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Biodiversity status and vegetation management class

The Regional Ecosystem Description Database lists the biodiversity status (BD Status) and the vegetation management class (VM class) of each regional ecosystem.

The biodiversity status is based on an assessment of the condition of remnant vegetation in addition to the criteria used to determine the class under the Vegetation Management Act 1999 (the Act). The VM class is listed in the Vegetation Management Regulation under the Act. The specific criteria used to assess the Act class and biodiversity status of regional ecosystems are given below.

The biodiversity status is used for a range of planning and management applications including the Biodiversity Planning Assessments and to determine environmentally sensitive areas that are used for regulation of the mining industry through provisions in the Environmental Protection Act 1994.

Read more about vegetation management.

Endangered

A regional ecosystem is listed as ‘endangered’ under the Act if:

  • remnant vegetation is less than 10% of its pre-clearing extent across the bioregion; or
  • 10–30% of its pre-clearing extent remains and the remnant vegetation is less than 10,000ha.

In addition to the criteria listed for an ‘endangered’ regional ecosystems under the Act, for biodiversity planning purposes a regional ecosystem is listed with a biodiversity status of ‘endangered’ if:

  • less than 10% of its pre-clearing extent remains unaffected by severe degradation and/or biodiversity loss1; or
  • 10–30% of its pre-clearing extent remains unaffected by severe degradation and/or biodiversity loss and the remnant vegetation is less than 10,000ha; or
  • it is a rare2 regional ecosystem subject to a threatening process3.

Of concern

A regional ecosystem is listed as ‘of concern’ under the Act if:

  • remnant vegetation is 10–30% of its pre-clearing extent across the bioregion; or
  • more than 30% of its pre-clearing extent remains and the remnant extent is less than 10,000ha.

In addition to the criteria listed for an ‘of concern’ regional ecosystems under the Act, for biodiversity planning purposes a regional ecosystem is listed with a biodiversity status 'of concern' if:

  • 10–30% of its pre-clearing extent remains unaffected by moderate degradation and/or biodiversity loss4.

No concern at present/Least concern

A regional ecosystem is listed as ‘least concern’ under the Act if:

  • remnant vegetation is over 30% of its pre-clearing extent across the bioregion, and the remnant area is greater than 10,000ha.

In addition to the criteria listed for ‘least concern’ regional ecosystems under the Act, for biodiversity planning purposes a regional ecosystem is listed with a biodiversity status of ‘no concern at present’ if:

  • the degradation criteria listed above for ‘endangered’ or ‘of concern’ regional ecosystems are not met.

Definitions

1 Severe degradation and/or biodiversity loss is defined as:

  • floristic and/or faunal diversity is greatly reduced but unlikely to recover within the next 50 years even with the removal of threatening processes; or
  • soil surface is severely degraded, for example, by loss of A horizon, surface expression of salinity, surface compaction, loss of organic matter or sheet erosion.

2 Rare regional ecosystem:

  • pre-clearing extent (less than 1,000ha).

3 Threatening processes are those that are reducing or will reduce the biodiversity and ecological integrity of a regional ecosystem. For example, clearing5, weed invasion, fragmentation, inappropriate fire regime or grazing pressure, or infrastructure development.

4 Moderate degradation and/or biodiversity loss is defined as:

  • floristic and/or faunal diversity is greatly reduced but unlikely to recover within the next 20 years even with the removal of threatening processes; or
  • soil surface is moderately degraded.

5 Clearing includes cultivation of non-woody natural vegetation.

Pre-clearing vegetation is defined as the vegetation present before clearing.

Remnant woody vegetation is defined as vegetation that has not been cleared or vegetation that has been cleared but where the dominant canopy has greater than 70% of the height and greater than 50% of the cover relative to the undisturbed height and cover of that stratum and is dominated by species characteristic of the vegetation's undisturbed canopy. Read the Queensland Herbarium methodology for mapping regional ecosystems across Queensland, for further clarification of the definition and mapping methods of remnant vegetation.

Related information

Request a vegetation map based on a lot plan number or by entering coordinates. The map is sent as a PDF file by email.

Remnant vegetation in Queensland is an analysis of remnant vegetation including regional ecosystem information.

Licence
Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Australia (CC BY 3.0)
Last updated
2 May 2017
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