Wildlife Connections Plan | Redland City Council

Wildlife Connections Plan

The Wildlife Connections Plan 2018-2028 aims to identify and provide priority actions for the management, protection and enhancement of a network of core wildlife habitat and connecting corridors at a city wide scale. Five categories of wildlife habitat corridors have been defined: Established Corridors; Regional Riparian Corridors; Coastal Foreshore Corridors; Enhancement Corridors; and Stepping Stone Corridors.

The priority objectives and outcomes for each corridor include:

  • improve corridor habitat
  • prevent wildlife deaths
  • reduce impacts on corridors
  • and protect corridor habitat.

The identified mapped core habitat and corridors within this plan represent the highest value habitat and corridors, however areas not identified will still provide habitat and safe movement opportunities for many wildlife species

Frequently Asked Questions

How will the Wildlife Connections Plan 2018-2028 (WCP) affect property owners?

  • The WCP and associated mapping will assist Council’s strategic planning and prioritisation of works for activities such as rehabilitation works, extension programs visits, community and Bushcare plantings, and infrastructure upgrades.
  • The outcomes of the WCP can be achieved through a variety of methods based on public or private land ownership and location.  Private properties within and adjoining corridors and core habitat may be engaged through Council’s extension programs (the Environmental Partnerships Program run out of IndigiScapes) and assisted to:
    • Improve corridor habitat (rehabilitation of corridor gaps and pinch points)
    • Reduce impacts on corridors (e.g. weed management advice).
  • Council offers a range of extension programs to private landowners such as Land for Wildlife, Waterways Extension Program and Koala Conservation initiatives
  • The WCP has no statutory affect and concentrates primarily on non-statutory ways Council and the community can enhance wildlife habitat and corridors
  • Statutory protection of priority corridor habitat on privately owned land may be considered through a review of the Redland City Plan to determine if any amendments are needed to environmental overlays

Will the WCP stop me clearing vegetation on my property?

  • The WCP is a non-statutory document and does not impact on current vegetation protection on private property as it does not add any additional vegetation protection on private property.
  • Vegetation clearing on private property will continue to be subject to current local law or other legislative provisions.
  • The role of the Plan is to provide a strategic and operational focus to short and long-term planning and management of high priority wildlife networks and corridors.

How does the WCP fit with the Redland City Plan?

  • The WCP is based on the same regional ecosystem mapping used in the preparation of the Environmental Significance and Waterway Corridors and Wetlands Overlays in draft Redland City Plan, which on commencement will regulate development in the City.
  • Various codes within the proposed Redland City Plan help to secure viable and resilient wildlife corridors which link habitat areas and facilitate the movement of native fauna throughout the Redlands and beyond. Corridors connect terrestrial (land) and aquatic environments (including waterways, wetlands and along the foreshore) and significant habitat.
  • Corridors and habitat are primarily protected by the Environmental Significance and Waterway Corridors and Wetlands overlays as well as the Conservation, Environmental Management and Recreation and Open Space zones.
  • Drafting of the new Redland City Plan was based on the mapping used to identify the core habitat and corridors within the WCP.
  • One of the key actions identified in the WCP Action Plan is to review the Redland City Plan and determine any necessary amendments that should be considered to enhance wildlife corridors.

Are these corridors identified through existing zoning overlays and local laws?

  • Because the current Redland Planning Scheme was developed before the WCP, the mapping of the core habitat and corridors within the WCP does not necessarily align with the current zoning or Habitat Protection Overlay.

How will these corridors be protected from future harm?

  • To meet the outcome of protecting corridor habitat, the Wildlife Connections Action Plan 2018-2023 identifies a series of actions aimed at preserving existing corridor values and enhancing them for the future.
  • In short, actions are aligned to the following:
    • Improving corridor habitat through Council’s conservation program, bushcare program, environmental partnerships program and land management
    • Minimising wildlife deaths through improving safe fauna passages across barriers such as roads
    • Reducing the impact on corridors through reducing edge effects through appropriate buffers, mitigation works, environmental education and domestic animal compliance and behaviour change
    • Protecting corridor habitat through considering any necessary amendments to the future Redland City Plan.

What support is there for implementation of the WCP?

  • Council has a policy commitment to protect, manage and enhance wildlife connectivity within the Redlands.  The Wildlife Connections Action Plan 2018-2023 identifies immediate on-ground measures that are achievable by Council. 
  • The successful implementation of the actions requires support and contribution from many sections within Council.  Cooperation and assistance will also be required from government agencies, other councils, universities and industry and community groups.  
  • Year 1 of the WCP implementation focusses on planning, which will involve the review, identification and prioritisation of actions, and the development of an ‘operational plan’ to deliver on priorities. 
  • Delivery of the action plan will be funded, subject to Council’s budget considerations,  through a combination of business as usual, general revenue, environment separate charge, reserve funds and resources obtained through external funding sources.

How can property owners become involved, and are there incentives for involvement?

  • Private properties within and adjoining corridors and core habitat can be involved through Council’s extension programs (the Environmental Partnerships Program run out of IndigiScapes).  Landholders can be assisted to:
  • Improve corridor habitat (rehabilitation of corridor gaps and pinch points). Priority planting of native vegetation (matched to appropriate Regional Ecosystem) in identified corridor gaps and pinch points on freehold land
  • Reduce impacts on corridors (e.g. weed management advice).
  • Residents can also become involved in Council’s Bushcare Program and community plantings which will assist with the rehabilitation of corridor gaps and pinch points on Council land.

Is there an identified priority for work and what are the areas of focus?

  • Implementation of the Action Plan will be undertaken with the following prioritisation considerations:
  1. The Established, Regional Riparian Corridors and Coastal Foreshore are the highest priority for protection and rehabilitation; 
  2. The Enhancement Corridors are the second highest priority for protection and rehabilitation;
  3. The Stepping Stone Corridors are a lower priority for protection and rehabilitation;
  4. All areas of Core Habitat are a high priority for protection and rehabilitation.  All actions within the Action Plan can be implemented in the identified Core Habitat areas;
  5. All corridor rehabilitation and enhancement of buffer areas should follow South East Queensland Ecological Restoration Framework (SEQ Catchments, 2012); and
  6. All corridor rehabilitation and enhancement of buffer areas must take into account fire management planning.

What evidence is there for the planned corridors and what fauna use these corridors?

  • The development of the WCP utilised spatial modelling (CircuitScape) to identify areas of key terrestrial wildlife corridor values that occur between core vegetation areas throughout Redland City. 
  • The modelling was based on the most up-to-date research, technology and available ecological and anthropogenic data.  Expert local knowledge was used to develop the high priority wildlife habitat networks and corridors detailed within this plan.
  • The priority corridors are assigned target widths and buffers, based on wildlife corridor principles.  The core habitat and wildlife corridors were critiqued using corridor dependent species database records. This interrogation indicated that the corridors correspond closely with the verified corridor dependent species records. 
  • The WCP aims to include terrestrial (land), riparian (waterway) and coastal foreshore corridors to provide ecologically appropriate wildlife habitat networks and corridors for a range flora and fauna.

Is it just about wildlife or are there other benefits?

  • The WCP recognises that the networks and corridors of wildlife habitat may consist of a combination of environmental (bushland habitat) areas, street tree plantings, recreational parks and reserves, residential backyards, non-urban private lands, foreshore areas, waterways and riparian areas. 
  • For each of the identified corridors the community uses (values and potential uses) are also identified.  These community uses will be strongly considered during the planning and implementation stages of the corridor rehabilitation. 
  • Corridors can also assist in preventing urban heat island effect, assist with maintaining biological diversity between flora species (not just wildlife), ecological services (clean air, filtration of water, sediment removal), scenic amenity and an improved sense of community identity.