The map was prepared with funding provided by the NSW Environmental Trust.
Information on the purpose of the BIO Map is available on the BIO Map web page. It is important to note that the inclusion of land within the BIO Map does not alter a landholder's right to carry out agricultural and developmental activities. The BIO Map identifies land that may have increased opportunities to access a range of conservation funding programs. Participation in these programs is entirely voluntary.
The Illawarra BIO Map covers a 112,942-hectare area defined by the Kiama, Shellharbour and Wollongong Local Government Areas. This includes the Illawarra coastal plain and escarpment, and the eastern parts of the sandstone plateau to the west. Each of these landscapes provides a diversity of vegetation types, habitats and landforms, which combined make the region rich in overall biodiversity values.
Mapping criteria were used to identify and map priority investment areas, and targeted stakeholder consultation was conducted to inform the outputs of the project. Stakeholders consulted included nine state government authorities, four local councils and six non-government organisations.
The priority investment areas comprise of biodiversity core areas and a network of state and regional biodiversity corridors within the Illawarra region. The total area represented within the mapped priority investment areas is 66,827 hectares, comprising 13,980 hectares of core area and 52,847 hectares of corridors. This represents about 59 per cent of the Illawarra region.
The BIO Map spatial data can be downloaded from SEED (search using the term 'BIO Map') and will also be viewable on the Biodiversity Investment Spatial Viewer once it becomes functional from late 2015.