WA’s road verges could hold the key to increasing biodiversity and
preventing the extinction of native plant species, according to the
organisers of this year’s Kwongon Foundation seminar Biodiversity on
the Verge at The University of Western Australia.
Professor Hans Lambers, Head of UWA’s School of Plant Biology, said
the seminar represented an excellent opportunity for the community to
take part in the discussion on sustaining our biodiversity.
He encouraged people to contribute to the discussion on the role of
road verges in the fight against native plant extinction. There is
also an opportunity for people to join the Kwongan Foundation.
“Road verges throughout the State are the habitat of many rare and endangered plant species,” Professor Lambers said.
“Metropolitan road verges also offer fantastic potential to grow
native plants, save water and form a corridor connecting native
bushland areas in Perth.
“The impact of human activities is such that some of our plant
species are under dire threat. Awareness of the processes that
threaten these plants is vital if we aim to stop the path towards
extinction. Relatively simple approaches like properly maintaining the
verges along country roads and planting verges with native species
could be part of the key to protecting our biodiversity,” he said.
Other topics to be discussed at the seminar include:
- invasive plants and solutions to reduce their impact on biodiversity;
- resolving the conflict between biodiversity, conservation and mining;
- the role of fire in plant conservation in fragmented wheatbelt reserves; and
- dealing with weeds and nutrients in the metropolitan area.
The Kwongan Foundation for the Conservation of Australian Native
Plants was established in 2006 to provide resources for research and
study at UWA that would lead to better conservation and sustenance of
the biodiversity of the native plant population in Western Australia.
It recognises that the southwest of Western Australia is a global
diversity hotspot – a world-heritage area with a unique flora under
significant threat. Of the 8,000 native species in the region, 2,500
border on extinction.
The Biodiversity on the Verge seminar will be held at the University Club on Saturday, September 22.
It is aimed at scientists, growers, land managers, mining company
environmental officers, those responsible for the maintenance of road
verges, landowners with rare and endangered species on their properties
and anyone with a keen interest in native Western Australian plants.
For more information about the seminar, including costs, contact Sandra Pickering on 6488 1782 or email email@example.com by Friday, September 7. Further details can also be found at http://www.plants.uwa.edu.au/news_and_activities/conferences2/forests3
Professor Hans Lambers 61 8 6488 7381
(School of Plant Biology)