The methods used in this paper are based on those used to undertake an analysis of the status
of frogs in the PAs of Australian undertaken by Lemckert et al (2009). Please refer to this
paper for further details.
The 2006 CAPAD database lists 8780 IUCN criteria PAs (see Figure 1) that protect
768,826,956 hectares (11.6%) of continental Australia, including Tasmania (see Error!
comparisons of the expected reservation levels for each group.
Records for the 50 most speciose families of Australian vascular flora were supplied by the
Australian Government Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts
through the Australian Natural Heritage Assessment Tool (ANHAT) database. This included
data on species which have yet to be formally described. This database has been compiled
from specimen and site records held in State, Territory and Commonwealth flora and fauna
collections and wildlife atlases, and from the work of individual researchers. ANHAT is a
custom-designed analysis tool built on Microsoft Access (Microsoft, 2003) and ArcGIS
geographic information system (ESRI, 2005).
Records dated pre-1950 were excluded from the data sets, as earlier historical site records
rarely have sufficient spatial accuracy for this type of analysis. Furthermore, site records
with a spatial error range >20 km were excluded and duplicate records removed. Records
within 500 m of each other were considered the same site and listed as a single spatial record.
Due to time limitations, review of taxonomic and nomenclatural changes of the species in
ANHAT was not performed. Time limitations also meant that names of undescribed species
were not able to be put into the correct taxonomic format, so that in many cases informal
names may appear italicised and/or not indicative of taxonomic rank.
Within each of the 50 flora families, any species with 30 or fewer records was noted and
removed from further consideration. Extinct species were listed where they occurred for
each family, but were not considered further in the report. Species with 30 or fewer records
may have been rarely recorded because they are truly rare, difficult to identify, occur in
remote locations or are very cryptic (e.g., subterranean orchids). Many of these species
probably have a combination of these factors acting to limit their records. We removed them
because we believe it is difficult to assess their relative state of reservation with reasonable
accuracy. For example, if a plant species has two site records and both fall in a reserve, it is
not reasonable to assume that it is highly protected when most of its predicted range falls
outside of reserves. We also removed species that are now considered extinct.
Total Area (ha)
The site records of the remaining species were compared to Australia’s NRS (based on the
2006 CAPAD database using the six IUCN recognized protected area categories to define
We determined three categories of information for each species: 1) how many site records
fell within reserves; 2) in how many different reserves each species was recorded; and 3) in
how many reserves greater than 1000 ha each species was recorded. We also attempted to
categorise their broad relative location within Australia and the types of habitats in which
they occur, providing an opportunity to look for patterns amongst the better and less
protected species. The break up of these categories is presented in Tables 3, 4 and 5. In
many instances, some or all of this information was not found for a given species, at least in
any simple form, and the categories could not be filled in. However, there was data available
for many species and this came from a wide range of sources, which are fully listed in the
reference section at the end of this document. However, the main sources of information for
these 50 vascular plant families were:
PlantNET - The Plant Information Network System of Botanic Gardens Trust, Sydney:
Australian Plant Name Index – APNI: www.cpbr.gov.au/apni/index.html
Flora of Australia Online: www.environment.gov.au/biodiversity/abrs/online-resources/flora/main/
NSW Herbarium Collection: accessed through GBIF data portal
Australian Antarctic Division Herbarium: accessed through GBIF data portal,
Australia's Virtual Herbarium Council of Heads of Australasian Herbaria
State Herbarium of South Australia:
Australian National Herbarium, Canberra:
National Herbarium of Victoria:
National Herbarium of New South Wales:
Northern Territory Herbarium:
Western Australian Herbarium: http://www.dec.wa.gov.au/science-and-research/wa-
Limitations of the information provided in this report are outlined below:
There was no facility to extract information either by family or genera to species level where
the data could then be matched in a database and exported to the relevant tables.
Geographical distribution and habitat requirements were, in most cases, done on a species-
by-species basis. This meant searching the websites listed above was very time consuming
and not a practical way to extract information for thousands of species. The use of the Global
Biodiversity Information Facility (GBIF), where data can be extracted based on particular
criteria, e.g. kingdom, Country, Region, latitude/longitude, was of great assistance in
determining geographical distributions. However, it did not provide habitat information and
the geographical distributions provided could have underestimated the distribution. In all
cases where habitat information is listed in a table, the data was extracted from various web
based sources. In the tables where only geographical distribution (no vegetation type) is
provided, the information was sourced from GBIF and the location information for a species
may be incomplete.
Families where information for both geographical distribution and vegetation type were
available and assessed were: Myrtaceae (57% complete), Fabaceae, Proteaceae, Orchidaceae,
Mimosaceae, Caesalpiniaceae, Casuarinaceae, Aizoaceae and Asteliaceae. The remaining
families used only the data available from GBIF and could be assessed if greater time were
available for this task.
The “Area (km
)” column in the tables was calculated from the number of 10 km by 10 km
understate or overstate the true area occupied by a species.
In some instances species with fewer than 30 records in the ANHAT database is an artefact
of taxonomic and nomenclatural changes that have not been updated in ANHAT.
Information on distribution or vegetation type for some species with greater than 30 records
was not available in the websites due to these changes. A taxonomic and nomenclatural
review of the records held in ANHAT would remove some of these records from the report
or could change the tables in which they are recorded.
Coastal heath lands in
Sub Alpine Herbfield
Wet areas (swamps,
threatened status codes.
not listed under the EPBC Act
E longitude in the east and 30
latitude in the south and 20
S latitude in the north.
E longitude) in the east and 30
S in the north.
S latitude in the south and Northern
S latitude in the north and by 120
longitude in the west, 30
S latitude in the south and by
Northern Territory/Western Australian border (approx
E longitude) in the east.
Bound by Northern Territory/Western Australian border
E longitude) in the west, 141
longitude in the east (in line with NSW/South
S latitude in the
in the east (NSW/South Australian border) in the east,
S latitude in the north and 30
S latitude in
in the east (NSW/South Australian border) in the east
S latitude in the south.
E longitude in the west (in line with
E longitude in the west and 20
latitude in the north and 34
S latitude (approx Sydney)
in the south.
E longitude in
S latitude in the north and 34
latitude (approx Sydney) in the south.
Bound by 141
E longitude in the west
The findings obtained for each of the 50 most speciose vascular plant families in
Australia are presented separately.
The ANHAT database has 786448 records for 2253 species and subspecies of
Myrtaceae. Due to time limitations, review of taxonomic and nomenclatural changes
of the species in ANHAT was not performed.
One species of Myrtaceae is considered extinct and therefore excluded from analysis.
This species is presented in Table 6.
One hundred and forty-six species account for approximately 50% of the total species
and, in the case of the Messmate (Eucalyptus obliqua), over 13000 records.
records in ANHAT.
ANHAT database (Table 8). Of those species, 45 are listed as threatened (including
25 species classified as endangered). These species have been excluded from analysis
but are included here for reference. This paucity of records means that it is not
possible to provide accurate broad locations for some of the species. The species with
information available are spread across Australia, however, there is an indication that
a species in this category is more likely to be found in Western Australia than other
parts of Australia. In addition, and not surprisingly, these species tend to have only
small recorded distributional areas, mostly less than 1000 km
. Exclusion of these