Biodiversity & Conservation
Melbourne Airport staff tree planting at Sydenham Park.
Objective – Conserve and actively manage biodiversity values at Melbourne Airport to improve the quality and condition of native vegetation and fauna habitats.
Melbourne Airport and its surrounding landscape provide known and potential habitat for threatened and listed species protected under Commonwealth and State legislation. The airport endeavours to ensure responsible land management practices are in place to protect these areas. The habitats are largely within the Grey Box Woodland, which is recognised as one of the largest remaining stands of this vegetation type in Victoria. The woodland is representative of a nationally threatened ecological community, and provides suitable foraging habitat for the Swift Parrot, which is listed as endangered under Commonwealth legislation.
Melbourne Airport has implemented a management plan for the Grey Box woodland area, which involves revegetation areas being monitored for weeds and pests on airport land. A greater diversity of native species is now found due to Melbourne Airport’s re-vegetation and remediation programs.
Melbourne airport has also conducted a number of target species surveys, to obtain critical data on the presence of protected species; these include the Growling Grass Frog, Striped Legless Lizard and the Golden Sun Moth.
New developments at Melbourne Airport are assessed for potential impacts so appropriate controls can be incorporated into projects at the design phase. Land on which developments are proposed is assessed by an expert for the presence of habitat which might support significant flora and fauna.
Melbourne airport financially supports tree planting, weed and pest control programs both onsite and in partnership with local land owners. Melbourne Airport aims to continue to monitor potential issues and impacts and keep in place the measures that reduce the risks of these. The airport aims to develop a Biodiversity and Conservation Management Plan by 2016; that will draw together all available information and provide detailed guidance for ongoing management activities across Melbourne Airport.
While promoting biodiversity, Melbourne Airport must also manage the risk of wildlife strikes with aircraft. The majority of wildlife strikes at the airport are birds; they can collide with the aircraft causing significant damage and endanger the safety of those onboard. To manage this risk a selection of plants that don't attract wildlife has been developed; this largely includes plants that have an absecence of nector and fruit. The guide outlines species that are suitable for planning specifically for Melbourne Airport and its surrounds; developed from a list of species that were reviewed for the potential to attract wildlife in local conditions.