIVER Group has performed daily bird
counts for 1997-1999 (The
RIVER Report - Birds section).
research included fish surveys of the lower Ross River estuary.
Australian Centre for Tropical Freshwater Research (ACTFR) survey’s
of fish biodiversity in the Lakes-Ross Creek estuarine system have
been undertaken in 1990-3, 1999 and due to a fish kill in 2002.
Fish species are described in the report and include some freshwater
fish but mainly consist of saltwater fish.
are shown below:
spp (recorded as result
of fish kill)
South Townsville Stormwater Drainage Fish Survey Report
No.99.30 ACTFR 1999
the surveys are not conclusive, they do suggest that the biodiversity
in the Ross Creek system is relatively healthy. The
RIVER Report is included below, due to its value and community input
of quantitative data on the biological resources of the Ross River
estuary. The RIVER Report should be read in conjunction with the
report on marine matters for site specific Ross Island and Ibis/Flying
useful indicator of ecosystem health is the prevalence of frogs.
Sinclair Knight Merz consultants (SKM) have compiled a list of frogs
(see below) considered likely to occur in Louisa Creek (compiled
from Hero et al. 1997 and from discussions with JCU herpetologist
majority of these frog species prefer swampy, flooded wetlands rather
than stream channels. While the above list is useful as a guide
for biodiversity data collection in future, the extent of the distribution
and prevalence of these species in Townsville rivers is not currently
known with certainty.
butterflies are particulartly diverse in Townsville with 50% of
the 103 named Australian species occuring within 100 kilometers
of the Townsville Post Office, (P.Valentine,
within the city proper, 144 species are known to occur. While all
[butterfly] families are present in Townsville, the large papilionids
(birdwings, swallowtails) are extremely well represented. For more
information on butterflies and butterfly attracting plants in Townsville
see attached case study on Gardening
for Butterflies (Australian Plants Online No.14 June 1999
SGAP article by P. Valentine (Lecturer,
James Cook University).
quality has a big impact on the capacity of communities to protect
biodiversity. Habitat provides food, shelter and particular breeding
conditions for all wildlife. The better the habitat quality, the
more options for biodiversity protection available to the local
ecosystems, habitats can be divided into three broad categories:
Habitat - these areas retain the structural and compositional
integrity of their natural habitats. Some level of disturbance
associated with weeds, grazing, fire regime or past clearing may
be present but is not discernible on remotely sensed images;
Habitat - these areas; retain natural habitat values but exhibit
some level of physical and ecological disturbance associated with
grazing, clearing, weed invasion, erosion, isolation or existing
land use i.e., rural residential areas. If not subject to further
disturbance pressure, disturbed habitats are often able to maintain
their condition, or may regenerate to natural habitat; and
and/or Degraded Habitat - these areas have been subject to
intensive land use or development that has completely transformed
the pre‑existing natural habitat. In most cases the transformed
habitat i.e., quarry, industrial, aquaculture, cleared and/or
eroded areas, represent a degradation of natural habitat values.
However, some transformed habitat areas i.e. dams, reservoirs,
urban gardens and grasslands created by clearing, provide natural
habitat value that in some instances e.g. Ross River Dam, can
have significant nature conservation value. Generally, transformed
habitat areas will not regenerate to a natural habitat condition
without some level of management input.
the Townsville region, 63% of habitat falls within the category
‘natural’ , 24% is transformed and/or degraded habitat, and the
remaining 12% is disturbed habitat (TTSP Nature Conservation 1996).
This suggests that the vast majority of habitat in Townsville is
of a high quality – either in natural condition or restorable to
such condition. Biodiversity Maps developed by TCC provide a clearer
picture of the condition of habitats in particular locations in
and around the city.
image to enlarge - Pods of a deciduous native peanut
addition to its unique fauna, a significant part of habitat quality
is the diversity and prevalence of vegetation cover. Townsville
is home to more than 1,600 plant species. Information on the flora
of the region is available from;
CSIRO vegetation mapping
Herbarium Regional Ecosystem Mapping
City Council commissioned local vegetation mapping
(Conifers and cycads)
HERBRECS database from the Queensland Herbarium
image to enlarge - Native croton in dry season
many plant species are endemic to the Townsville area. Endemic flora
seem to be mainly associated with highland features and flora refuges
(Mt. Elliot, Mt. Stuart, and Magnetic Island). The following species
are endemic to Townsville:
papillosa: a shrub which occurs only in Bowling Green Bay
National Park in two known populations at Mt. Elliot and Cape
Cleveland (Bean 1999).
paedoglauca: (Mt. Stuart Ironbark) a eucalypt generally only
known from Mt. Stuart (Brooker Kleinig 1994)
magneticus: a shrub which occurs on Magnetic Island and Mount
Stuart (note: another Croton - Croton arnhenicas is also
common on Magnetic Island; Many Peaks and lower slopes of Mt.
Elliot (AIMS turnoff).
graniticola: a shrub on Magnetic Island and Cape Cleveland
is considered a near endemic as it is found at only a couple of
locations close to Townsville (Gloucester Bay near Bowen and at
Mingela Bluff (Halford 1993).
Compiled from TCC Planning to Protect Biodiversity Environment North
not endemic some species once thought to be widespread across Northern
Australia are now uncommon to rare in the Townsville area (Albizia
canescens). Some considered this Albizia was a common open
woodland species of Townsville (occurring to coastal Central Queensland)
and following exploitation for cabinet timber and drought fodder
became uncommon (CSIRO pers. com.). This tree has been discovered
in a few places along Ross River in recent years but still remains
flora species of interest when considering Townsville’s biodiversity
drudei a palm which is rare in Townsville and mainly occurs
north of the Bohle River, although it is recorded at Emmett Creek
and Magnetic Island (although status on MI is uncertain).
decipens (weeping fan palm) occurring at its northern most
limit (distribution Townsville to Fraser Island) (J. Dow pers.
Cassiasp (Paluma Range) which is recorded for Magnetic Island
vine forest and Cape Cleveland in semi-closed forest on steep
queenslandicus a rare aquatic herb found in Townsville Common
arenicola is recorded at a key research site and it’s type
locality occurs in Townsville. There are at least four other Terminalia
spp found in Townsville area (T.mulleri, catappa,
sericocarpa, melanocarpa). All species seem to be
found in distinct localities either strand vegetation (beach almond);
beach scrub (damson); riparian areas/semi-deciduous vine thicket
(sericocarpa); or in open woodland e.g. Castle Hill/Many Peaks
alexandrae (Alexandra Palm) which occurs on Mt Elliot along
upper Alligator Creek (often bent over in rock creek beds amongst
bottlebrush shrubs (Callistemon viminalis) as a result of heavy
floods). Also recorded for lower slopes of Mt. Elliot (Majors
Creek area and Cromarty-St Margaret Creek), Pinnacles, and in
Nelly Bay on Magnetic Island
banksii (native banana) is recorded at another key research
site and type locality which is at its southern most limit on
Mt Elliot. It is also recorded for gullies near the Pinnacles
Range (C.Lokkers pers. com.).
biodiversity maps prepared by TCC provide an indication of the location
and significance of different plant communities in the region.
Compiled from TCC Planning to Protect Biodiversity Environment North
2002 and local knowledge/pers com.
image to enlarge - Native gardenia leaves and fruit
Regional Ecosystem Mapping
is important to appreciate that entire regional ecosystems are,
alongside individual species of plants and animals, a critical part
of biodiversity. So, the nature and prevalence and condition of
particular “ecological communities” are a important considerations
in understanding the State of the Environment as it relates to biodiversity.
Most of the regional ecosystems are within the Townsville Plains
Province of the Brigalow Belt (North) bioregion (80%). The remainder
are within the Einasleigh Uplands bioregion and outliers of the
Wet Tropics or Central Queensland Coast bioregions. The Queensland
Herbarium has mapped 55 regional ecosystems occurring within the
these 55 Regional Ecosystems, at least;
are endemic to and only occur in the Townsville Plains Province,
are endemic to Townsville Plains and Bogie River Hills, and
are endemic to Townsville Plains and Marlborough Plains.
conservation status of each of these regional ecosystems is discussed
in the TCC report “Planning to Protect Biodiversity” (Environment
North 2002). The Regional Ecosystem Mapping has been evaluated for
vegetation clearance and biodiversity issues.
image to enlarge - Colour and texture of a pandanus
EPA Conservation Significance Mapping
Herbarium) provides Regional Ecosystem (RE) Mapping as the primary
unit for State planning to conserve biodiversity. State conservation
status is based on a number of factors including;
The Queensland Government’s
Vegetation Management Act 2000
and associated mapping) provides a legislative framework for managing
and assessing clearing of freehold land. The mapping associated
with the VMA shows the extent of vegetation controlled by the Act
in different ‘bioregions’ of the State.
mapping has also been completed at 1:25,000 scale (Skull, 1996)
and also more locally for Magnetic Island (Sandercoe 1990) and at
a micro scale for Nelly
Bay and Rowes
Bay. Vegetation mapping has also been completed by the Townsville
based Environmental Management Section of the Australian Defence
Forces (ADF) for Mt Stuart.
image to enlarge - Pink lilly lagoon at Horseshoe Bay, Magnetic
City has one RAMSAR listed wetland occurring within its boundaries
Bay NP) and three Wetlands of National Importance (Burdekin-Townsville
Coastal Aggregation, Ross River Reservoir, and Serpentine Lagoon).
(Blackman et al, 1996, 1999) and for Serpentine Lagoon Blackman
G. (2001 pers. Com.)
has a range of regional and locally significant wetlands which
have been identified by Lukacs (1996) and TTSP (Tait 1996). These
wetlands include Freshwater Swamps of Cape Cleveland to Cungulla;
Killymoon Creek below and above Bruce Highway; Picnic Bay to West
Point Mangroves and wetlands; Sachs Creek (Oak Valley), Majors
Creek; Reid River, and Ross River above and below weirs.
Local Wetland Types
by Lukacs (1996) also identified the following wetland types (1:40,000):
TCC Report Planning For Biodiversity, Environment North 2002
image to enlarge - Magpie geese at Bald Rock, Town Common
Other Wetland Types
TTSP also identified six drying coral reefs (Middle Reef, Nobby
Head-West Point reef, Nelly Bay reefs; Geoffrey Bay reef; Alma Bay-Arthur
Bay Reefs, and Liver Point Reef). All occur around Magnetic Island
and are important conservation areas because inshore coral reefs
are under threat from human pressure world wide.
coast and marine waters off Townsville in Cleveland Bay also retain
significant seagrass beds and the bay is a designated Dugong Protection
Sanctuary under Queensland legislation. The largest areas of seagrass
are found on the eastern side of Cleveland Bay (8,400 hectares)
and Cape Pallarenda, south-west side of Magnetic Island (3,000 hectares).
there are highly significant habitats in the Townsville area which
are either important areas for populations of certain species, and/or
are habitats which support a high diversity of species. There is
a little data on many species distributions in the Townsville region
(especially mammals e.g. Dasyurus hallucatus or Northern Quoll which
is of regional significance). Mt. Stuart is a known area of marsupial
diversity (CB Consulting Group 1997). The Allied Rock-Wallaby (Petrogale
assimilis) a species found in a narrow band from Palm Island/Magnetic
Island/Many Peaks/Mt. Stuart/Cape Cleveland/Mt. Elliot and out west
is considered regionally significant.
areas are special types of habitat which provide safe haven for
wildlife during periodic adverse conditions. In Townsville there
are a number of regionally significant refuge areas, including;
refuges along major rivers (e.g. Ross River, Stuart Creek);
refuges of the Townsville area such as the Town Common;
forest refuges (especially Mt. Stuart); and
refuges of Mt. Elliot for rainforest species.
TCC Report Planning For Biodiversity, Environment North 2002
National Estate Listings
also has a number of environmental sites of national significance.
These include National Parks, Conservation Parks and other sites
listed on the Register of the National Estate (RNE). These are
listed in the following table:
TCC Report Planning For Biodiversity, Environment North 2002
and berries of the monsoon thicket
Introduced Pest Flora and Fauna
Townsville, 66 plant species are known to be environmental weeds
and at least fifteen species are considered to be a “severe problem”
locally (TCC Draft Pest Management Plan and TCC Revegetation Strategy).
Of these, twelve are declared under State legislation, which means
that individual landholders must take control measures (Community
Plan for Natural Resource Management and Environmental Conservation
in the Townsville-Thuringowa Coastal Plains, TThLCA Inc. 2000).
also has responsibility for control of declared plants within its
LGA (Section 64 of the Rural Lands Protection Act 1985) and exercises
Australian New Zealand Environment and Conservation Council (ANZECC)
has recently completed a review of the National Strategy for the
Conservation of Australia’s Biological Diversity (ANZECC June 2001).
That review established a 9 high level Priority Actions, one of
which pertains to Local Government. The Report recommends that:
the year 2005 Australia will have Local governments that have
assumed a major role in the conservation of Australia’s biological
City Council is taking a leadership role within the community in
protecting biodiversity. This is demonstrated by the range and number
of biodiversity projects and programs that Council conducts in partnership
with the community.
following are five Key National Objectives and Targets for Biological
Conservation that Environment Australia is seeking for the period
2001-2005 (Environment Australia 2001) and the table below shows
the current status of Townsville City Council’s contributions;
protect and restore native vegetation and terrestrial ecosystems
protect and restore freshwater ecosystems
protect and restore marine and estuarine ecosystems
City Council is addressing all of these priorities, either in planning
activity already under way or in supporting on-ground programs already
being implemented locally. The Council takes very seriously its
role in implementing locally various important strategies including:
the Australian Local Government Association approved “National Local Government Biodiversity
420kb)” (1998) and our own “Environmental Conservation Strategy,
Living Today for Tomorrow” for environmental biodiversity education
is reviewing TCC managed lands for biodiversity values and setting
up community based systems to assist with maintaining biodiversity
values on Council owned or managed land.
Council and community revegetation programs and biodiversity
awareness campaigns have been launched with local businesses
and industries (eg. AES Mt Stuart; BHP Billiton).
need to maintain biodiversity has been considered in developing
the new town plan (City
Plan). This is reflected in environmental conditions placed
on development applications, Development Control Plans, Desired
Environmental Outcomes for Town Plan Review, and the Growth Options
Study. This component is discussed further in the section titled
has also worked with the community natural resources management
(Townsville Thuringowa Landcare Association) NHT Strategy development
project and provided support and input.
project has been completed and incorporates consideration of biodiversity
requirements and responses throughout the various Section themes
Community Involvement and Education (.pdf
by Townsville Thuringowa Landcare Association
Council Biodiversity Initiatives and Reports
has also compiled or worked on a series of reports that have identified
numerous high priority areas for retention and rehabilitation, and
measures to minimise impacts on local environments. These include;
Identification of Key Environmental Sites (Townsville City Council,
City Council Region: Vegetation Communities and Conservation Priorities
of the Townsville Area (Lukacs, 1996);
Strategy Plan: Nature Conservation Draft Policy Paper (QDLGP,
Planning for Biodiversity (Environment North 2002);
site reports, such as the Castle Hill Management Plan (Bill Carter
et al, 1994), Rowes Bay Wetland, Nelly Bay Habitat, and Horseshoe
Bay Reserves; and
of Environmental Management Plans for both Horseshoe Bay and Rowes
image to enlarge - Snoozing Koala
respect to the local flora and fauna Townsville City Council have
developed a number of responses that investigate the requirements
for maintaining local biodiversity. These include;
Protection. Introducing a Local Law No.2 (Vegetation Management)
which incorporates a process for nomination, assessment and protection
of significant vegetation and plants under a Vegetation Protection
habitat corridors and connectivity value in relation to vegetation
and ecosystem types;
Biodiversity Plan. Biodiversity planning for Townsville
as part of Townsville City Council’s new town planning process
Revegetation Strategy. Completed a Revegetation
Strategy for Townsville with prioritisation models, vegetation
management information, and listed environmental weeds (TCC Local
Law No.2 Vegetation Management and Transitional Planning Policy
(Landscape) also identifies environmental weeds);
Natural Heritage Trust Projects with Community
submitting applications with community support and partnership under
the Commonwealth's Natural Heritage Trust (NHT) program for community
conservation projects to protect species and habitats;
Land for Wildlife. Introducing a Land
for Wildlife (LFW) program, in association with QPWS and the
North Queensland Joint Board;
Townsville was the first regional local government to set up a
Land for Wildllife program and the program is currently being
expanded to the Burdekin and Dalrymple Shires with funding support
from Burdekin Shire Council and the Natural Heritage Trust. 30
landholders have so far being registered as Land for Wildlife
and 4 Council Reserves (Oak Valley; Castle Hill; Rowes Bay; and
image to enlarge - Gamameka Land for Wildlife
Lagoon TCC-NHT Rehabilitation and Protection Project. The
Serpentine Lagoon 45km south of Townsville is privately owned
conservation area consisting of 200 hectares of important and
unique wetland habitat. The wetland is a listed as a Wetland
of National Significance; is listed on the Register of the
National Estate; and is a private property Nature Refuge (protected
under the Qld Nature Conservation Act under a Voluntary Conservation
seasonally flooded melaleuca swamp is home to a great variety
of birdlife – including the rare Cotton Pygmy Goose which is listed
as ‘near threatened’ by Environment Australia
rehabilitation works have been conducted since cyclone damage
to the site in 1998. Working with landholders and the Queensland
Parks and Wildlife Service, TCC has been heavily involved in supporting
further repairs, revegetation, weed control, and monitoring. See
Click image to enlarge - Cattle in
Community NHT Projects. Implementing a Community
Flora and Fauna Program to promote community involvement in
on-ground works that enhance, rehabilitate and promote areas of
remnant native vegetation and wildlife in Townsville’s urban environment.
co-operative program heavily involves the private sector,
community organisations and local
schools and covers nine different sites: Castle Hill,
Pallarenda Reserve, Louisa Creek, Stuart Creek, Nome; Rowes
Bay, Nelly Bay Habitat, Picnic Bay Reserve, Horseshoe Bay
program focusses on activities including: identifying and
mapping vegetation, collecting and propagating native plant
seeds, surveying and monitoring local wildlife, managing weeds
and planting trees, and raising community awareness about
our natural environment. 7,653 seedlings have been planted
in these locations as part of the rehabilitation work with
community volunteers and school children (see Flora
& Fauna CASE STUDY).
image to see Community Fauna and Flora brochure
projects for Rehabilitation of Ross River and Priority Habitats
Projects. To date, these two partnership projects with local Landcare
groups has resulted in around 26,000 trees being planted over
20 hectares. Initial monitoring indicates that the project has
substantially increased the biodiversity values of the River environment.
Natural regeneration has increased while there has been a reduction
in weed species.
Riverbank revegetation, protection and rehabilitation associated
with Council/NHT Clean Seas Louisa Creek project;
Corps & CVA. TCC has also worked closely with Conservation
Volunteers Australia (CVA) on community revegetation and NHT projects
which has included sponsoring many Green Corps programs, and has
led to rehabilitation works along Louisa Creek; Ross River; Rowes
Bay; Nome; and Land for Wildlife/Priority Habitats project sites
Wildlife Reflectors. In an effort to reduce the number
of Wildlife killed on Magnetic Island, TCC has been working with
local Wildlife Carer, Jenny Mulcahy to coordinate the instalation
Reflectors on the main roads of the island. Reflectors are
placed on the side of island roads to re-direct vehicle light
into the surrounding bush at night. When a vehicle passes the
reflected light causes animals to stop before the edge of the
road. While the reflectors are unnoticeable to the drivers, they
provide a valuable optical warning fence which prevents significant
numbers of road kills.
Conservation & Biodiversity Initiatives
provides annual funding for administrative support to Townsville's
two wildlife care groups. The carers in these two groups perform
a significant and free service caring for injured birds, reptiles
Queensland Wildlife Care Inc.
Wildlife Carers Association
Management. Developing Wildfire Management Plans with Queensland
Fire Service and QPWS for specific vulnerable locations including
Magnetic Island and Castle Hill.
Management. Council’s Pest
Control Plan (.pdf
with annual funding for flora and fauna pest control plans and
strategies (Dept Natural Resource's pamphlets, Environment Australia’s
Threat Abatement Plans).
specific management plans for areas of land that have been revegetated,
seed collecting and propagating by Council and community groups.
addition environmental staff have contributed many articles to
Townsville-Thuringowa Landcare's "Kapok" newsletter,
to Council's City Update, and via other media promotions (ie.yearbooks/case
& contracts to facilitate integration of community bushcare
aspirations with Council habitat restoration initiatives. This
has enabled community groups to be actively involved in revegetation,
rehabilitation and biodiversity oriented projects on Council and
public lands. These groups include Tropical
Urban Production and Landcare Group (TUPALG); Magnetic Island
Nature Care Association (MINCA); and Conservation Volunteers Australia
image to enlarge - TCC EMS - Biodiversity promotions and displays
for Community Fun Days
well, Townsville City Council has made solid steps in relation to
the following election commitments:
resources and sought state/federal funding to develop and implement
conservation and land management projects for areas of high environmental
value like: Louisa Creek, Castle Hill, South Bank, Clevedon, and
Townsville’s southern hinterland.
funds a Community Landcare (Bushcare and Coastcare) Centre (Townsville
Thuringowa Landcare Association & NaREF) and is investigating
options for a Landcare and Education Centre at Rowes Bay and adjacent
native vegetation corridors along waterways such as Ross River and
Louisa Creek. See above for Community/NHT/TCC Ross
River Revegetation project, and TCC Community Jobs Plan (CJP)
Revegetation Team for Ross River Parkway implementation project.
20,000 trees were planted.
is progressively implementing the recommendations of the Castle
Hill Management Plan to help the reforestation and environmental
protection of Townsville’s most significant landmark. Council has
allocated resources annually for Environmental Services to manage
the area, apply for NHT funding (Community
Flora & Fauna and Case
Study pdf), and conduct fire management.
has been a marked reduction in fire frequency on an annual basis
since this fire management commenced, although wildfire is still
a common occurrence. However in 2002 the hill did not burn at
all, despite the drought conditions which have prevailed in Townsville
in the past two years.
has upgraded the Cudtheringa Walking Track from the bottom turnaround
carport to the summit under the cliff face and via the Goat Track.
The remainder of the Goat Track is to be upgraded over the following
support for bushland regeneration projects by supporting local Landcare
associations (see partnership agreement one
the CVA (see partnership
agreement - Louisa
Creekwatch) and other groups engaged in tree planting, weed
clearing and creek stabilisation work.
the expansion of the Council’s nursery and in particular TCC has
devoted a section to the propagation of local native plant species
to be used in urban forestry projects, including Greening Townsville
& Community Revegetation. This has been completed at the Rowes
Bay Depot in association with the Environmental Management Services
(EMS) Natural Area Trainees Team.
to read Townsville Bulletin Greening article
to planting 100,000 trees per year through free tree schemes, revegetation
Bulletin 26/5/1999 - Oak Valley Kids Greening), community involvement
and the sponsorship of government agencies. Target areas include
newer suburbs, industrial precincts, car parks, shopping centres,
road reserves and parks.
Nature Community Tree Planting
The ALGA’s National Local Government Biodiversity Strategy
seeks to encourage Councils across Australia to protect small reserves
and Council managed lands for nature conservation outcomes. The
following small environmental reserves have been set aside by Council
for their local high conservation value. These areas are within
or closely adjacent to existing urban infrastructure, where opportunities
for conservation outcomes, are fewer, they include;
areas though generally small, conserve areas of woodland, seaside
vegetation (and where rainforest elements are present these are
known as beach scrubs and littoral scrubs), and wetlands, located
within urban areas, which would otherwise be exposed to pressures
from an expanding population and development.
requires vision for the future which incorporates a commitment
to protecting biodiversity.
action also achieves key recommendations of the major investigation
report into determining opportunities for local government to conserve
native vegetation on public land (“Beyond Roads, Rates, Rubbish”
– Research Report 1/99 National Research and Development Program
on Rehabilitation, Management and Conservation of Remnant Vegetation)
– Policy Option 4 (see below).
Programs that Support the Conservation of Native Vegetation on
Land Managed by Local Government
an audit of all native vegetation on council-managed land
to asses its conservation value
conservation zones for significant sites and integrate
open space planning strategies incorporate
Future Directions and Research areas
areas requiring further work have been identified in this and previous
Promotion of biodiversity conservation in the community and appreciation
of Townsville’s wet-dry tropical savannas and wetlands
Implement the Townsville Revegetation Strategy by providing resources
for community and Council rehabilitation activities
Continue to develop community partnerships model for revegetation
(i.e. management and delivery agreements)
Continue to conduct detailed site based flora studies and management
plans for Council reserves
Develop a strategy for delivering a cost effective and efficient
Survey and map land degradation (weeds, land condition use) which
threatens biodiversity (including riverbank zones of inland waters).
truthing and assessment of viability of habitat and faunal corridors.
the development of regional local gene pool seed bank and diversity
in suitable species seedling availability (revegetation and for
maintaining genetic diversity).
the integrated Council-community-business approach to provision
of local gene pool supply of local native plants
and investigate the development of suitable propagation techniques
for local native plants
of alternative and innovative control methods for problem weeds
Trials to enhance existing rehabilitation techniques and to develop
and implement additional incentives to maintain biodiversity on
freehold land and in developments (e.g.. Land for Wildlife; resource/rates
incentives; Nature Refuges and land management agreements).