New Ground | Expert Environmental Consultants in Queensland

Creating Wildlife Corridors in Urban Spaces: Queensland Success Stories

In the urban landscapes of Queensland, the establishment of wildlife corridors plays a crucial role in supporting biodiversity. These essential pathways enable the free movement of fauna and flora, connecting habitats and ensuring the survival and thriving of numerous species. In this blog, we explore the concept of wildlife corridors, their significance, and spotlight success stories in Queensland that showcase the coexistence of urban development and environmental conservation.

As outlined by the DCEEW, wildlife corridors are connections across the landscape that link up areas of habitat, supporting the natural processes that occur in a healthy environment, including the movement of species to find resources such as food and water. These corridors vary in width and scale, serving different functions and catering to various key species, ranging from small community-created pathways along creeks to large corridors spanning hundreds of kilometers across diverse landscapes.

Wildlife Corridors: The Natural Highways

Locally important corridors, such as the riparian zones of waterways and connected tracts of bushland, act as invaluable refuges for fauna and flora in developed areas. Cleared areas also contribute to fauna movement, with species like koalas traversing these spaces to reach optimal habitats. Managing threatening processes, including roads and areas containing dogs, is key to supporting fauna movement in urban regions.

The Significance of Wildlife Corridors

Wildlife corridors are not merely passages; they are lifelines in urban landscapes, contributing to the resilience of the environment amidst climate change and urbanisation. They support multiple land uses such as conservation, farming, and forestry while storing carbon in native vegetation. From small corridors along creeks to large-scale initiatives spanning tens or hundreds of kilometres, these connections are essential for the movement, survival, and flourishing of various species.

Wildlife corridors also mitigate threats to fauna movement, such as roads and populated areas, thereby fostering a harmonious coexistence between urban development and biodiversity. The implementation of guidelines like the Koala Sensitive Design has been instrumental in enhancing the effectiveness and sustainability of these corridors, particularly for iconic species like koalas.

Queensland’s Success in Wildlife Corridors

Serving as part of the largest remaining stretch of open eucalypt bushland in South East Queensland, Karawatha Forest Park is a biodiversity hotspot, housing over 200 species of wildlife, including the endangered koala and greater glider. The park forms part of the Flinders Karawatha Corridor, extending over 56,350 hectares and featuring a variety of habitats from freshwater lagoons to dry eucalypt forests.

The Compton Road Land Bridge is one of Brisbane’s most  significant wildlife movement solutions, connecting Karawatha Forest to Kuraby Bushland, allowing safe passage for the diverse fauna. The success of this infrastructure is highlighted by research from various universities, showing a variety of fauna utilising the land bridge and other structures, thus reconnecting wildlife corridors.

environmental conservation
Compton Road Land Bridge: Image sourced from Queensland Globe, © State of Queensland 2023. Imagery material courtesy of CNES, Airbus DS, 21AT, Earth-i, and Planet Labs PBC 2023

New Ground’s Projects

Maintenance of fauna movement is a key consideration to New Ground in working through the development design process with our clients. Example projects resulting in corridor networks of note include a proposed over 50’s community in Goodna which is set amongst bushland. This development was designed to allow for ongoing movement and protection of koalas throughout the site (and across hazardous bounding roadways) with reference to koala habitat and movement pattern data collected by New Ground. As a result, the proposal sets a new benchmark for this development type in relation to targeted design around ecological features/functions and has been nominated for a series of awards and environmental accreditations.

Another success story is the extractive industry operations expansion project whereby New Ground worked with the proponent to identify key fauna movement conduits on the site, design to retain these and prepare a rehabilitation strategy to improve function of the area as a fauna/flora refuge. As a result, the project was converted from unviable to viable from an approvals perspective and resulted in greater yield and lesser environmental offset cost than expected by the client.

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