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Species and habitat

Key messages

Why species and habitat are important

Queensland’s native plants (flora) and animals (fauna) are unique and valuable elements of our state’s rich biodiversity. Conserving native biodiversity in Queensland not only ensures its protection for future generations, but helps maintain healthy ecosystems, clean water and clean air.

Some species of flora and fauna are at risk of extinction due to threatening processes including the clearing of habitat. These ‘threatened’ flora and fauna are declared under Queensland’s Nature Conservation Act 1992. Some species are already considered to be ‘extinct in the wild’. Other threatened species are categorised as ‘endangered’ or ‘vulnerable’, depending on the degree of risk they face from threatening processes which impact their population size, health and habitat.

Understanding the pre-clearing distribution of threatened species habitat allows better planning for their protection

Understanding the distribution of threatened species habitat prior to land clearing allows us to examine trends in habitat loss within bioregions and across the state, and to determine the proportion of pre-clearing threatened species habitat that is remnant vegetation. This enables us to determine the adequacy of our current reserve system for protecting threatened species habitat. It also helps us prioritise new areas for protection or restoration, and to direct survey and monitoring efforts.

Understanding changes to the numbers of threatened species provides a guide to how well we are managing their recovery

Monitoring the changes in threatened species numbers gives us a guide to how well we are managing their recovery. While the total numbers don’t give details of the change of individual species’ listing categories, we do get an overview of whether species, over time, are still experiencing pressures that put them at risk of extinction.

Key findings—Fauna

State

Threatened fauna species numbers

The number of fauna species listed as threatened (‘vulnerable’, ‘endangered’ or ‘extinct in the wild’) in Queensland increased by 61 between 2007 and 2015. Notably, three frog species have been listed as ‘extinct in the wild’.

Density of threatened fauna species habitat

The highest densities of terrestrial threatened fauna species habitat are found in the South East Queensland, Wet Tropics, Brigalow Belt and New England Tablelands bioregions.

Threatened fauna species habitat

A large proportion of pre-clear threatened fauna habitat remained in Queensland in 2013. However, the proportion varies greatly among bioregions and among fauna groups. The greatest losses have occurred in the New England Tableland and South East Queensland bioregions.

Pressure

Major threats to fauna species

Sixty-eight major threats have been identified that impact on Queensland threatened fauna. The threats affecting the most species are ‘inappropriate fire regimes’, ‘clearing of vegetation’ and ‘inappropriate grazing regimes’.

Land clearing impact on threatened fauna habitat

Land use clearing for pasture is the greatest pressure on threatened fauna pre-clear habitat affecting the eastern coastal bioregions at a higher rate. Clearing has almost doubled since 2011-2012.

Programs

Back on Track

The Back on Track species prioritisation framework prioritises Queensland's native species to guide conservation management and recovery, enables strategic allocation of resources for achieving greatest biodiversity outcomes, and increases the capacity of government, natural resource management bodies and communities to make informed decisions by making information widely accessible.

The Spring

The Species Recovery Information Gateway (Spring) provides information about the conservation and recovery of Queensland’s native plant and animal species, particularly those at risk of extinction.

Modelled Potential Habitat

The Modelled Potential Habitat is a database for selected threatened and priority species in Queensland, based on environmental factors.

Wildnet

The Wildnet database contains records of wildlife sightings and listings of plants (including fungi and protists), mammals, birds, amphibians, reptiles, freshwater fish, sharks and rays, butterflies and other priority invertebrates in Queensland. Wildnet also contains information on species’ national and state conservation status.

The wildlife lists are based on collated species lists and wildlife records from Queensland Government departments and external organisations.

Key findings—Flora

State

Threatened flora species numbers

The number of flora species listed as threatened (‘vulnerable’, ‘endangered’ or ‘extinct in the wild’) in Queensland increased by 275 between 2007 and 2015. Four flora species have been removed from the ‘extinct in the wild’ status.

Density of threatened flora species habitat

The highest densities of terrestrial threatened flora habitat are found in the South East Queensland, Wet Tropics, Brigalow Belt and New England Tableland bioregions.

Threatened flora species habitat

A large proportion of pre-clear threatened flora habitat remained in Queensland in 2013. However, the proportion varies greatly among bioregions and among flora groups. The greatest losses have occurred in the New England Tableland, South East Queensland, Brigalow Belt and Mulga Lands bioregions.

Pressure

Major threats to flora species

Thirty-four major threats have been identified that impact on Queensland threatened flora. The threats affecting the most species are ‘inappropriate fire regimes’, ’weeds’ and ‘clearing of vegetation’.

Land clearing impact on threatened flora habitat

Land use clearing for pasture is the greatest pressure on threatened flora pre-clear habitat affecting the eastern coastal bioregions at a higher rate, an increase of 58% from 2011-2012.

Programs

Back on Track

The Back on Track species prioritisation framework prioritises Queensland's native species to guide conservation management and recovery, enables strategic allocation of resources for achieving greatest biodiversity outcomes, and increases the capacity of government, natural resource management bodies and communities to make informed decisions by making information widely accessible.

The Spring

The Species Recovery Information Gateway (Spring) provides information about the conservation and recovery of Queensland’s native plant and animal species, particularly those at risk of extinction.

Modelled Potential Habitat

The Modelled Potential Habitat is a database for selected threatened and priority species in Queensland, based on environmental factors.

Wildnet

The Wildnet database contains records of wildlife sightings and listings of plants (including fungi and protists), mammals, birds, amphibians, reptiles, freshwater fish, sharks and rays, butterflies and other priority invertebrates in Queensland. Wildnet also contains information on species’ national and state conservation status.

The wildlife lists are based on collated species lists and wildlife records from Queensland Government departments and external organisations.

CORVEG

CORVEG is a database containing flora sightings and study site descriptions. It contains data on physical and vegetation features, structural and floristic attributes, and descriptions of landscape, soil and geologic features. The CORVEG study locations are primarily used for ground-truthing and validating of Regional Ecosystems mapping, and describing and classifying vegetation mapping units.

Last updated
10 July 2017