Shire of Augusta-Margaret River seeking community help for biodiversity action plan

Warren HatelyAugusta Margaret River Times
Shire of Augusta-Margaret River senior environmental landcare officer Hayley Bain is part of the biodiversity planning team.
Camera IconShire of Augusta-Margaret River senior environmental landcare officer Hayley Bain is part of the biodiversity planning team. Credit: Warren Hately/Augusta-Margaret River Times

The region’s biodiversity is front and centre of a new push calling on residents to help.

The Shire of Augusta-Margaret River has started working on its new biodiversity action plan that will feed into existing surveys and involves public consultation that opened last week.

At the same time, residents are invited to an event on Tuesday, February 27, where Shire landcare officers and scientists from the Department of Water and Environmental Regulation will lead data collection to identify and catalogue the Margaret River’s native denizens.

The initiatives would add to existing planning, including the Wooditjup Bilya Protection Strategy, Shire asset services manager David Nicholson said.

“The South West is internationally recognised as a biodiversity hotspot, rich in unique fauna and flora,” he said.

“The local biodiversity strategy will help us to identify and prioritise natural areas, habitats and ecological corridors for protection, to create a local biodiversity action plan and develop a culture of stewardship amongst the community.

“We’ll be using other plans, such as the Wooditjup Bilya Protection Strategy to inform the strategy, and also hope to identify potential partnership opportunities.”

Mr Nicholson said residents could help by taking part in the online survey on the Shire’s YourSay consultation hub.

The February 27 river survey adds to work already undertaken on the river in partnership with Nature Conservation Margaret River Region.

A Shire spokesperson said the scientific team would be “assessing the health of the river by surveying aquatic fauna that live at the site, including a range of fish, crustaceans and macroinvertebrates, and measuring other parameters like water quality and fringing vegetation”.

The survey follows recent warnings from Murdoch University senior research fellow Dr Stephen Beatty about the need to protect wildlife in the Margaret River.

He said the river had an incredible diversity of fish, crayfish and aquatic life, many of them threatened species unique to the South West.

To take the biodiversity survey, visit www.yoursay.amrshire.wa.gov.au/biodiversity-strategy.

For the “river critter survey” email environment@amrshire.wa.gov.au to book a spot.

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