Animals and plants

Travel plans

As the climate changes, animals and plants need to make travel plans, relocating so they can ‘weather’ these changes.

Making travel plans

Tasmanian Masked OwlAs the climate warms up or cools down quickly, these changes can happen too fast for species to adapt or evolve. This means they need to pack up and relocate somewhere with the right temperature and habitat.

The result could be a change in where species populations live and how many there are. More species may become at risk of extinction. Habitats may also change – for example a woodland area might become grassland instead.

In the Australian bush, that means that 50 years from now there may be very different sights, smells and sounds around.

It may also mean that we need to change how we use the land and preserve ecosystems.

Try this:

Look at the middle of Tasmania from Google Maps’ satellite image and see how many green protected patches you can count.

Greening Australia is already working to help species with their ‘travel plans’. We plant trees and shrubs to create ‘corridors’ between small, lonely patches of habitat. Most species of plants and animals need 100 hectares as a minimum critical size of habitat for survival. The trick is to create and protect enough of these critical habitat zones.

If the climate changes enough that a patch gets too dry or too wet, the plants and animals can travel along a corridor to another 100 hectare habitat zone. The patches need to be no more than 1 km away and be connected by a vegetated corridor that is at least 100m wide.

Watch this video about the Midlands Landscapes Restoration project in the middle of Tasmania, an area that has been fragmented by farming for 200 years.


Did you know only 3% of native grasslands are left in the Midlands area of Tasmania?

Info flash:

“The CSIRO says fish and other marine creatures are heading south along the Australian coast in search of cooler waters.” ABC News

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