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Bushland in Western Australia
Bushland in Brisbane set aside for the protection of koalas

In Australia, bushland is a blanket term for land which supports remnant vegetation or land which is disturbed but still retains a predominance of the original floristics and structure.[1]

Human survival in bushland has a whole mythology evolving around it, with the stories of Aboriginal trackers and bushrangers deeply entrenched in Australian folklore. Bushland has been a traditional source of wood for fuel and bushfood.[2]

Bushland provides a number of ecosystem services including the protection of water quality, stopping erosion, acting as a windbreak, and trapping nutrients.[3] Bushland is prone to bushfires. This presents a challenge to authorities as infrastructure and habitations encroach into bushland areas.[4]


Until recently Australia had a very high rate of land clearing, which resulted in the destruction of bushland.[5] Since 2006 the rate of land clearing has declined significantly. This is partially attributed to legislation that placed a ban on broad scale clearing of mature bushland in Queensland in 2006 and an expansion of those bans to regrowing bushland with a high conservation value in 2009.[6] In New South Wales bushfires cause the greatest destruction of bushland, followed by land clearing for crops, grazing, road and buildings.[7]

Bushland preservation has become the focus of some conservation efforts. In Brisbane, the Brisbane City Council has established a Bushland Acquisition Program, which is funded by a small levy paid by rate-payers.[8] The program began in 1990 and aims to protect koala habitat from urban development.[9] It is estimated that the koala population in the area had declined from 6,240 in 1996 to 1,500 in 2012.[10]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Dictionary for Managing Trees in Urban Environments. Csiro Publishing. 2009. p. 23. ISBN 0643096078. Retrieved 6 October 2013.
  2. ^ Batello, Caterina; Adamou Harouna Touré; Peter Ervin Kenmore (2004). The Future is an Ancient Lake: Traditional Knowledge, Biodiversity and Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture in Lake Chad Basin Ecosystems. Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. p. 166. ISBN 9251050643. Retrieved 6 October 2013.
  3. ^ "Fact Sheet 7: Managing our Bushland" (PDF). Lake Macquarie City Council. Retrieved 6 October 2013.
  4. ^ Bowman, David (2003). "Bushfires: A Darwinian Perspective". In Geoffrey, Cary; Lindenmayer, David; Dovers, Stephen (eds.). Australia Burning: Fire Ecology, Policy and Management Issues. Csiro Publishing. p. 11. ISBN 0643098542. Retrieved 6 October 2013.
  5. ^ "Bushland On Life Support". Media Release. Centre for Plant Biodiversity Research and Australian National Herbarium. 4 November 2002. Retrieved 6 October 2013.
  6. ^ Taylor, Martin (2013). WWF Bushland at risk of renewed clearing in Queensland 2013 (PDF). WWF-Australia. p. 4. ISBN 978-1-921031-48-9. Archived from the original (PDF) on 7 April 2015. Retrieved 6 October 2013.
  7. ^ Ben Cubby (21 December 2011). "Loggers are clearing bushland at rising rate". The Sydney Morning Herald. Fairfax Media. Retrieved 6 October 2013.
  8. ^ "Bushland Preservation Levy". Brisbane City Council. 2 September 2013. Retrieved 6 October 2013.
  9. ^ Liam Parsons (13 September 2011). "Vital bushland acquisition by BCC". Southern Star. Quest Newspapers. Retrieved 6 October 2013.
  10. ^ Tony Moore (15 March 2012). "Conservation group claims koala numbers fudged". Brisbane Times. Fairfax Media. Retrieved 6 October 2013.