Key Threatening Process Nomination Form For adding a threatening process under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (epbc act)



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Nomination for listing the Degradation of listed species & communities by urban and semi-urban & other development as a key threatening process under the epbc Act


CONTENTS

Application Page 2

Appendix A. Extracts on the nature of the threat nominated 14

Appendix B. Extracts from National Recovery Plans 26

Appendix C. Issues related to threats. 37

Appendix D Extracts from “Threats to our water environments” 2005 43

Appendix E Urban impact buffer distances 47


Key Threatening Process Nomination Form - For adding a threatening process under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act)


Nominated threatening process – summary of eligibility


6. Name of threatening process

Ecosystem degradation, habitat loss and species decline due to urban, semi-urban, industrial & other similar development (e.g. infrastructure development) and subsequent human occupation affecting nationally critically endangered, endangered or vulnerable species or ecological communities or those likely to become so.


7. Criteria under which the threatening process is eligible for listing

Identify which criteria the threatening process meets (one or more). Please note that the information you provide in this nomination form should support your claim. For further details on the criteria, please refer to Part A of the Threatened Species Scientific Committee guidelines attached to this form.



Criterion A - Evidence that the threatening process could cause a native species or ecological community to become eligible for listing in any category, other than conservation dependant.


Criterion B - Evidence that the threatening process could cause a listed threatened species or ecological community to become eligible for listing in another category representing a higher degree of endangerment.

Criterion C - Evidence that the threatening process adversely affects two or more listed threatened species (other than conservation dependant species) or two or more listed threatened ecological communities.




Section 1 - Name and Description

Conservation Theme

1. The conservation themes for the assessment period commencing 1 October 2010 (for which nominations close 25 March 2010) are ‘heathlands and mallee woodlands’, and ‘terrestrial, estuarine and near–shore environments of Australia’s coast’.
How does this nomination relate to the conservation themes?


The types of development included in this nomination and their human occupation has been a major contributor to degradation of ‘heathlands and mallee woodlands’, and ‘terrestrial, estuarine and near–shore environments of Australia’s coast’ (carryover theme).


Name


2. Name of nominated threatening process. The name should accurately reflect the scope of the process based on the description and evidence provided in this form.

Ecosystem degradation, habitat loss and species decline due to urban, semi-urban, industrial & other similar development (e.g. infrastructure development) and subsequent human occupation affecting nationally critically endangered, endangered or vulnerable species or ecological communities or those likely to become so.


Description


3. Description of the threatening process that distinguishes it from any other threatening process, by reference to:

(i) its biological and non-biological components;

(ii) the processes by which those components interact (if known).


the threat.
Urban development invariably occurs on fertile soils on flats and gently undulating plains at lower elevations in other words areas that were formerly arable farmland. Constructing the farmland destroyed the (often lush) native vegetation present in these areas to such an extent that the ecosystems remaining and the species they contained became threatened. In some cases species or communities or both became extinct. Replacing farming with urban development compounds the problem. It not only displaces much of the remaining seriously degraded (and sometimes not) remnants of threatened ecosystems but when it occurs, without an adequate buffer zone, in close proximity to the better quality remnants, it poses an intolerable threat as we hope to show in the following. In addition fertile (especially basaltic clay) soils are usually much more unstable than infertile soils and do not provide good foundation for roads and buildings. Fertile soil may be required for farming but it is neither necessary nor desirable for urban development. Development can also degrade threatened aquatic communities and ecosystems and any threatened species they support.
Unlike land clearing per se the erection of houses and other buildings, fences, roadways, shopping centres, car parks etc presents an abnormal barrier to the movement (which, for example, encourages inbreeding) of fauna and the fertilization and propagation of flora. In this and other ways it isolates remnants protected by land clearing restrictions and may in fact negate this protection. Patch sizes may be too small to withstand diseases and may not survive insect attack if also too small to support viable populations of insectivorous fauna. It also has distinctive effects on air movement and micro climate as well as producing a number of effects described below.
Therefore the potentially threatening process we are nominating is the degradation of listed (or likely to be) species and communities by urban, semi-urban, industrial and related development (e.g. infrastructure development) in their vicinity.

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