Rapid fauna habitat assessment of the Sydney metropolitan catchment area
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M. Schulz, L. Ransom, 2010. "Rapid fauna habitat assessment of the Sydney metropolitan catchment area", The Natural History of Sydney, Daniel Lunney, Pat Hutchings, Dieter Hochuli
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Sydney is among the fastest-growing urban regions in Australia. An important environmental impact of urban sprawl is the loss and maintenance of remaining biodiversity values. The current study focuses on native vertebrate fauna, excluding fish, pelagic species and vagrants. This group represents a subset of overall biological diversity which includes invertebrates, plants, bacteria and fungi. This study investigated vertebrate fauna present in larger natural habitat remnants within the Sydney Metropolitan Catchment Authority area. Habitats investigated included bushland, wetlands and shoreline areas. Fifty areas (termed sites) greater than 50 ha in area were identified using aerial photography and satellite imagery. Within each site an audit of existing vertebrate fauna information was undertaken and where little data were present fauna surveys using a variety of techniques were conducted. All sites were ranked in order of overall fauna significance using a scoring classification system based on a range of variables including connectivity, condition, presence of key habitat features and the presence of threatened and regionally significant species. Individual sites were categorised into five levels of fauna significance based on the score accrued using the classification system i.e. 13 sites (highest fauna significance), nine sites (very high fauna significance), 13 sites (high fauna significance), 14 sites (moderate fauna significance) and one site (low fauna significance).