Conserving native plants and habitats
We are passionate about conserving Australian native plants, and we regularly promote awareness and education about flora species and their habitats, especially listed threatened flora.
- Our Conservation Officer, Dan Clarke, identifies projects and issues where our society can take action and have a positive influence to promote and protect flora species in their natural habitats.
- Dan uses his expertise to draft submissions regarding impacts to our native biodiversity from development and other processes. He also encourages and undertakes on-ground projects to assist in protecting endangered flora in the wild, with a recent example being the NSW Saving our Species Program.
Dan is a practicing botanical consultant with a strong passion for conserving the natural areas in NSW.
Dan is happy to engage with any Australian Plants Society member or member of the public regarding flora conservation issues in NSW. The Conservation Officer can be contacted here.
Since 2015, Dan Clarke has coordinated a targeted flora survey by APS members to assist State Government conservation objectives for the threatened plant species Prostanthera densa. Further threatened species survey work, required by the NSW Saving our Species Program, is planned.
Submissions on local biodiversity issues relevant to members are drafted by members with the assistance of the Officer or Committee, or you may choose to bring an environmental issue to their attention and allow them to write the submission for you.
Here are submissions to the recent bushfires for the Royal Commission into National Disasters, prepared by Dan.
And here is the submission on the NSW Independent Bushfire Inquiry, prepared by Dan.
Native plant distributions - Climate change, bush fires and native plants
The summer of 2019 and 2020 has easily been the worst summer in living memory. Drought and horror bushfires, storms and floods have led to many dead, homes destroyed, countless animals killed, and millions of hectares and their plants incinerated. Soil has been burnt to a considerable depth and in some areas the seed bank may have been destroyed.
We hope recovery will occur but there is uncertainty. Regenerating complex ecosystems will take many years. And even when the landscape does recover, the next round of drought and fires may be worse.
The connection with climate change is indisputable – the science is settled. The natural world is a precious resource to be treated carefully and respectfully. Society’s drivers of growth must become more civilised and balanced.
While each of us must do our bit to mitigate climate change, we can at least take action to monitor, measure and learn through this regeneration process.
Monitor, measure, learn
- We have developed a series of spreadsheets from a project that aims to document the distribution of native plants in eastern Australia, prior to the latest fires.
- The data has been assembled over many years from reputable and publicly available sources.
- The initial study area lies between Taree, Dubbo and Batemans Bay. It is split into 8 regions which together contain 50 smaller areas.
- Further work is now underway on southern NSW to be followed by northern NSW and the rest of the regions of NSW. There are 180 areas in the whole project.
As data which pre-date the recent fires, we hope it will provide a reference point for recovery, now or in the future. We hope it can be used to monitor, measure and learn.
For those wishing to record the recovery process, so it can be further shared, please send such reports to Tony Maxwell who will collate them.
For any questions about the project or spreadsheets attached, please contact Tony Maxwell, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Tony Maxwell, March 2020
Regions studied – click on each one for more information
- Native plant distribution – Northern Sydney
- Native plant distribution – Southern Sydney
- Native plant distribution – Central Tablelands
- Native plant distribution – Central West
- Native plant distribution – Hunter North
- Native plant distribution – Hunter South
- Native plant distribution – Central Coast
- Native plant distribution – Illawarra Shoalhaven
- Native plant distribution – Southern Highlands
- Native plant distribution – Eurobodalla
- Native plant distribution – Far South Coast