8. Biodiversity

8.3 What you can do

We all have a part to play in preserving biodiversity. Everyday activities that you can do to help include:

  • planting native species in your garden to encourage habitat and food for native animals
  • not collecting firewood from conservation areas
  • ensuring you place rubbish into bins so that native species don’t eat plastic
  • when you travel interstate or come back from overseas, ensuring that you don’t bring in foreign plant or animal material, and making sure that you abide by the quarantine laws to stop invasive species spreading
  • putting a bell on your cat and follow the cat containment laws; keeping your cat indoors as much as possible, or having an outdoor cage
  • visiting a park at night (with adults) as many animals come out that you may not have seen before; take a torch (but don’t shine it in their eyes – they are awake at night for a reason!) and see what you can spot.

While researchers know a lot about the plants and animals in the ACT, some species remain a mystery. Researchers haven’t yet found every species, and they always want to know more about newly discovered ones. This is where citizen science (science done by people to help researchers) can help. You can participate in citizen science through the Canberra Nature Map, Waterwatch, Frogwatch or other local groups and programs.

Sugar Glider. Photo: Ryan Colley.

Other ways to get more involved include:

  • volunteering with ParkCare
  • collecting bird observations for the Canberra Ornithologists Group; the data you contribute will help researchers and be used in the Birdlife Australia Atlas
  • help to improve ecosystem health and restore habitat through programs such as Landcare and Greening Australia.
  • learning more about how Indigenous people care for the land in woodland restoration and cultural burns, and finding out about Caring for Country through the Murrumbung Ranger Program
  • recording the sounds of the animals around your neighbourhood; by recording these sounds, you can identify different animals and discover how unique and diverse your local area is.