Biodiversity and Vegetation Management

Albury's biodiversity assets, which includes the Box Gum Grassy Woodland ecological community on Nail Can Hill, the Murray River and its banks, threatened species and unique wildlife and remnant roadside vegetation corridors are listed and mapped in Albury’s Significant Environment Areas.

New homes for gliders

Squirrel gliders are a threatened species found in Albury, specifically in the Thurgoona and Splitters Creek areas. The animals inhabit hollows in box wood, box-ironbark and river red gum trees – homes that can take 80 to 100 years to form.

Sadly, these unique and appealing creatures are under threat, largely because of bushland clearing which has destroyed the hollows they need to survive.

To help bring back squirrel gliders from the brink, AlburyCity has partnered with other agencies to create nesting boxes that mimic the hollows the gliders use as homes, providing them and other native birds and animals with vital habitat.

The boxes have been developed by the Albury Conservation Company along with volunteers from the Thurgoona Men’s Shed who have built more than 450 nesting boxes that have been placed in trees at key sites across the city. The Albury Conservation Company has also donated 42 nest boxes to AlburyCity.

The nest boxes have been monitored with a camera mounted on a pole. Sometimes, a ladder is needed to check if anyone’s “at home” – a time-consuming process that can disturb the occupants.

However, the Men’s Shed is eliminating some of those problems by developing boxes that contain solar-powered infrared cameras. These can transmit data automatically, making it easier and more efficient to check whether the boxes are occupied.

It’s believed that this is the first time such technology has been used to monitor squirrel gliders and the good news is that there’s an encouraging take-up of these new homes by the gliders and other native animals.

Funding for the nest boxes came from the 2016/17 Edge Pledge Campaign which saw   volunteer “extinction fighters” raise money by pledging to complete challenges.

Now the challenge remains to save the squirrel glider but technology and commitment from agencies and community members is giving the little creatures a fighting chance of survival.

Hollow victories to save species

AlburyCity has teamed up with non-profit organisation, the Albury Conservation Company, to support threatened wildlife species, such as squirrel gliders, in the Thurgoona-Wirlinga area.  

The project aims to increase retention of hollow-bearing trees which provide homes to native vertebrate species, including birds, mammals, bats and reptiles. These creatures need hollows in trees to survive yet natural hollows can take more than a century to form, meaning the animals sometimes need human help to find a place to call home.

With in-kind support from council, volunteers from the Albury Conservation Company identified and mapped 523 hollow-bearing trees across the Thurgoona-Wirlinga area, with the highest density of those trees recorded in Bishops Walk Park at Corrys Wood Estate.

This data, along with photographs, was supplied to Council and will now be used by staff when assessing development applications or infrastructure planning to ensure that the hollow-bearing trees are retained, where possible, thereby giving their potential occupants a better chance of surviving and reproducing. The information will also be available to developers submitting development applications.

Importantly, the research is not confined only to Thurgoona-Wirlinga. The information gained applies to wildlife communities across the wider area and will be particularly helpful as AlburyCity works with the City of Wodonga to develop a regional bio-diversity strategy.

Biodiversity Certification

We’re proud to have achieved Biodiversity Certification of the Albury Local Environmental Plan 2010.

What is biodiversity certification?

Biodiversity certification streamlines biodiversity assessment for development proposals. It identifies areas of high conservation value that need to be avoided and protected, and areas that are suitable for development.

For more information, see NSW Office of Environment and Heritage: Biodiversity certification.

What does biodiversity certification mean for Albury?

Now that conservation areas and potential development areas have been identified, development in suitable areas can go ahead without the usual requirement for site-by-site threatened species assessment.

Through biodiversity certification, Albury is protecting 5,262 hectares of endangered ecological communities and threatened species habitat in Natural Areas (zoned E2 – Environmental Conservation, and E3 – Environmental Management).

Most of our remnant vegetation is on the steep ridgelines and rocky hills of the Albury Ranges and in small, fragmented patches on the edge of developed areas. Protecting these areas through biodiversity certification will help to reverse the trend of urban development encroaching on natural areas.

Through our Local Environment Plan, high conservation value vegetation and habitat will be linked and consolidated into a viable network of reserves. Losses of low conservation value vegetation and habitat in developable areas will be completely offset by protecting the Natural Areas.

Threatened species

The biodiversity certified area may contain two endangered ecological communities and a number of threatened flora and fauna species.

Our Biodiversity Strategy lists these species and how they are being protected.

Local Environmental Plan review

We will review the Local Environmental Plan before 2021 when biocertification is up for renewal.