Our vision is simple. BioR aims to reconstruct habitats for biodiversity. Reconstruction of habitats is needed to prevent on-going declines and losses of plant and animal species. Building habitats also reduces our ecological footprints.
Re-constructing habitats is long term and requires continuous investment of time, effort and resources. For example, eucalypt woodlands take a hundred or more years to re-construct from scratch. We aim to deliver the new habitats by learning while doing, all underpinned by research. By monitoring outcomes we can adjust the on-ground works to deliver the new habitats.
Once re-constructed, the new habitats will also need to be managed.
Importantly, building and managing habitats and biodiversity requires intergenerational ownership. Current generations need to re-connect with natural systems and pass responsibilities for on-going management and care of natural systems to future generations. Current generations need to set the example for others to follow. Become engaged and help BioR make a difference.
Declining woodland birds in the Mt Lofty Ranges
The single most significant threat to maintaining South Australia’s unique biodiversity is a lack of habitat. In most arable areas of South Australia less than 10% of the original native vegetation remains. Few arable areas of Australia have been cleared to this extent. As a consequence of limited amounts of natural habitat there will be significant ongoing losses of biodiversity from the State. For example, about half (approximately 50) of the species of birds inhabiting the Mt Lofty region are predicted to go regionally extinct based on the quantity of habitat that remains. Ten bird species have already become regionally extinct and another 60 species continue to decline despite the cessation of large scale vegetation clearance in the 1980s. Many of the mammals have already disappeared. Predicted changes in climate will exacerbate the losses.
Ecological theory indicates that with 30% of the native vegetation present the biodiversity assets of a region should be secured for all future generations to enjoy.
To achieve this objective native habitat will need to be re-established across the now highly fragmented agricultural regions of rural South Australia. This action will go beyond planting trees, focussing on re-constructing diverse, heterogeneous and resilient habitats that will allow populations of threatened biota to increase in abundance and distribution. There is an urgency to start re-establishing habitats now because biodiversity losses are imminent, and because some components of habitats, such as tree hollows, will take more than 100 years to form.