Restoring Wildlife Habitat

View up several tall, narrow, brown tree trunks to a view of the lush sub tropical canopy underside.

Many of our native animals are under threat and every bit of habitat helps.

There are lots of ways you can help to create wildlife habitat at home, and there are even grants available to help you.

Tree planting and habitat restoration 

Our Biodiversity Team keeps a database of landholders who are interested in tree planting and habitat restoration. When we get funding, we contact our interested landholders.

To get your property on the database, contact:

Liz Caddick, Biodiversity Team Leader

Register your interest with one of Byron Shire’s local conservation groups. These groups regularly apply for funding for private land conservation projects and will consider new properties.

For a full list of groups in your area, visit the Brunswick Valley Landcare website:

Conservation Agreements

A Conservation Agreement will protect the wildlife habitat on your property forever, even if you sell the property. This program is suited to owners of large properties, who want to permanently protect valuable wildlife habitat on their land. Conservation Agreements are administered by the NSW Government Biodiversity Conservation Trust, who provide advice, support and funding for you to manage part or all of your property for conservation. 

With a Conservation Agreement, you will receive an ongoing discount on your council rates, and be eligible for grants to support conservation activities including:

  • weed control
  • re-vegetation
  • restoration
  • installation of wildlife-friendly fencing
  • developing a site management plan.

Currently grants of up to $15,000 per year for three years are available. Grants are not competitive and you can apply at any time. 

Landholders get to decide which parts of their land are included in the Conservation Agreement. This means you can protect important areas of habitat, while still being able to maintain tracks, fences or farmed areas. 

Generally your property needs to have 20ha or more of native vegetation to be eligible. But smaller areas can be considered where they have special environmental values, e.g. koala habitat or endangered ecological communities. 

For more information visit the NSW Biodiversity Conservation Trust website. 

Land for Wildlife

Land for Wildlife is a great first step for property owners who don’t feel ready to enter into a Conservation Agreement. When you register with Land for Wildlife, you will get a visit from the Land for Wildlife officer, who can provide advice on how best to manage your property for wildlife.

The program is free to join and you will also get a Land for Wildlife sign for your front gate, and will be eligible to apply for small grants to help with weed management and ecological restoration. 

For more information visit Brunswick Valley Landcare's website.

Tips for creating wildlife habitat

You can help our native animals by planting wildlife habitat whether you have a large rural property or a small urban or suburban block.

Not sure what to plant?

  • Native plants - See our native plant guides for information on what to plant.
  • Koala habitat - Check out the list of koala feed trees on our website. 
  • Rainforest species, including fruit doves, figbirds, possums and bats - Plant winter-fruiting laurels and other fleshy-fruited native species.
  • Bees and butterflies - Include nectar-rich flowers in your garden. When you attract insects, you also attract the other native animals that feed on them. But don’t plant too many Grevilleas, as these attract Noisy Miners which frighten off smaller birds.
  • Wildlife in Winter - Plant winter and spring-flowering trees including, Coast Banksia, Black Bean, Forest Red Gum, Blackbutt, Pink Bloodwood, Swamp Mahogany and Paperbark. This will help threatened species such as flying foxes, the regent honeyeater, mangrove honeyeater, Eastern Pygmy-possum, Yellow-bellied Glider and Eastern Blossom-bat.
  • Glossy Black-cockatoo - Plant small stands of Black She-oak (Allocasuarina littoralis) and Forest Oak (Allocasuarina torulosa).
  • Small birds like fairy wrens and finches - Plant dense native shrubs for them to hide in, and native grasses to provide seed. 

Other than planting, not sure what you can do to help wildlife at your home? 

  • Provide water, especially during dry times. Water should be in a shallow dish, in a shady part of the garden, and should be changed daily. To help small creatures like skinks, put a rock or a stick in the dish to provide access. 
  • Don’t keep your garden too tidy – rocks, logs and decaying wood provide food and shelter for insects, lizards, skinks, bandicoots and echidnas.
  • Keep your pets contained to part of your yard, so wildlife can move through the other part. Native animals are very shy and will be disturbed by even the gentlest of dogs.
  • Make escape paths - small holes in solid fencing for bandicoots and echidnas or escape poles or trees near fences for koalas and possums to climb. 
  • Keep your dog or cat indoors at night, as native animals are mostly nocturnal.
  • Check that your fencing and netting is wildlife friendly. See our Wildlife friendly fencing page for more information.

For more information

  • See our Responsible dog ownership page for more information on creating a pet-friendly and wildlife-friendly property.
  • Visit the Brunswick Valley Landcare website. You can sign up to their monthly newsletter to get stories and tips on local habitat and conservation management as well as updates on workshops.