Urban areas like Fawkner support endangered species

20160223-Lentini-study-endangered-species-MelbourneYes, we have endangered native species living among us in Fawkner. If you go for a walk along Merri Creek at Fawkner you might see the Matted-Flax Lilly (Dianella Amoena) which is an endangered species but reasonably common around the rocky escarpments along the Merri Creek.

New scientific research shows that 30 per cent of Australian endangered species are found within our capital city urban areas. Where we have settled and built our cities and houses has also been biodiversity hot spots. So many endangered species are still living in parkland and urban conservation areas in urban areas.

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One of the study co-authors, ecologist Dr Pia Lentini, said in a statement in December 2015 “This is the first study worldwide that shows just how many of our threatened species are actually hanging on in our cities,”

Dr Lentini is a Research Fellow with the University of Melbourne’s School of Biosciences.

“The finding was surprising because we generally write off cities as ‘lost causes’ when it comes to conservation. We tend to imagine that threatened species are only found in far away national parks or remote areas.

“This shows that cities aren’t just a threat to conservation. If we plan our cities carefully, we can keep habitats that are important to Australia’s amazing animals and plants and help conserve them into the future.”

Dr Lentini continued, “For instance, protecting big old trees with hollows, planting more trees, or having green roofs covered with plants can keep our cities cooler for us – and at the same time preserve threatened plants or animals.”

“As our cities expand into coastal areas, something as simple as restricting dogs from beaches will avoid disturbing migratory shorebirds when they stop to rest.”

The scientific paper has been re-interpreted with graphics in an easy to read form for kids to understand. See Dr Lentini’s website:

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So there are things we can all do to encourage urban wildlife and conservation from planting native species in our own gardens to joining existing volunteer groups like Friends of Merri Creek and participate in planting and cleanup days for ecological restoration.

The vicnature2050 website maps out in general 10 things we can all do to help nature adapt to a new climate.

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