Valuing Nature

Our goal is to value and enhance our native wildlife, plants, waterways and ecological communities.

Southern Downs is home to many native animals, plants and ecological communities as well as being an important rest stop for migratory birds. Unfortunately, our native plants and wildlife are under increasing pressure from introduced threats (pests, weeds and diseases) and other hazards.

Changing climatic conditions are impacting our natural areas as the Southern Downs is relatively dry and prone to bushfires. Over the long term, changes in climate may impact where local plants and animals are able to live. Our natural systems provide important benefits to our community including acting as the world’s most important carbon sinks. If these are impacted, they may become less effective in capturing greenhouse emissions and storing carbon.
Our vegetation, especially mature trees provide significant benefits to our community through filtering airborne pollutants, providing shade and cooling as well as increasing the scenic beauty of our region. Trees help to trap water in the local environment, making areas around them cooler and keeping water in the environment.

Our region is home to the headwaters of the Condamine River and the Border Rivers catchment. It is essential to the community and our native fauna and flora that we maintain the health of our waterways.

We can all play a role in protecting local fauna and flora, ensuring habitat is protected and enhanced on both public and private lands.

Our community aspirations

  • Increase the area of land protected under voluntary conservation agreements
  • Increase participation in voluntary conservation programs and projects.

Our Council trend indicators

  • Recognise sensitive environmental lands including wetlands and improved mapping by relevant authorities
  • No net increase in the number of threatened species
  • River health indicators trending up (water quality, macroinvertebrates).

Our strategies

  • Assist in identifying and protecting priority species, communities and habitat
  • Encourage conservation protection and enhancement on private lands
  • Advocate for the protection of the ecological and cultural values of local landscapes and waterways
  • Manage invasive species and other threats to biodiversity as legislated
  • Lobby for sustainable fire management that protects lives, property and biodiversity

Our actions

Local Case Studies

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