Town of Gawler Biodiversity Management Plan

This document is intended as a key tool for understanding, valuing, managing and improving the natural biodiversity of the Town of Gawler.
Biodiversity is the variability among living organisms and the ecological complexes of which they are a part: this includes diversity within species, between species and of ecosystems. Biodiversity is essential for maintaining ecological processes at a range of scales from the imperceptible to the global; and it is these processes which ultimately underpin the quality of life for the world’s human population. However, the benefits of biodiversity are often poorly articulated and not well understood by the general population, as a result there is a prevailing attitude that biodiversity happens in reserves, or ‘natural’ areas and not in the urban environment. The Town of Gawler has a vital part to play in maintaining biodiversity and the ecosystem services it delivers to its residents by providing understanding to the context in which it occurs and leading by example.
Future growth in the Council area is currently focussed in Residential Zones on foothills areas extending from Gawler East to Evanston South, and the plains from Evanston South to Hillier. These zones predominantly comprise areas previously or currently managed for cropping and grazing, but also do contain areas of high biodiversity, particularly along the creek lines which run out of the hills. Decisions now will set the course for biodiversity management in the new and existing urban spaces. By incorporating biodiversity into the forward planning of this urban expansion, the Town can set itself up for success. Without proper planning and implementation at an early stage biodiversity is likely to decline significantly and irreversibly. There are a large number of stakeholders which have an interest in maintaining and improving biodiversity in the Town, providing Council with a number of potential partnerships to improve the effectiveness of biodiversity project delivery. These include public, private, community and charitable organisations based within Gawler or servicing the Gawler area. There are 9 major pre-European vegetation communities present in the Town spanning a number of environments including of wet rivers, occasionally inundated floodplains and dry plains and hillsides. In addition to these standard vegetation types, this report identifies a number of anthropogenic ‘novel ecosystems’ in the Town of Gawler including backyards, roadsides and urban parks. This project has surveyed these areas and identified biodiversity values present within them, and threats which are degrading the biodiversity now or may do so in the future.
Major threats include: ^aEURc Habitat destruction ^aEURc Habitat fragmentation ^aEURc Climate change ^aEURc Pest animals ^aEURc Weeds ^aEURc Changes to hydrology ^aEURc Inappropriate herbicide use
This report makes 35 recommendations, including a range of programs, projects and policy changes, to improve biodiversity in the Town of Gawler. Where appropriate, each has been broken into a number of action steps. Each recommendation is approximately costed and prioritised to allow Council to weigh up the cost/benefit of each recommendation.



Geographic Coverage

South Australia


Greening Australia : 2019