The wider area of Botany Bay and its catchment are rich in biodiversity and home to many threatened and migratory species. Although highly disturbed, the airport retains areas of native biodiversity value and many of the species that visit the wider area of Botany Bay can be found at the airport at various times of the year.
The areas of native biodiversity value at the airport include the Sydney Airport Wetlands, wattle scrub communities on the foredunes of Botany Bay, smaller pockets of native vegetation, estuarine and marine vegetation and habitat and both grassed verges and seawalls surrounding the runways which also provide habitat for wildlife.
Section 3.8 of the Airport Environment Strategy 2019-2024 sets out our key objectives in relation to biodiversity, and our action plan sets out how these will be achieved. Our objectives are to:
- Identify, preserve and, where practicable, enhance significant native flora, fauna and biodiversity habitat on the airport
- Appropriately manage and control exotic species and species which present a risk to aircraft safety
Sydney Airport Wetlands
The Sydney Airport Wetlands are part of the greater Botany Wetlands, which consist of 11 interconnected ponds spanning over 4km between Gardeners Road in Mascot and the northern shore of Botany Bay. The Botany Wetlands are considered one of the last remaining green corridors in a highly disturbed area of Sydney.
Sydney Airport manages the downstream sections of the Botany Wetlands, known as Sydney Airport Wetlands, which are home to a diverse number of bird and fish species.
The Sydney Airport Wetlands are designated as an environmentally significant area (heritage and biodiversity) under the Airports Act 1996 and the greater Botany Wetlands are listed on the Directory of Important Wetlands in Australia.
Sydney Airport’s Wetlands Management Plan provides the framework for management of the wetlands so as to meet a range of often competing interests and functions are met. These include, but are not limited to, biodiversity conservation, minimising risk to aircraft from bird strike, heritage values, visual amenity, education and research.
Flora and fauna
Section 3.8.2 of the Airport Environment Strategy 2019-2024 lists the flora and fauna on site at Sydney Airport.
A Wildlife Management Plan provides guidance to minimise the hazard to aircraft operations created by the presence of wildlife on or in the vicinity of the airport. Fauna monitoring and population counts are conducted on a regular basis. Management actions include a number of passive to direct controls (i.e. culling) which is triggered by the hazard potential and conducted on an ‘as required’ basis. The plan also includes a landscaping policy to reduce vegetation which will attract birds that may increase the number of bird strikes.
A wildlife control working group, which includes representatives from Sydney Airport, NSW Government agencies, local government authorities and other key stakeholders, determines the most appropriate strategies to manage bird hazards for the airport.
Section 3.8.5 of the Airport Environment Strategy details our five-year biodiversity action plan.