The Eurobodalla Shire and the NSW South Coast has received global recognition as a biodiversity hotspot.
In September 2016, 11 of the world’s leading nature conservation organisations – including the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN); the World Wildlife Fund; and Birdlife International – launched a partnership to map, monitor and conserve the most important places for life on earth.
Globally, 18,000 sites have been identified and the NSW South Coast, from Ulladulla to Eden, is one of them.
Sites listed as a Key Biodiversity Area (KBA) contributed to the global persistence of biodiversity – including vital habitat – for threatened plant and animal species in terrestrial, freshwater, and marine ecosystems.
Birdlife Australia’s KBA program manager Golo Maurer said the Eurobodalla’s listing was something to be proud and excited about.
“It means it is a globally important site, selected on rigorous data, for its high biodiversity value,” Dr Maurer said.
Dr Maurer said Eurobodalla’s listing was an opportunity for the community to get involved in conservation.
“Recognising a KBA doesn’t mean locking it up – far from it,” Dr Maurer said.
“It means getting the local community involved. This might be an indigenous group, or a farming family, or a team of neighbours interested in nature.”
Dr Maurer said many Australian KBAs evolved out of Birdlife Australia’s Important Bird and Biodiversity Areas program.
“We were already meeting these new international standards in this previous program,” Dr Maurer said.
Nationally and internationally, work in bird conservation was considered so successful other groups became involved and programs expanded to include other flora and fauna.
In the last three decades, varied approaches and criteria identifying significant sites of biodiversity had resulted in duplication of effort and confusion among decision makers.
As a consequence, the IUCN consulted worldwide to develop an overarching process which identified important biodiversity sites. This resulted in the establishment of KBAs.