Biological diversity (biodiversity) is the variety of life in our environment, including us. It is the different plants, animals and microorganisms; the genes they contain; and the ecosystems they form. Biodiversity is usually considered at three levels: genetic diversity, species diversity and ecosystem diversity.
A greater number of different types of species in a natural system indicates a healthy, functioning ecosystem. Biodiversity provides us with benefits such as improved air quality, climate (eg. Co2 sequestration), water purification, waste decomposition, pollination and prevention of erosion, known as ecosystem services. There are also important ethical, moral and economic reasons for conserving biodiversity.
In 2010, Waverley Council engaged consultants to survey Waverley’s Biodiversity. This information provides a snapshot of the plants and animals present in our terrestrial environment at this time. Surprisingly we found a good variety of plants and animals given the high level of development in our area, and the small size of our bushland remnants.
Even though much of Waverley’s biodiversity has been lost to intensive development, thousands of people continue to enjoy our magnificent coastlines and beaches. The interaction we have with our natural environment is important to our health and well being. Maintaining existing biodiversity and enhancing our coastal vegetation corridor are key goals of the Biodiversity Project.
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