Biodiversity (or biological diversity) means the variety of all living things including micro-organisms, plants, animals and ecosystems, which are found in a given area of land or body of water. Diversity of living organisms is essential for the existence of all living things as we are all interconnected. An essential component of ecological sustainable development is the long-term maintenance of biodiversity throughout the region.
Wagga Wagga City Council's strategic goals for biodiversity are: to strive for a sustainable built and natural environment; to encourage development that protects biodiversity and natural ecological processes; to promote stewardship and best practice land use policies to protect the environment and enhance the economy; and to promote the principles of ecological sustainable development.
There are many things individuals can do to help promote biodiversity. These include:
- Planting local native plant species in your garden.
- Plant species that provide food for native fauna or insects and butterflies.
- Record what birds visit your backyard through the Birds in Backyards initiative.
- Installing nesting boxes for native animals or invite birds through a bird bath.
- Volunteer your time with a local Landcare group to help improve natural areas in Wagga Wagga.
- Report sightings of the introduced Myna Birds to Council via firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Report incidents of dumped rubbish to Council on 1300 292 442.
The Superb Parrot is endemic to our region and is a species currently listed as vulnerable due to a reduction in habitat as a result of land clearing. These cute and colourful parrots enjoy living along the Murrumbidgee River where they seek out tree hollows to nest in.
This cute mammal is listed as endangered in our region. The Squirrel Glider needs trees to glide between which can be limiting as our urban area grows. Squirrel Gliders are nocturnal and feed on nectar and pollen.
Nesting boxes have been installed and revegetation projects taken place in areas such as Wilks Park, Silvalite, Wiradjuri Reserve, Wollundry Lagoon and near the railway viaduct to promote the habitat of these special species.
Find an extensive list of the threatened species found within the Wagga Wagga Local Government Area here.
Wagga Wagga residents have reported sightings of Cane Toads in their gardens or swimming pools. So far all of these animals were found to be the native Giant Banjo Frog. This native frog occurs naturally in the Wagga Wagga region and north to the Dubbo-Cobar area.
If you need to handle a suspected Cane Toad, always use rubber gloves or plastic sheeting when handling the animal. Wearing gloves is a two-way protection: some people react to the frog skin secretions, and the frog is protected from fungus infections from people.
See the Office of Environment and Heritage website to learn about the distinguishing features of the cane toad.
If you think you've seen a Cane Toad contact your local National Parks and Wildlife service office.
Common or Indian Myna
The Common or Indian Myna is an introduced pest bird and their population is spreading rapidly. They were first recorded in Wagga Wagga in 2012 and we want to prevent this pest species from establishing in our area. They are aggressive birds who compete with native wildlife for habitat, forcing birds and possums out of nests and tree hollows. They also compete with native fauna for food.
Flying Foxes and Australia Bat Lyssavirus
Fruit Bats (Flying Foxes) have the potential to carry the Australian Bat Lyssavirus which can cause an illness in humans and pets similar to that of rabies. The virus is spread from infected animals to people through bites or scratches or via saliva through the eyes, mouth or nose.
If you encounter an injured Flying Fox do not touch it but contact your local WIRES (Wildlife Information Rescue and Education Service) on 1300 094 737. Trained staff will be able to care for the Flying Fox safely.