Natural environment

Our Shire's Biodiversity

Our Shire has an extremely high level of biodiversity. Our region is known to support high numbers of rare or threatened plants and animals, with approximately 70 plant species and 90 animal species recognised as vulnerable or endangered. 

A combination of

  • high rainfall
  • mild climatic conditions
  • variation in topography, geology, and altitude

interact to support a rich and diverse range of ecosystems including:

  • rainforest
  • wet and dry sclerophyll forest
  • grasslands
  • paperbark swamps
  • wetlands
  • sedgeland
  • mangroves
  • saltmarsh heath
  • marine and freshwater ecosystems.

Did you know?

  • NSW's Far North Coast is centred in a region with the highest frog, snake and marsupial diversity per unit area of land in Australia
  • The region’s bird diversity is second only to the wet tropics, and our coastal wetlands are a food supply for migratory birds from all over the world.
  • Our hinterland includes one of the last remaining refuges of the ancient Gondwanan rainforests that have grown in Australia for 40 million years.
  • Species from tropical and temperate zones intermingle here, with many reaching their southern and northern distributional limits respectively in this region.
  • Over half the state’s plant species occur here in the northeast corner.
  • The endangered ecological community: Byron By Dwarf Graminoid Clay Heath occurs only in Byron Shire, and only around 5 hectares remains in the world.
  • Even small remnants of bushland provide habitat for threatened species including orchids, koalas and Mitchell’s rainforest snail. 

But this unique environment is under threat from:

  • land clearing
  • climate change
  • pest species
  • human disturbance
  • inappropriate fire regimes and disease.

The Byron Shire Biodiversity Conservation Strategy is a plan of action to help Council and the community protect and enhance our natural biodiversity.

Byron Shire Biodiversity Conservation Strategy 2020 - 2030