Environment and Waste

COSS Wildlife Corridors

What is a wildlife corridor?

A wildlife corridor is an area of natural vegetation that links two or more habitat patches. It is a pathway for animals to use when they travel between different areas. In some places, there is natural vegetation on private property that provides a linking pathway between the COSS reserves.  Gosford has a very diverse landscape. The steep ridgelines, creeks, lagoons and beaches support a wide range of plants and animals.

Before European settlement, the animals could travel from one place to the other quite easily. Now they find it far more difficult and dangerous. Animals have to cross busy roads, avoid backyards with fierce dogs and cats and cross open areas that expose them to predators such as foxes. 

If we consider an animal such as a Brush-tailed Possum, it needs fruits to eat, an old tree with a hollow to sleep in and other possums with which to breed.

Plants can find it even more difficult. They need very specific soils - sandy or clayey, deep or shallow. Too much rain will kill one plant, but too little will kill another. They also need different types of nutrients in the soil and some even need one special type of fungi growing around their roots to even survive.

Wildlife of the COSS

There are many different habitats in the COSS reserves supporting fauna species including a number of rare and threatened wildlife, reptiles, birds and amphibians.

You may not see many animals during the day time, but the bush comes alive at night.

Council has done a number of wildlife surveys in the reserves and is looking at ways to find out which animals are living in these pockets of habitat so we can target our management to support them. 

To find out more about wildlife in our COSS reserves, along with some great activities, download a COSS Wildlife Corridors Activity Book.

Why do animals need to travel?

Animals need to find a variety of foods to eat. Different foods are available in different places during the year, so animals will need to explore different habitats to find the food they need. When an animal is looking for food we say that it is foraging. Some foods are seasonal - this means that they are only around at certain times of the year. For example, rainforest fruits in summer and Swamp Mahogany flowers in winter.

Animals need to find other animals that are not related to them to breed. This means that they need to travel to other areas to find a partner. 

When animals travel to other areas they face many challenges such as cats and dogs, native predators, cars speeding along roads, fences that block their path and open areas that they are scared to cross.

Some animals will fiercely defend their territory. They will try to chase away or even kill other animals that try to cross it.

When young animals grow up, just like us they have to move out of home. They have to find an area of bushland with all the things they need in it that is not already owned by another animal of their kind. When animals grow up and move out of home to a new area, we call this dispersal.

How can I be involved in the COSS Wildlife Corridors project?

  • Private landholders

  • Researchers

You can find out more about the COSS in Gosford City by visiting our Coastal Open Space System (COSS) page.

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