Our Biodiversity

The national strategy for Conservation of Australia’s Biological Diversity identifies biodiversity as “the variety of all life forms – different plants, animals and micro-organisms, the genes they contain, and the ecosystems of which they form a part”.

The Northern Agricultural Region is home to approximately 7,623 native plant and animal (including mammals, birds, fish, reptiles, amphibians ,invertebrates and micro-organism) and approximately 6% (487 taxa) are endemic to the region.

It is important to describe the human values of biodiversity so that people understand its impacts for them personally. While some aspects of biodiversity can be expressed in terms of direct economic return, other values are less tangible such as underpinning ecological processes and landscape services, social and ethical values. Biodiversity contributes to a number of human values including:
  • Ecosystem services such as the contribution of native vegetation for erosion control;
  • Productive value such as firewood, wildflower, harvesting and shelter;
  • Spirituality and a sense of place
  • Water quality improvement
  • Maintenance of a microclimate
  • Educational and scientific value such as understanding our land and how it works
  • Amenity value such as picnics, shady areas; and
  • Habitat value for native plants and animals
  • Spiritual and cultural value

Traditionally “Aboriginal people made extensive use of many native trees, shrubs, herbs and animals for both food and medicine, internally and externally” (Leyland, 2002). Despite the clearing of native bush for agriculture, urban and industrial development, Aboriginal people continue to source traditional food and medicines from remnant vegetation. However, the clearing of the land and the infestation of introduced plants and animals has meant many of the plants and animals traditionally used by Aboriginal people are scarce.

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Data sourced from DPaW, Bird Life Australia, WWF, DAFWA and Landgate.

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