Biodiversity Assessment Technical Report

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Biodiversity Assessment

Technical Report

Published by the joint Commonwealth and Victorian Regional Forest Agreement (RFA) Steering Committee.

 Commonwealth of Australia 1997
ISBN: 0 642 27432 0
The views expressed in this report are those of the authors and not necessarily those of the Commonwealth of Australia or Victoria. The Commonwealth and Victoria do not accept responsibility for any advice or information in relation to this material.
Copies are available from:

Department of Natural Resources and Environment

Address: 8 Nicholson Street

East Melbourne VIC 3002

Ph: (03) 9637 8405
Copies will also be available through the Environmental Resources Information Network on their World Wide Web Server. Contact:
For further information about this report contact the

Commonwealth Forests Taskforce Ph: (06) 271 5181.

This work is copyright. It may be produced in whole or in part for study or training purposes subject to the inclusion of acknowledgment of the source and no commercial usage or sale. Reproduction for purposes other than those listed above requires written permission of the Commonwealth and Victorian RFA Steering Committee.
Requests should be addressed to:

Commonwealth and Victorian RFA Steering Committee

C/o - Commonwealth Forests Taskforce

Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet

3-5 National Circuit

Barton ACT 2600

Ph: (06) 271 5181.


This report provides details of the biodiversity assessment component of the Central Highlands Comprehensive Regional Forest Assessment (CRA). A summary version of this document has been published as part of an overview CRA report, obtainable from the address given above.
Map numbers referred to in this report followed by (S) indicate that they are to be found in the summary document. Maps not so designated are to be found bound at the back of this report.


The biodiversity assessment of the Central Highlands has drawn upon the work of many individuals. The Joint Commonwealth/Victoria RFA Steering Committee would like to thank the following people for their contributions:

Environment Australia

Environment Forests Taskforce

Volume editors: Geoff Dyne, Felix Schlager.

Technical advice and assistance: Harry Abrahams, David Barratt, Simon Bennett, Maria Cofinas, Nick Dexter, Donald Glasco, Jasmyn Lynch-Asumadu, Elizabeth McDonald, David Miller, Helen Neave, Martin Paull, Andrew Taplin, Terence Uren.
Liz Dovey, Anne Duncan, Ann Jelinek, Sue Wright.
Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet

Tom Aldred, Tracy Pateman.


Penelope Greenslade.


Department of Natural Resources and Environment
Coordination and editing

Ian Miles, Susan Houlden.

Flora chapters

Writers: Adrian Moorrees, Bill Peel, Eldon Jenkin, Gill Earl.

Technical advice: Simon Cropper (Botanicus), Graeme Lorimer, Doug Frood, David Parkes, Damien Cook, Gary Backhouse, Neville Walsh and Keely Ough.
Access to technical bibliography kindly provided by Keely Ough and Anna

Murphy (Arthur Rylah Institute).

Fauna chapters

Rod Anderson, Maria Belvedere, Pam Clunie, Andrew Corrick, Tim Doeg, Kim Lowe, Richard Loyn, Malcolm Macfarlane, Jenny Nelson, Taarmo Raadik.

Table of Contents

Foreword iii

Acknowledgments iv

Table of Contents v

List of Tables vii

1 Introduction 1

1.1 Background 1

1.2 Elements of biodiversity 3

1.2.1 Genetic diversity 3

1.2.2 Species diversity 3

1.2.3 Ecosystem diversity 4

1.3 Conservation of biodiversity 4

1.3.1 National and State obligations and actions 4

2 Biodiversity assessment 7

2.1 Methodological approaches: an overview 7

2.2 Limits to reliability of information 7

3 Audit of existing biological data 9

3.1 Introduction 9

3.1.2 Methods 10

3.2 Flora survey data review 12

3.2.1 Methods 12

3.2.2 Results and discussion 13

3.3 Fauna survey data review 15

3.3.1 Methods 15

3.3.2 Results and discussion 16

4 Forest Ecosystem Assessment 20

4.1 Introduction 20

4.1.1 Ecological Vegetation Classes 20

4.2 Pre-1750 extent of Ecological Vegetation Classes 21

4.2.1 Methods 21

4.2.2 Results 25

4.3 Reservation status of Ecological Vegetation Classes 29

4.3.1 Sub-regional reservation Ecological Vegetation Classes 29

4.3.2 Representation within reserves of floristic variation across EVCs 34

4.3.3 Reservation status of Ecological Vegetation Class growth stages 34

4.3.4 Endangered, vulnerable and rare forest ecosystems 36

4.3.5 Current management actions to address threatening processes 43

5 Flora species assessment 49

5.1 Introduction 49

5.1.1 Priority flora species 49

5.2 Life history and population parameters for priority flora species 50

5.2.1 Assessment methods 50

5.2.2 Patterns of abundance, distribution and habitat 51

5.2.3 Review of reservation status of Central Highlands rare or threatened plants 58

5.2.4 Vulnerability assessment 59

5.2.5 Management review 68

5.3 Review of disturbances and their implications for plant taxa in the Central Highlands 69

5.3.1 Introduction 69

5.3.2 Methods 70

5.3.3 Results 71

5.3.4 Relationship between human-induced and natural disturbances 88

6 Terrestrial Fauna Species Assessment 89

6.1 Introduction 89

6.1.1 Priority species 89

6.2 Life history and population parameters for priority fauna species 91

6.2.1 Assessment methods 91

6.2.2 Results and discussion 93

6.2.3 Notable threatened vertebrate species 96

6.2.4 Other important vertebrate species 97

6.2.5 Terrestrial invertebrates 98

6.3 Fauna species reservation analysis 99

6.3.1 Methods 99

6.3.2 Results and discussion 99

6.4 Review of disturbances and their implications for fauna in the Central Highlands 101

6.4.1 Methods 101

6.4.2 Results and discussion 102

7 Aquatic fauna species assessment 125

7.1 Introduction 125

7.1.1 Fish and Aquatic Macroinvertebrates of the Central Highlands Region 125

7.2 Review of existing site-based data 129

7.2.1 Fish 129

7.2.2 Aquatic macroinvertebrate fauna 132

7.3 Life history and population parameters for aquatic species 135

7.3.1. Priority Species 135

7.3.2 Results 136

7.4 Review of disturbances and the implications for aquatic fauna in the Central Highlands Region 140

7.4.1 Introduction 140

7.5 Conservation measures for fish and aquatic macroinvertebrates 144

7.6 Data gaps 148

8 Bibliography 151

APPENDIX A: Central Highlands stratification and survey intensity analysis - flora 192

APPENDIX B: Central Highlands stratification and survey intensity analysis - fauna 198

APPENDIX C: Descriptions of Ecological Vegetation Classes occurring in the Victorian Central Highlands 201

APPENDIX D: EVCs recently described from the Central Highlands 214

APPENDIX E: Life history attributes of Threatened plant taxa 222

APPENDIX F: List of taxa for inclusion in the review of threatened species and disturbance in the Central Highlands CRA 257

APPENDIX G: Life history parameters - priority fauna species 259

APPENDIX H: Records from the ANIC Database of insect species found in a 70km radius of Marysville* 292

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