Grounds and biodiversity

Conserving natural resources and protecting wildlife

UQ’s campuses and sites cover more than 1,600 hectares and are home to diverse fauna and flora, with some species endemic to the area.

The University is committed to protecting, managing and enhancing biodiversity on its grounds, while creating a welcoming space for all – both people and native wildlife. 

Our vegetation corridors, bird boxes, environmental park, Land for Wildlife areas, revegetation projects, native plantings, sustainable weed and pest management, and wildlife habitats conserve natural resources and protect wildlife.

Grounds and biodiversity is also one of the focus topics in the UQ Sustainability Strategy.

Caring for campus grounds

Caring for our beautiful campus grounds is a full-time job. Several, in fact. UQ employs a team of professional gardeners, who each look after their own zone within the University.

With such diverse landscapes across our campuses, each zone is distinctly different. UQ visitors can wander between sweeping lawns, structured hedges, formal themes, tropical themes, lakeside plantings, riverbank walks, sports fields and more.

Across all areas, our gardeners are responsible for maintenance, green waste, new plantings and creative design within UQ guidelines.

We manage our grounds seasonally and sustainably, adapting and aligning our planting strategy and gardening practices to the time of year and the weather conditions. We prioritise drought-tolerant, native and low maintenance species.

We also undertake a range of sustainable gardening steps, such as composting and re-using as much green waste as possible onsite, implementing sustainable weed management, and enacting water-saving and irrigation measures. These measures include using recycled water and harvested rainwater wherever possible to reduce our mains water usage.

Biodiversity on campus

UQ conserves natural ecosystems to enhance biodiversity in coexistence with the community. We have a comprehensive Biodiversity Management Program in place and oversee a number of biodiversity initiatives. 

We implement wildlife management programs to ensure our campuses offer safe natural habitats for native species, while also maintaining harmony between animals and humans. These programs focus on tracking numbers of certain species, monitoring nests and eggs during breeding seasons, and managing vegetation to nurture (or not nurture) breeding environments.

The University also supports a range of academic projects and welcomes research that engages with campus biodiversity. Current projects include the bird boxes installed around our grounds, which act as additional nesting spaces for native, hollow-dwelling bird species.

Notable spots to visit

We encourage all visitors to take the time to stroll around our grounds. We offer a range of facilities for students, staff, families and local community members to enjoy.

In addition to our flagship and well-known spaces, such as the Great Court, UQ Lakes and Amphitheatre, and our sporting facilities, we have barbecue and picnic areas, a children’s playground, community gardens, and a number of beautiful water and other features tucked away in lesser explored corners of our campus. Browse UQ Maps.

The UQ Sustainability Walk also suggests a number of sustainability highlights on campus.  And don’t forget, visitors, staff and students can now also hire e-bikes and e-scooters at St Lucia. 

More about grounds and biodiversity