Loss and degradation of habitat is the major cause of the decline and extinction of plant and animal species in Australia. With less than 20% of South Australia’s native vegetation remaining in agricultural areas, restoration projects, research and strategies are needed to halt and reverse this trend.
DEWNR collaborates with many organisations to develop ecological and habitat restoration strategies. Ecological restoration involves assisting with recovery of degraded ecosystems and focuses on using ecological processes to achieve this. Habitat restoration focuses on undertaking rehabilitation activities to provide habitats for target species that are declining as a result of past clearance or habitat degradation.
The underlying aim of all restoration projects is to conserve and improve biodiversity. Maintaining native biodiversity across the state’s diverse landscapes is important for the ongoing stability and management of our environment.
DEWNR also places a strong emphasis on the monitoring of restoration projects that contribute a significant environmental benefit to offset the authorised clearance of native vegetation.
Landscape restoration is more than simply planting trees and the scale of degradation across the state poses many challenges to recovery efforts. Revegetation can sometimes be applicable for protection under the Native Vegetation Act 1991. There is a large amount of complex theory relating to ecological restoration from which key principles need to be derived in order to achieve practical on-ground outcomes. With this in mind, DEWNR has produced the Habitat Restoration Planning Guide for Natural Resource Managers (3.86mb pdf) to provide land managers with tools to assess the state of a site and make the right decisions about what approaches to take in restoring a site. This helps individuals and groups to contribute to landscape restoration in an informed, active and meaningful way.
Find out more about landscape restoration in South Australia: