Biodiversity is the number and variety of organisms within one region, including the variability within and between species and within and between ecosystems. The Town of Victoria Park is committed to conserving its current biodiversity and seeks to further improve upon areas where biodiversity may be increased through innovative environmental projects.
The natural environment
Geomorphology and soils
The majority of the Town of Victoria Park is located within the Bassendean Dune System of the Swan Coastal Plain. There are also areas of Spearwood Dune System, River Terraces and River Floodplains.
Within the Town of Victoria Park there are three vegetation complexes; the Bassendean the Swan and the Vasse. The majority of the Town is located within the Bassendean Vegetation Complex.
The Bassendean System stretches discontinuously for the whole length of the Swan Coastal Plain from Moore River to Dunsborough. The vegetation varies from Jarrah, Sheoak and Banksia woodland to Paperbark and Honey Myrtle low woodland, to sedgelands on the moister sites. It is generally covered by low woodland dominated by Banksias, Pricklybark and Christmas Trees, with a dense understorey. Woollybush is also a characteristic shrub of the Bassendean sands.
The high level of species diversity found growing on these sands is of ecological importance for overall biodiversity of the area.
The opportunities for native animals to survive in Victoria Park are diminished by the degree of land clearing and presence of predators and competitors such as cats, foxes, rats and mice. The small size of the remaining bushland affects the amount of resources available to native animals but links between remnants facilitates migration that can increase the effective size of remnants and provide refuges during incidents such as fire.
The remaining bushland areas of the municipality provide a variety of food and shelter resources for birds, reptiles, amphibians and some mammals (eg. bats, possums and introduced mammals). Scattered trees can also provide these resources, particularly for birds due to their high level of mobility. Different areas will provide resources for different species, such as wetter areas providing more resources for amphibians.
Long-necked turtles (Chelodina oblonga) are one of the native reptiles surviving in the Town of Victoria Park. Long-necked turtles are found at G.O. Edwards Park, as well as many permanent freshwater and seasonal swamps throughout the Perth region.
The Town of Victoria Park covers 17.62km2, of which 100ha is zoned as parks, with 22.4ha as bushland.
The Town of Victoria Park has largely been cleared for urbanisation and only contains two small bushland reserves, with the remaining sites with indigenous flora largely consisting of individual trees or small stands on roadsides, parks and sumps.
The remaining vegetation is an ecologically and culturally valuable asset to the Town of Victoria Park. Remnant vegetation in both bushland blocks and single trees can provide various resources for a number of fauna species, and can also be a seed source for future rehabilitation sites.
Remnant bushland sites that occur within the Town of Victoria Park include Kensington Bushland and Hillview Community Bushland. Extensive revegetation also is occurring on George Street Reserve.
Kensington Bushland Reserve is a 9ha bushland remnant in the Town of Victoria Park, Perth, Western Australia.
The reserve is the best-preserved remnant urban bushland between the Swan and Canning Rivers, recognised by the State Government as a "Bush Forever" site. It is also listed as an Endangered Ecological Community under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999, and state reference site for vegetation representative of this area. It also supports Carnaby’s cockatoo, which is listed as a 'declared threatened' species.
Kensington Bushland is a typical jarrah-banksia woodland on Bassendean Sand, in that the canopy is dominated by just a few species, particularly Eucalyptus marginata, E. todtiana, Banksia attenuata, B. ilicifolia, B. menziesii, Nuytsia floribunda and Allocasuarina fraseriana.
Significant fauna at the site has included; five significant bird species (collared sparrowhawk, brown goshawk, black shouldered kite, rufous whistler and Carnaby’s cockatoo) and two reptile species (small spotted gecko and the slender legless lizard).
Aside from its regional significance, Kensington Bushland is also significant on a local scale as it is the only sizeable bushland remnant remaining in the Town.
Kensington Bushland is managed by the Town of Victoria Park – with valued assistance from the Friends of Kensington Bushland – for conservation, passive recreation and education.
Kensington Bushland Management Plan
In recognition of the significance of the Kensington Bushland, in 2005 the Town commissioned the development of the Kensington Bushland Protection Study. This served to guide the management of the land and surrounds to ensure protection of the site.
As well as management of the bushland itself, the Town has also undertaken revegetation in some of the surrounding parcels, such as the enhancement of the buffer zone of Harold Rossiter Reserve, and a revegetation of the George St Reserve. This is with a view to protect and enhance the Kensington Bushland.
A fire in Kensington Bushland in early 2016 caused some 75% of the site to be burnt. In light of this, the Town felt it timely to develop a new management plan for the area that will build on the 2005 Kensington Bushland Protection Study, and take into account surrounding land uses (see below) and increasing community pressures.
The Kensington Bushland Management Plan is currently under development.
A Dieback Management Plan and a Bushfire Management/Recovery Plan have also been developed for the site.
Hill View Bushland
The Hillview Community Bushland is a remnant Banksia woodland situated on the corner of Hillview Terrace and Berwick Streets.
Hill View Bushland has unfortunately seen canopy decline over the last 10 years. This site is in need of great attention to increase the quality and value of the vegetation on site.
As well as supporting its own ecosystem, the Hillview Community Bushland offers a staging point and feeding patch to native birds.
Major projects have been undertaken within this bushland include:
- A community art project jointly run by Community Arts Network which put in most of the work, the Perth City Council, the National Trust, and the Friends group.
- Installation bollards and edge planting to protect the vegetation, as well as some rehabilitation planting. The Friends group has planted thousands of plants and has a continuous protective role in rubbish removal, informal monitoring, helping manage events and co-manager with the Town of Victoria Park.
The primary use of the site in future will be for the conservation of flora and fauna.
A new management plan for this site is in development.
George Street Reserve is 27,026 m² of Crown Land which is managed by the Town of Victoria Park. It is located adjacent to Kensington Police and Community Youth Centre, Harold Rossiter Reserve, Kent St sandpit and Kensington Bushland (a Bush Forever site).
In 2011 Council resolved that George St Reserve will be cultivated into bushland, and integrated with the adjoining Bush Forever bushland of Kensington Bushland. The cultivation will be of local provenance stock, similar native plants to that which grows in the remnant bushland.
The Town plans to revegetate the site over the next 10 years and integrate it with the adjoining bushland, as per the George Street Reserve Revegetation Plan(PDF, 6MB).