This Fitzgerald Biosphere Recovery Plan meets the Commonwealth Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act) requirements for a recovery plan for 11 flora species listed as threatened under the EPBC Act that are endemic to the Fitzgerald Biosphere. In addition, this Plan will provide recovery guidance for the further 29 threatened species/communities (21 of which are listed under the EPBC Act) that also occur in the Fitzgerald Biosphere. These species and ecological communities are listed in Section 2.
This Plan does not replace the 13 existing recovery and interim recovery plans that are relevant to some species and ecological communities that occur in the Fitzgerald Biosphere (Section 6.1), but complements them by incorporating the management of the species into a broader landscape context. When these single species recovery plans are next reviewed, it will be considered whether individual plans better meet the requirements or whether this plan adequately covers the species. This Plan is designed to meet the recovery plan needs of each threatened and priority species in the Fitzgerald Biosphere, although single species recovery plans may still be developed for individual species that are determined to need one.
In this Plan the term ‘threatened species and ecological communities’ refers to taxa or ecological communities that are listed under either or both the Western Australian Wildlife Conservation Act 1950 as ‘rare or likely to become extinct’ (fauna) or ‘rare (extant)’ (flora) and the EPBC Act as ‘critically endangered’, ‘endangered’ or ‘vulnerable’.
This Plan also considers the species and ecological communities in the Western Australian Department of Environment and Conservation (DEC) priority list that occur in the Fitzgerald Biosphere. These are species and communities thought to be threatened but do not meet the adequacy of survey criteria for listing, but are rare and in need of monitoring, or are conservation dependent. This includes 253 species/ecological communities that although not protected under legislation are identified as priority for survey and research. This Plan does not include actions for any specific priority species, but the assumption has been made that their conservation will be addressed through the landscape scale actions.
This Plan does not include marine species or ecosystems as there is little information on the distribution of threatened marine fauna in the region, the importance of the South Coast marine habitat to these species or whether threatening processes impacting on these species on a national or global scale are also impacting on the species within the region.
This plan does not constitute a plan for managing a biosphere reserve pursuant to the provisions of the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999.
1.3 Interaction with Other Planning and Management Processes
The Fitzgerald Biosphere Recovery Plan has been developed following on from the South Coast Threatened Species and Ecological Communities Regional Strategic Management Plan (Gilfillan et al. 2009b). This Plan will operate in conjunction with the single or multi species recovery plans and threat abatement plans that are relevant to the species and ecological communities represented by this Plan (Section 6.1). This Plan complements these existing plans by incorporating them into a broader landscape conservation context for the Fitzgerald Biosphere.
There is also a range of existing management plans and programs that are relevant to the recovery of threatened species, biodiversity conservation and natural resource management in the Fitzgerald Biosphere. This Plan is intended to complement these other plans and refers to the documents where relevant.
1.4 International Obligations
This Recovery Plan complements the designation of the Fitzgerald River National Park (FRNP) Biosphere Reserve under the international UNESCO Man and the Biosphere (MAB) Program. It supports cooperative biodiversity conservation of the regional ecosystems and landscapes - a primary theme encouraged of Biosphere Reserves (Section 2). Maintaining the current core area of the Biosphere with additional buffer zones and zones of cooperation is important to protect the many species and ecological communities which occur in the FRNP.
This Plan is fully consistent with the aims and recommendations of the Convention on Biological Diversity, ratified by Australia in June 1993, and will assist in implementing Australia’s responsibilities under that Convention.
Several bird and mammal species that are resident or occasional visitors to the Fitzgerald Biosphere are listed under international conventions and agreements to which Australia is also participant (i.e. CITES, ROKAMBA 2007, CAMBA 1998, JAMBA 1981 and Bonn 1979). The actions in this Recovery Plan are consistent with these international conventions and agreements.
1.5 Biodiversity Benefits and Impacts
The most important strategy of this Plan for threatened species recovery and management is the abatement of threatening processes. This will also have significant benefits for the biodiversity and functioning of ecological functions of the Biosphere. The implementation of the actions in this Plan is expected to result in improved health of the ecosystems of the Biosphere.
Biodiversity in the Fitzgerald Biosphere will benefit from this Plan through:
an increased understanding and appreciation of landscape characteristics and management requirements,