Biodiversity information

What is biodiversity?

The term ‘biodiversity’ (or ‘biological diversity’) is the variety of all life forms on earth. It includes the genetic diversity of a species, the diversity between different species and the diversity of ecosystems.

All life is broken down into 6 key kingdoms that define biodiverse complexities. They are;  

Single celled organisms  

1. Protista 
2. Eubacteria and 
3. Archaebacteria 

Or Multi-cellular organisms  

4. Fungi 
5. Plants and 
6. Animals

The diversity and interactions between these kingdoms and their environment are the building blocks for each ecosystem. An ecosystem can be as small as multiple bacterium living in a colony or as large as a biome (marine coastal ecosystem, rainforest, etc.), which includes species across all levels of the 6 kingdoms. Each relationship between organisms and their habitat assists with the constant change of an ecosystem, whether its predation or positive symbiosis. Significant changes to species numbers can throw out the balance of an ecosystem, which can lead to negative impacts in the environment and ongoing reactions with other species.   

The value of biodiversity  

Biodiversity is a major contributor to the provision of ecosystem services such as clean air and water, timber, food, medicine, technology, and revegetation. The way that individuals, industries and landowners manage or balance the changes they make to the environment can create a sustainable future for ecosystem services. For example, restoring and maintaining mangrove ecosystems will supply natural blue carbon stores that off-puts costly CO2 emissions, whilst providing fish nurseries for ongoing seafood production. The cost of ecosystem services fluctuates depending on how healthy ecosystems are and thus what they can provide to humans and the Planet. The healthier the ecosystem, the cleaner the air and water they provide and the more productive the soils to provide food.  This means that biodiversity is essential to our physical, social, cultural and economic wellbeing. To read more on ecosystem services Click Here.  

St Lawrence Wetlands

The St Lawrence Wetlands are Isaac region's key perennial wetlands within the St Lawrence Creek system. This forms part of the greater Broadsound Wetlands – listed in the Directory of Important Wetlands in Australia. The wetland serves as an important ecosystem to a variety of birds, fish and mangroves, and it is a great spot for bird watchers to look for a variety of avian wildlife.  Find out more information about St Lawrence Wetlands here. 

Great Barrier Reef  

Some of the extent of the heritage listed Great Barrier Reef is situated right here on the Isaac Regional coastline and because of which, Isaac Regional Council is a Reef Guardian Council. The council is partnered with the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority’s Reef Guardian program. The program is proving that a hands-on, community-based approach to caring for the Great Barrier Reef is essential to help preserve its immense social, economic and environmental value. Find out more about Reef Guardian Councils here

Forests and landscapes 

The Isaac region spreads over a variety of different habitats from the beaches to the volcanic formed Peak Range National Park. Within the region there are endangered coastal scrub, mangroves, eucalypt forest, Brigalow and Belah communities, grassy woodlands and many significant listed environmental areas. If you would like to visit one of the regions national parks or want to start experiencing the variety of natural areas head to the National Parks and State Forests tab on the Isaac regional Council webpage.   

Endangered or threatened species 

The Isaac region is home to many endangered and threatened species that are endemic or nomadic to the area. In the region there is at least 2 amphibians, 28 birds, 1 insect, 12 mammals, 16 reptiles, and 47 land plants according to Australian threated species records found in IUCN red list, SPRAT and Wildnet. Please note: these lists are constantly ongoing changes and updates. Some of the more well-known species on this list include the Dugong (Dugong dugon), the Northern Hairy-nosed Wombat (Lasiorhinus krefftii) and the northern Quoll (Dasyurus hallucatus). 

Key Threats and Threatening Processes  

In Australia, under the Environmental Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC), the federal government recognises 21 Threats and key threatening processes to our native species. The most common threats fall under 4 blanket categories; ‘invasive species’, ‘pathogens and diseases’, 'climate change’ and ‘population pressures’ (human related). Many of the threats on the EPBC list are ongoing threats within the Isaac Region and can cause significant environmental damage to population dynamics and ecosystem changes.  

Council Policies and Stakeholders  

Isaac Regional Council’s Environmental Policy sets out Council's environmental direction and guides its decision-making processes. It supports the compliance of our operations with relevant environmental legislation and seeks to minimise the environmental impacts of Councils operations and actions.  

The IRC uses internal and external stakeholders such as environmental groups and natural resource management (NRM) groups, to monitor environmental and species threats through engagement with regional parks, communities, and landowners. To find out more information about environmental engagement click here.