The land may have originally have been cleared but it has been recolonized with a vengeance over the last 100 years. No doubt the pattern of species at present is different to what it once was but there is life abundant here nonetheless. The passage I have highlighted in red reveals the authoritarian intentions behind this massively overblown scare.
"Seventy-five of the state's top scientists have issued an alarming warning that unless attitudes change towards Adelaide's environment, it will become an "urban wasteland" devoid of much of the plant and animal life existing today. In a groundbreaking new book, to be launched next month, the team of scientists claims that by 2036 Adelaide's range of naturally occuring flora and fauna could be reduced from thousands of species to about 100.
Adelaide, Nature of a City is the largest biodiversity analysis of a city done in the world. A team of historians, geographers, architects, biologists and social scientists spent the past three years documenting the city as a living, breathing environment. Co-editor of the book and environmental biology professor Chris Daniels says a loss of biodiversity could make quality of life "appalling". "Children could grow up in a community that's free of our natural environment, so they don't get exposed to blue tongues and tadpoles," he says. "If we lose contact with the environment, our children could grow up thinking concrete and bricks is all there is. I don't think life would be worth anything, the quality of life would be appalling."
The study comes as Adelaide's urban sprawl - now stretching across 80km in mainly single storey housing - has reached proportions exceeding Rome, Mexico and Kolkata (formerly Calcutta). The book finds that if Adelaide continues to develop without being sympathetic to the natural environment: WEEDS such as boneseed and feral olive trees will continue to overtake parks and open areas; NATIVE animals will empty from national parks; Thousands of animal species today could be reduced to a meagre 50 species of birds, 16 species of mammals, 20 reptile species and as few as two frog species by 2036.
But the authors of Adelaide, Nature of a City stress while the predictions are dire, the 600-page book empowers people to do something about it - but we need to act now. Dr Daniels said poor planning, a lack of open space, habitat clearance and new housing and city office developments which failed to consider biodiversity were killing the natural environment. "For years we have been driving out our plant and animal life, building without thinking about how it will affect the ecology," Dr Daniels said. "We are building sprawling developments, clearing native habitats and creating tiny backyards. And when we compare our open space to other cities it is not as impressive as we might think." As the cityscape becomes more dense, residential blocks decrease in size and inner city living becomes more popular, there is less green space. Already, Adelaide is the most urbanised Australian city with 1.1 million of the 1.3 million South Australians living in the metropolitan area between the Hills and the sea.
In order to avoid a desolate future, people had to realise their backyards and parks interacted with native ecosystems and had a profound impact on local biodiversity, Dr Daniels said. "What you plant, clear, build and tear down could be the difference between a species' survival and extinction. To be visionary, we must be conservationists." "
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