Parkes Shire Council undertakes a number of projects and initiatives that aim to enhance our natural environment and improve local parks, gardens and reserves for the community to enjoy.
Council is planning to rehabilitate the old Sewage Treatment Ponds on Akuna Road into a wetland that will support a diverse range of native flora and fauna. Concepts for this project are in development, with the project anticipated to commence mid to late this year.
Wetlands are important spaces for waterbirds, especially in drier landscapes, and this project presents an opportunity to attract vulnerable, threatened and critically endangered species back to the Parkes region.
Council’s Director Infrastructure Andrew Francis said “Wetlands are considered one of the most biologically diverse ecosystems, containing a wide diversity of plant and animal life. They support plants that are found nowhere else, and are a haven for amphibians, reptiles, birds, insects and mammals.”
The Wetland project is part of Council’s ongoing efforts to preserve and create natural habitat for wildlife in order to safeguard our region’s biodiversity for future generations.
As natural wetlands in the Central West region are generally in a poor condition due to high levels of vegetation clearing, poor water quality, grazing and feral animals, artificial wetlands are an important habitat element in our landscape. They are essential to maintain high levels of ecosystem integrity in the face of accelerated biodiversity loss and a changing climate.
Australia’s rate of land clearance is among the highest in the world, which has translated to high rates of species loss. In recent weeks, the Australian Government officially acknowledged the extinction of 13 endemic species, including 12 mammals and one reptile. This cements Australia’s position as the worst place for mammal extinctions in the world. Habitat protection and creation is essential for preventing more species from being lost in the future.
“We have taken the initial steps towards addressing this global ecological crisis by creating habitat for our region’s native flora and fauna. In addition to annual shire-wide revegetation projects, Council has recently created more than 150 tree hollows that serve as crucial homes for native animals as part of its Augmented Hollows Program, with plans to create more hollows in the future,” said Mr Francis.
“In order to further support the wetlands project, we are asking our local community to take part in a quick and easy survey to help us understand how much they know about biodiversity in the Parkes Shire. This will enhance our ability to work towards protecting our plants and animals so they can be enjoyed for many generations to come,” Mr Francis added.
To complete the survey and discover some fascinating fun facts, head to yoursay.parkes.nsw.gov.au.
The wetlands project has been supported by the New South Wales Government through its Environmental Trust. The Restoration and Rehabilitation Program assists communities and government organisations to contribute to the ongoing sustainable management and stewardship of significant environmental assets and services in NSW.