Assessing biodiversity

Assessing areas of high biodiversity plays a vital role in determining key areas for conservation and establishing conservation priorities.

Biodiversity significance is a ranking of an area according to specified values such as rarity, diversity, fragmentation, habitat condition, resilience, threats, and ecosystem processes.

The more critical role an area or system plays for ecosystems, the more value it has in positively influencing biodiversity.

The value of an area is assessed on an extensive set of attributes such as relative size or condition, whether it is habitat for threatened species, or if it provides connectivity across the landscape.

In the terrestrial environment, current vegetation extent and regional ecosystem mapping defines remnant vegetation and pre-clearing vegetation. This provides an exceptional basis for comparing Queensland’s landscape before and after land-clearing and helps guide conservation efforts. Regional vegetation mapping uses satellite imagery, in combination with recent aerial photography and field-based information to confirm data accuracy.

Aquatic Conservation Assessments (ACA) and AquaBAMM

The Aquatic Biodiversity Assessment and Mapping Method (AquaBAMM) is a comprehensive method that identifies relative wetland conservation values within a specified study area (usually a catchment). The method is used to produce an Aquatic Conservation Assessment (ACA) of wetlands within a study area using available data including data resulting from expert opinion.

Biodiversity Planning Assessments (BPA) and BAMM

The Biodiversity Assessment and Mapping Methodology (BAMM) is applied to vegetation mapping from the Queensland Herbarium and incorporates a range of biodiversity-related data. The BAMM focuses primarily on assessing terrestrial values. It is the methodology used to generate Biodiversity Planning Assessments (BPAs) for each of Queensland’s bioregions.

BioCondition assessment

BioCondition is the assessment of vegetation condition with a biodiversity perspective. It provides a measure of how well a terrestrial ecosystem is maintaining biodiversity values at a local or property scale. In BioCondition, vegetation condition is referred to as ‘how much the attributes of a patch of vegetation differ from the attributes of the same vegetation in its reference state.’

The Biodiversity Condition Toolkit for Grazed lands, funded by Meat and livestock Australia has been produced by the Queensland Herbarium in collaboration with the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries (DAF). The toolkit aims to support land managers involved in the management of grazing lands and biodiversity conservation within the Brigalow Belt and Mulga lands of Southern Queensland. It provides some knowledge and insights on the plants and animals that cohabit with grazing stock in healthy grazing lands.

Terrestrial vertebrate fauna survey assessment

The Terrestrial Vertebrate Fauna Survey Guidelines for Queensland aim to provide a practical guide for the preparation, implementation and reporting of terrestrial vertebrate fauna surveys. These assessment guidelines are designed for use by appropriately skilled people in Queensland preparing to undertake systematic and standardised terrestrial vertebrate fauna surveys for inventory, monitoring and/or research purposes.