Conservation Management Zones of Australia Eastern Australia Temperate and Subtropical Forests

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Conservation Management Zones of Australiaaustralian government logo

Eastern Australia Temperate and Subtropical Forests

Prepared by the Department of the Environment

Acknowledgementsaustralian government logo

This project and associated products are the result of a collaboration between the Biodiversity Conservation Division and the Environmental Resources Information Network (ERIN). Invaluable input, advice and support were provided by staff and leading researchers from across the Department of the Environment (DotE), Department of Agriculture (DoA), the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO), and the academic community. We would particularly like to thank staff within the Wildlife, Heritage and Marine Division, Parks Australia and the Environment Assessment and Compliance Division of DotE, Nyree Stenekes and Robert Kancans (ABARES), Sue McIntyre (CSIRO), Richard Hobbs (University of Western Australia), Michael Hutchinson (ANU); David Lindenmayer and Emma Burns (ANU); and Gilly Llewellyn, Martin Taylor and other staff from the World Wildlife Fund for their generosity and advice.

Special thanks to CSIRO staff Kristen Williams and Simon Ferrier whose modelling of biodiversity patterns enabled identification of the Conservation Management Zones of Australia.

© Commonwealth of Australia, 2015.

The Conservation Management Zones of Australia profile is licensed by the Commonwealth of Australia for use under a Creative Commons By Attribution 3.0 Australia licence with the exception of the Coat of Arms of the Commonwealth of Australia, the logo of the agency responsible for publishing the report, content supplied by third parties, and any images depicting people.

For licence conditions see here.


Acknowledgement of Traditional Owners and Country 4

Introduction 4

Zone at a glance 5

Population characteristics 10

Employment, volunteering and incomes 15

Agriculture, Natural Resource Management practices and sources of NRM advice 18

Land tenure, land use, Native Title and Local Government Areas 21

Zone vegetation characteristics 25

Ramsar and Nationally Important Wetlands 26

World and National Heritage 28

Major National Reserve System properties 29

EPBC Act (1999) threatened ecological communities 31

EPBC Act (1999) threatened species 32

EPBC Act (1999) migratory species 39

Threatened endemic species 42

Invasive species 50

Acknowledgement of Traditional Owners and Country

The Australian Government acknowledges Australia’s Traditional Owners and pays respect to Elders past and present of our nation’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities. We honour the deep spiritual, cultural and customary connections of Traditional Owners to the Australian landscape, including Australia’s waterways, land and sea country.


The 23 Conservation Management Zones of Australia are geographic areas, classified according to their ecological and threat characteristics. The zones are also aligned with the Interim Biogeographic Regionalisation of Australia.

The Conservation Management Zones provide a way of understanding Australia’s natural environment that will assist in long-term conservation planning and help the Australian Government to better design, deliver and report on Natural Resource Management (NRM) investments, including ensuring alignment of national NRM priorities with local action.

The Conservation Management Zones also provide a filter through which to make national environmental and socio-economic data more accessible and comprehensible, and a framework for gathering on-ground knowledge and expertise about the environment.  This will improve information flow to the Australian Government about regional NRM requirements, best practice management, emerging NRM issues and knowledge gaps.

The Conservation Management Zones do not represent any change to existing administrative boundaries or governance structures, but aim to support the NRM and wider community to cooperatively manage environmental assets across boundaries, where they share common threats, ecological characteristics and stakeholders.

Each Conservation Management Zone profile contains a standard suite of nationally available ecological and socio-economic information.  We hope that this information will enable Australians of all ages and backgrounds to engage with, understand and appreciate Australian landscapes, and support all Australians to manage our natural resources more effectively.

The profile information provides an indicative, high-level stock-take of the environmental and socio-economic landscape and it is not intended to be comprehensive. It should also be noted that, at present, the profiles contain only limited information on aquatic ecosystems, coastal assets and Indigenous land management practices.  In future, consultation and comprehensive literature reviews will enable us to provide more complete information.

Zone at a glance

this graphic shows an image of the australian continent with zone eastern australia temperate and subtropical forests highlighted. the zone occupies 15,959,455 hectares. the zone occupies 2.07 percent of the australian continent.

this graphic shows an image of a man and a woman. the population density of this zone is 34.82 people per square kilometer.

this bar graph shows the composition of the population of the zone according to the proportion of the population in specific population categories. the total population of zone is 5,273,893 people. approximate population numbers for each category are: youth (15-24): 750,000 people over 65: 800,000 people indigenous: 100,000 people english as a second language speakers: 750,000 people

this pie graph shows that 95.4 percent of the zone’s population are employed, and 4.6 percent are unemployed.

Based on Australian Bureau of Statistics data

Major cities and towns




Central Coast


Gold Coast – Tweed Heads (NSW & QLD)








Regional centres










Coffs Harbour










Nowra – Bomaderry


Port Macquarie


Raymond Terrace




Natural Resource Management (NRM) regions

South East Local land Services


Greater Sydney Local Land Services


Central Tablelands Local Land Services


Hunter Local Land Services


Northern Tablelands Local Land Services


North Coast Local Land Services


South East Queensland Catchment


Queensland Murray Darling Committee Inc


Burnett Mary Regional Group for NRM


Top five agricultural commodities

Value (millions)



Vegetables for consumption






Nurseries and cut flowers


Total value of agricultural commodities (including other commodities not listed here)


Climate characteristics*

Mean annual temperature

16 Celsius

Mean Maximum of the Hottest Month

27.7 Celsius

Mean Minimum of the Coldest Month

3.1 Celsius

Mean Annual Rainfall

1017.1 mm

Dominant rainfall season


* The figures are interpolated 75-year means (1921 to 1995) representing the period prior to the onset of rapid climatic warming. Cited in: Williams KJ, Belbin L, Austin MP, Stein J, Ferrier S (2012) Which environmental variables should I use in my biodiversity model? International Journal of Geographic Information Sciences 26(11), 2009–2047. (Data derived from Australian Climate surfaces version 2.1 for the ANUCLIM-BIOCLIM package).

For future climate projections please refer to:

Based on Australian Bureau of Statistics data

this pie graph shows that 1.2 percent of the zone area is held in native title, and 98.8 percent of the zone is classed as ‘other area’.

this pie graph shows that 19 percent of the zone is part of the national reserve system, and 81 percent is classed as ‘other area’.

this pie graph shows that 45 percent of the zone’s native vegetation has been cleared, and 55 percent remains uncleared.

this pie graph shows the number of threatened species according to taxonomic groups with the zone. within this zone there are: 320 threatened plant species 33 threatened bird species 15 threatened mammal species 21 threatened reptile species 11 threatened frog species 12 threatened fish species 5 threatened shark species 1 other threatened species.

this bar graph shows the number of listed vulnerable, endangered, critically endangered, conservation dependent and migratory species found within the zone and the number of threatened ecological communities found within the zone. within the zone there are: 240 vulnerable species 155 endangered species 23 critically endangered species 2 conservation dependent species 82 migratory species 22 threatened ecological communities.

Based on data from the National Native Title Register; Collaborative Australian Protected Area Database (CAPAD); National Vegetation Information System (NVIS); Species’ Profile and Threats Database (SPRAT).

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