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


Section 3 – Threat Abatement Plan



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Section 3 – Threat Abatement Plan

Threat Abatement





10. Give an overview of how threats posed by this process are being abated by current (or proposed) activities. Identify who is undertaking these activities and how successful the activities have been to date.



11. Would the development of a threat abatement plan be a feasible, effective and efficient way to abate the process? What other measures could be undertaken?

We are told that fertile land is scarce. Conversely, there is no shortage of marginal farmland around most Australian cities and towns, marginal farmland suitable for residential development, where there are no EPBC listed (or likely to be) vegetation communities or habitat for EPBC listed (or likely to be) species. There is therefore no need to develop in or near EPBC listed vegetation communities (or habitat for EPBC listed species). Buffer zones, between these areas and the nearest development, could be easily made to occupy great distances perhaps many kilometers negating any potential threat.
The cost of developing infertile areas is of the same order as developing arable farmland. The fertile soils of arable farmland, particularly the rich basaltic clays, are unstable and unsuitable for foundations. Flat, fertile areas are also usually prone to local inundation if not stream flooding. "In total, only a small area of the country has soils with the valuable characteristics of being deep and well drained with high fertility and high water holding capacity" (Sinclair 1999).
Marginal farmland is usually "land with a view" occurring on the upper slopes of undulating landscape remote from waterways and where drainage is invariably excellent. Infertile soil tends to be shallow and the subsoil quite stable and well suited to foundations. Historically the clearing of native vegetation in infertile areas occurred much less than fertile areas. Most vegetation communities associated with infertile areas are abundant, well reserved and not threatened.
At the very least consideration of alternatives to developing where there is listed vegetation (and habitat for listed species) should be a requirement and those alternatives a first choice rather than a last choice given that there are no obvious widespread social, economic or environmental factors inhibiting their use. Such a strategy for threat abatement would seem to align with the Convention on Biological Diversity and should be necessary before land is rezoned.


12. Should the threatening process be recommended for listing under the EPBC Act, what elements could a threat abatement plan include?




13. Is there other information that relates to threat abatement that you would like to provide?

Development is a necessary part of our existence and the degradation to the environment it causes cannot be eliminated. It is important to ensure it is sufficiently remote from threatened communities to be of little risk and where vegetation has to be sacrificed it should not be listed communities even if the remnants are degraded. All remnants of listed communities (especially those critically endangered) are important. Restoration of such remnants must be part of any strategy to arrest their decline and ensure the overall long term viability of threatened ecosystems. The issues justifying this nomination together with the extent and nature of the degradation caused by urban and related development described above would seem to strongly support the proposition that the degradation of listed (threatened) communities by urban, semi-urban, industrial and related development (e.g. infrastructure development) in their vicinity requires strong measures to stop that development from occurring. Appendix E sets out some information on buffer distances that may need to be specified. It is raw data and does not include any factor of safety.





Major Studies


14. Identify major studies that might assist in the assessment of the nominated threatening process.




Section 3 – References and Reviewers



Notes:

  • The opinion of appropriate scientific experts may be cited (with their approval) in support of a nomination. If this is done the names of the experts, their qualifications and full contact details must also be provided in the reference list below.

  • Please provide copies of key documentation/references used in the nomination.




15. Reference list

  1. Ives C et al (2010). New directions in urban biodiversity conservation: the role of science and its interaction with local environmental policy. Environmental Planning and Law Journal 27(4): 249-271



  1. Ives C et al (2010). The influence of riparian corridor width on ant and plant assemblages in northern Sydney, Australia. Urban Ecosystems Volume 14, Number 1, 1-16, DOI 10.1007/s11252-010-0141-8



  1. Taylor MP et al (2009). Legislative and policy challenges for the protection of biodiversity and bushland habitats: An evidence-based approach. Environmental Planning and Law Journal 26 : 35-48



  1. Ives C et al (2007). Ecological condition and biodiversity value of urban riparian and non-riparian bushland environments: Ku-ring-gai, Sydney. In Wilson, A.L., Dehaan, R.L., Watts, R.J., Bowmer, K.H. and Curtis, A. Proceedings of the 5th Australian Stream Management Conference. Australian Rivers: making a difference. Charles Sturt University, Thurgoona, New South Wales, pp. 163-168.



  1. Wright IA et al (2007). Aquatic macroinvertebrates in urban waterways: comparing ecosystem health in natural reference and urban streams. In Wilson, A.L., Dehaan, R.L., Watts, R.J., Bowmer, K.H. and Curtis, A. Proceedings of the 5th Australian Stream Management Conference. Australian Rivers: making a difference. Charles Sturt University, Thurgoona, New South Wales, pp. 467-472.



  1. Drinnan IN (2005). The search for fragmentation thresholds in a southern Sydney suburb. Biological Conservation Volume 124, Issue 3, August 2005, Pages 339-349



  1. Ives C et al (2005). How wide is wide enough? The relationship between riparian buffer width, condition and biodiversity: An assessment of urban creek systems in the Ku-ring-gai Local Government Area, North Sydney, NSW. In Khanna, N., Barton, D., Beale, D., Cornforth., R., Elmahdi, A., McRae, J., Seelsaen, N., Shalav, A. (Eds), Environmental Change: making it happen: 9th Annual Environmental Research Conference, 29th November to 2nd December 2005, Hobart, Tasmania.



  1. Brumm H (2004). The impact of environmental noise on song amplitude in a territorial bird. Journal of Animal Ecology (2004) 73, 434–440



  1. Chace JF & Walsh JJ (2004). Urban effects on native avifauna: a review. www.elsevier.com/locate/landurbplan



  1. Longcore T & Rich C (2004). Ecological light pollution. Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment 2(4): 191-198.



  1. Stenhouse RN (2004). Fragmentation and internal disturbance of native vegetation reserves in the Perth metropolitan area, Western Australia. Landscape and Urban Planning 68: 389-401.



  1. Wilkins SD et al (2003). Measuring success: Evaluating the restoration of a grassy eucalypt woodland on the Cumberland Plain, Sydney, Australia. Restoration Ecology 11(4): 489-503.



  1. Robinson NA & Marks CA (2001). Genetic structure and dispersal of red foxes (Vulpes vulpes) in suburban Melbourne. Australian Journal of Zoology 49: 589-601.



  1. De Molenaar JG et al (2000). Road illumination and nature III: Local influence of road lights on a black-tailed godwit (Limosa l. limosa) population. The Netherlands: Alterra, Wageningen.



  1. Sinclair IW (1999). Is there a Future for Australia’s Agricultural Land? RAPI National Congress Darwin 1999.



  1. Forman RTT & Alexander LE (1998). Roads and their major ecological effects. Annual Review of Ecology and Systematics Vol. 29: 207-231



  1. Pal SK et al (1998). Dispersal behaviour of free-ranging dogs (Canis familiaris) in relation to age, sex, season and dispersal distance. Applied Animal Behaviour and Science 61: 123-132.



  1. Sewell SR & Catterall CP (1998). Bushland modification and styles of urban development: their effects on birds in south-east Queensland. Wildlife Research 25: 41-63.


Appendix A. Extracts relating to the nature of the threat and its degrading effects.



"In 1991, a rare spider orchid was found on Chris and Vasi Kondouris' property in Kilsyth South. The 23 plants were the only known survivors of the species and in order to protect them the Kondourises were prevented from extending their house and driveway. But fragile and endangered Victorian orchids are not always treated so respectfully. About half of the state's 300 or so orchid species are threatened, with many surviving on a handful of sites or a single location. The degradation of native grassland, one of the most endangered vegetation types in southern Australia, has contributed to their demise. (About half the grasslands remaining around Melbourne have disappeared since 1985, prey to roads, housing, weeds and industrial developments.)
Now ecologists are concerned that Melbourne 2030, the State Government's urban development strategy, has no framework to protect the habitats of 120 endangered plants and animals. According to research by RMIT lecturer Sarah Bekessy and University of Melbourne research fellow Brendan Wintle, species living on the urban fringes, many in areas earmarked for housing over the next 30 years, include native orchids, the legless lizard, the orange-bellied parrot, the golden sun moth, the Eltham copper butterfly and the earless dragon. The ecologists support the aims of Melbourne 2030, which seeks to define the urban growth boundary and encourages higher density housing. But they say councils in Melbourne's outer areas that are responsible for managing biodiversity are ill-equipped to do so. They are also concerned that consultants are given only three weeks to conduct a biodiversity analysis for each corridor, which is not enough time. At present, "net gain" guidelines provide that in areas where land-clearing cannot be avoided, more trees are planted than cut down. But Dr Bekessy and Dr Wintle say the policy is untested.
Recently, the World Conservation Union announced its annual Red List of endangered species and warned that extinctions were occurring at up to 1000 times the natural rate. Victorians have a responsibility to the rare and vulnerable plants and animals that share the land with them. The ecologists have presented the State Government with an opportunity to correct an important oversight. They should not be ignored."

(Article in the Age "Protecting rare suburban species" December 22, 2004)

"The separation of the Australian continent from other landmasses following the gradual breakup of the Gondwana supercontinent about 140 million years ago, has provided the Australian flora and fauna a rare opportunity to evolve in isolation for at least the past 50 million years. Australia's numerous climactic zones and varied habitats have given rise to an enormous diversity of species. Many Australian species are unlike any other plants and animals elsewhere. A staggering 93% of Australian frogs, an astounding 89% of Australian reptiles, 85% of our flowering plants, 85% of our in-shore temperate zone fish and 84% of our terrestrial mammals are uniquely Australian and do not occur naturally anywhere else in the world (ABS 1996, SEAC 1996).
Species extinction has accelerated following European settlement. The last 200 years has seen a dramatic change in Australia's natural ecosystems. For instance, a wide range of exotic plants and animals were introduced, many of which have become weeds and destructive pests, causing widespread ecological problems at an unprecedented rate and scale. A third of all recorded world extinction of mammals this century have occurred in Australia. Moreover, there are more threatened species of amphibians and reptiles in Australia than in any other country.
The increase in population and the intense push for economic progress are two factors which have led to declines in biodiversity. The extensive clearing of land for development and poor land management practices, pollution of waterways, exploitation of natural resources, the impact of exotic and feral species, and commercial hunting by humans, are some of the major causes of natural habitat destruction and the subsequent demise of species. Many species of plants and animals have been driven to extinction by these forces, with many more threatened and endangered."
(http://www.abs.gov.au/Websitedbs/c311215.nsf/20564c23f3183fdaca25672100813ef1/bc7dc08a640751f8ca2569e70003c7f6!OpenDocument)

". . . and fragmentation of vegetation for urban and associated infrastructure development remain the main threats to lowland communities." (ACT State of the Environment Report 2003 Indicator: Ecological Communities).

"The more intensive forms . . . . which are generally irreversible, include . . . . urban growth.”
............Urbanisation places pressures on the natural biodiversity of an area. Urban sprawl into the bushland fringe causes the physical destruction of natural habitats, causes pollution (including nutrient enrichment), and introduces a range of animal and plant species, including predators such as cats and dogs. Such factors push back the boundary of the natural area, sometimes to the point where there is no longer enough area to support some elements of the biota.
The coastal zone in Tasmania has been particularly affected by urban development. Many wetlands have been drained and saltmarshes destroyed either directly by development, or indirectly through the alterations and contamination caused by run-off from such areas. Ribbon development along the shore, in particular, has seriously disrupted many ecologically important sea-to-land transitions which are essential for many species, including penguins, intertidal molluscs and crustaceans.
While urbanisation has not resulted in the extent of clearance that some other broad-scale land use activities have, Tasmania's larger urban areas are concentrated in areas containing vegetation types which have been substantially cleared, including: grasslands and grassy woodlands, coastal heathland, dry forests and wetlands......." (State of the Environment Tasmania 2005 Biodiversity Urban Growth).

"A variety of issues have threatened the fauna, vegetation and landscape of the park. These include ......... urbanisation and recreation impacts.
Urbanization
Residential development (abutting the park's boundaries) is the single greatest threat to the indigenous fauna and flora of Dandenong Ranges National Park." (Parks Victoria Dandenong Ranges National Park Page 32 Education Resource Kit Resource sheet 6 – Note: Although the ecosystems in the Dandenong Ranges National Park are not under threat of extinction this highlights the degradation caused by residential development).

"Residential development, especially in growth corridors, city fringes and holiday towns often involves the clearing of native vegetation.
Even so-called sensitive development poses risks to the integrity of remaining natural ecosystems. Habitat degradation occurs with the introduction of pest plants and animals. The construction of buildings and roads alters drainage patterns and soil structure, while altered nutrient levels from run-off and septic tanks can also cause other long term problems.
The smaller the untouched ecosystems and the greater the intensity of development around the edges, the faster these destructive elements can cause a loss of habitat quality.
In some coastal areas the degrading influence of residential development may also extend to nearby foreshore and marine ecosystems.
Some ecosystems, especially grasslands and heathlands, are changed significantly by inappropriate fire regimes. Conflicts between ecological burning requirements and the need to protect residential development within or adjacent to these areas are difficult to resolve.
Case study: Termeil Guesthouse on the NSW South Coast required cabins to be built in a remnant rainforest area.
Recognising that any development on the site would have some impact..........." (http://www.greenhouse.gov.au/yourhome/technical/fs51.htm - Comment: In the case of listed ecosystems we cannot afford the luxury of "some impact" since some of them are close to extinction. It is interesting to note the reference to the “smallness” of the untouched ecosystem. Usually the more threatened the ecosystem the smaller the remnants especially quality remnants.)

"The loss of native vegetation is widely regarded to be the single most significant threat to biodiversity.
...............Subdivision of land into small to medium-sized blocks for residential development poses a threat to conservation of native fauna in many municipalities. Large areas of native habitat are being divided, and reduced to isolated fragments, too small to sustain viable populations of native animals."

( From a feature article published in the Tasmanian Year Book, 2000 cat. no. 1301.6 http://www.abs.gov.au/Ausstats/abs@.nsf/90a12181d877a6a6ca2568b5007b861c/859875e0a9d1a38bca256c32002417b0!OpenDocument).

"Although the growth of cities and towns has only affected land cover over a small area (less than 0.1%) (SEE FOOTNOTE 4), it can have regional effects. Most of the urbanisation has occurred around the coast, sometimes in regions of high biodiversity, while future housing development in some areas may entail clearing endangered (now remnant) woodland communities such as the Cumberland Woodland around Sydney, now an endangered ecological community. (SEE FOOTNOTE 5)"

(Measuring Australia's Progress 2002 http://www.abs.gov.au/ausstats/abs@.nsf/0/1C36C09104A4765ACA256BDC001223FE?Open)

"The biodiversity value of remnant vegetation in the urban fringe is considered nationally significant, with over 40% of nationally listed threatened ecological communities6 and more than 50% of threatened species occurring in these areas."

(Newman et al. (2001) P13. Human Settlements Theme, Australia State of the Environment Report 2001. An independent report to the Commonwealth Minister for Environment, Department of Environment, Sport and Territories. CSIRO Publishing.)

"According to the Melbourne 2030 plan, Melbourne's Green Wedges, located outside the Urban Growth Boundary, are meant to ensure the permanent protection of critically important flora and fauna habitat in the greater Melbourne area. Unfortunately decision making and planning for urban fringe areas has been largely conducted in the absence of ecological knowledge. As a consequence we have little idea of whether the Urban Growth Boundary and Green Wedges guarantee biodiversity conservation in Melbourne. There are many areas of high biodiversity value in the identified urban fringe growth corridors, located within the Urban Growth Boundary.

The rapid growth of urban areas has resulted in the loss of native habitats and fragmentation of the landscape and urbanisation is now considered one the greatest threats to Australia's biodiversity. The biodiversity value of remnant areas in Australia is considered nationally and internationally significant, with over 40% of nationally listed threatened ecological communities and more than 50% of threatened species occurring in urban fringe areas."

(http://www.aius.org.au/indicators/casestudy.cfm?ThemeID=8&CaseStudyID=46&CaseStudies=true).

"Metropolitan Melbourne is rich in indigenous flora and fauna – a fact that more of us need to know and celebrate. Approximately 1800 native plant species and 432 native vertebrate species (45 mammals, 293 birds, 35 reptiles, 18 amphibians and 41 fish) were recorded between 1994 and 2004. The greater Port Phillip and Western Port Region of which metropolitan Melbourne is a part, is one of the most biologically diverse regions in Victoria with 1860 indigenous plant species, 616 indigenous vertebrate fauna species and thousands of invertebrate species...................
Over 180 years of urban development and agriculture has left Melbourne with almost one-third (32%) of its original vegetation (Indicator BD1, but more detail can be found in Bulletin 6). A preliminary estimate of native vegetation quality across the region suggests that 25% of this vegetation is in poor condition, 25 % in medium condition and 50% in good condition. These statistics give the impression that the remnant vegetation of the metropolitan area is in reasonable shape.
A very different picture emerges of Melbourne's remnant vegetation if you consider that around 70% of the remaining 32% is in the forest areas of the outer water catchments. That means that in the rest of the metropolitan area only 10% of the original vegetation remains. Also, the vegetation of the outer water catchments is generally in good condition, whereas most of the metropolitan remnants are in poor condition. The urban remnants are highly fragmented, damaged, riddled with weeds, impinged on by development and agriculture, and invaded by introduced animals. Our city's remnant vegetation is in need of help.................
Australia has the world's worst record of mammal extinctions – we have lost 10 of 144 marsupial species and 8 of 53 rodent species in the past 200 years. Some 5% of flowering plants, 23% of mammals, 9% of birds, 7% of reptiles, 16% of amphibians and 9% of freshwater fish are extinct, endangered or vulnerable.
When a species is 'threatened' it means that it is at risk of extinction.................
Melbourne is home to an incredibly large number of threatened species. There are 70 plant species (4% of indigenous plant species), 66 animal species (14% of indigenous vertebrates) and 10 ecological communities that are listed as threatened (Indicator BD4). The threatened fauna consists of 7 mammals (16% of indigenous mammals), 43 birds (15%), 4 reptiles (11%), 3 frogs (11%), 6 fish (25%) and 3 invertebrates. Some of the species found only in the Melbourne area are the Helmeted Honeyeater (see case study), Kilsyth South Spider-orchid (case study Bulletin 6) and the Sunshine Diuris (see case study). Complete lists can be found in Appendices B and C...............
In summary, there are now 149 Nationally, 288 State, 406 Regionally and 72 Locally significant sites of biodiversity significance recorded in the Port Phillip Region, of which approximately 79% are mapped." (http://www.aius.org.au/indicators/sectiontype.cfm?ThemeID=8&SectionTypeID=2&SectionTypes=true).

"Bushland remaining in the Sydney region is under threat from a broad array of pressures, including displacement by urban development and the effects of urban development on adjacent bushland. It is important to identify these threats in order to develop appropriate bushland management strategies.
A number of threats were identified by local councils in the SOE reports. These have been expanded from observation and from other reports (DOP 1991, NCC 1992 (a) & (b), Mather 1990, National Trust 1990, McLoughlin 1992, Urban Bushland Management 1992) to form a comprehensive list (see S 2.3.1 below). The major categories of threats to bushland are . . . . degradation, which occur on both publicly and privately owned land.
It is important to note that in relation to . . . . degradation, inadequate knowledge of the natural ecological values of bushland (including flora and fauna) invariably means that decisions on development and management of bushland are made without proper understanding of the impacts. Reference to the 'Precautionary Principle' is important in this context "where there are threats of serious or irreversible environmental damage, lack of full scientific certainty should not be used as a reason for postponing measures to prevent environmental damage". "
"2.3.1 . . .
The . . . incremental loss, fragmentation and isolation of bushland threatens biological diversity and the integrity of ecological process in remaining bushland, as well as causing local extinctions and loss of a variety of environmental and sociological values. Once bushland has been cleared for development, it may be impossible to return it to its natural state.
Clearing decreases the size of the remaining habitat available for animals and plants to survive, interact and reproduce, and severs interconnection to other bushland areas, decreasing the opportunity for genetic interchange and for re-establishment of species following events such as bushfires. Clearing and development of catchments results in the loss of vegetative cover and leaf litter which plays a crucial role in the protection of soils and water quality and in promoting infiltration of stormwater. Clearing disrupts natural drainage patterns, increases stormwater run-off and causes erosion of soils and siltation of adjacent land and of watercourses.
Historically, natural vegetation has been retained on land which was unsuitable for residential development and rural use, such as steeply sloping land and land with low fertility. This has resulted in disproportionate loss of vegetation types and of species previously occurring on floodplain areas and on rich agricultural soils ......... In addition, vegetation which was retained is often downslope or downstream of development and hence subject to greater degrading processes ..........

(i) Urban development and associated infrastructure
Clearing is most often undertaken for the purpose of urban development or for purposes ancillary to urban areas such as urban services (power, sewerage, water, gas, communications links), community clubs and sports areas, rubbish dumps, parking areas, roads and motorways and many others.

(ii) Urban consolidation
Loss of..... (native vegetation).... through subdivision, paved parking lots and roadways, medium and high density development of existing lots and intensification of single lot residential development for extensions, additional garages, swimming pools, tennis courts and landscaping also results in incremental loss of habitat and can eliminate important vegetation and wildlife corridors.

(iii) Stormwater management
Reconstruction of creeklines associated with urban development and flood mitigation can also result in loss of valuable remnant vegetation. Even degraded remnants along semi-natural creeklines can provide important habitat, particularly for birds, reptiles and amphibians.

(iv) Transport corridors
Linear developments such as motorways in particular, but also other roads, railways, pipelines and cleared electricity easements hinder movement of many animal species across previously intact bushland. The reduced areas of permeable surface and disturbance to existing drainage aggravates stormwater run-off problems.

(v)...... other purposes
....., for purposes such as keeping horses, growing palm trees, preference for large mown areas, bushfire protection, and occasionally to demonstrate to the consent authority that there is 'nothing significant' on the site.
Loss of bushland also occurs in an insidious way by encroachment of adjacent landowners onto bushland, particularly through deposition of fill, but also by extension of private gardens and through understorey mowing and clearing of trees for views.

2.3.2 Degradation
The second major threat to bushland is from degradation, which results from an extensive array of factors, most of which are related to adjacent urban development:
The processes of bushland degradation result in loss of native plant and animal diversity and undermine natural ecological processes. Bushland generally shows the greatest degradation where the area of the remnant is small or where the bushland is fragmented or the ratio of perimeter edge to area is high. Degradation generally coincides with streamlines and drainage lines, particularly those which carry urban stormwater run-off or which contain sewer overflow points. It is also most likely to be apparent at urban perimeter zones, particularly where the bushland is downslope of the area of urban development.
………….. For this reason, lack of management or mismanagement can be seen as an additional threat to bushland. Integration of management practices for adjacent areas of bushland is also important (for example the effectiveness of weed control or feral animal control will be greatly diminished if these species are not controlled on adjacent bushland).

(i) Weed invasion and urban stormwater runoff
The degrading process which is generally most apparent in bushland is weed invasion, usually accompanied by displacement of native plant species, changed fauna habitat and loss of diversity. A number of studies have shown the relationship between weed invasion and increased nutrients and soil moisture from stormwater run-off, as well as other chemical changes, particularly in soils derived from .......... sandstone (see Leishman 1990, Clements 1993, Wright et al 1993, Webb 1995).
Weed seeds and propagules are carried in stormwater or by wind or birds, or are deposited in the bush by people dumping garden refuse. Native species which are not local to the area, or exotic plant species may also be planted in bushland. Growth of weeds is favoured in areas of changed soil nutrient and moisture.
Disturbance at bushland margins, with increased light intensity and changed temperature regimes also favours weed growth, with resultant unfavourable change in plant and animal communities.

(ii) Diminished water quality and changed drainage
Water is an essential component of bushland ecosystems. Changes in drainage patterns and water quality can have major impacts on vegetation communities and fauna habitat, with associated loss and endangerment of species. Wetland communities are particularly vulnerable to water quality impacts. Water related impacts on bushland include:
Changed drainage patterns and water regimes (affecting microhabitats for flora and fauna), undesirable nutrient enhancement of run-off from garden fertiliser, unconsolidated blue metal, animal faeces, etc, pollution of streamlines, surface flow and ground water (particularly related to stormwater run-off - includes heavy metals, fluid hydrocarbons, grease, oil and tyre and break lining particles from cars, swimming pool overflows and general litter), chemical changes to water from gross pollutants (see Riley S. 1995), contamination of stormwater and streams from raw sewage due to designated discharge points, and location of sewage lines along creek lines, contamination by pesticides, herbicides and other toxic substances such as leachate from tips and by accidental spillage of hazardous chemicals into drainage systems, siltation and sedimentation of drainage lines and streams and associated loss of habitat for aquatic fauna, turbid water, with a high measure of suspended solids, gross interference with stream flow, such as damming, diversion or temporary removal of creek flow for major construction work, such as freeways and bridges, land reclamation and drainage of wetlands.

(iii) Impacts on soils
Human activities and stormwater run-off associated with urban development causes the following impacts:
Change in soil nutrients, changed soil conditions due to soil disturbance and introduction of soil from outside sources (eg for tip sites, construction of recreational facilities and roads), removal of topsoil or disturbance of soil structure, erosion (particularly along tracks which channel water and change drainage patterns, also in relation to use by riders of horses, bikes and trail bikes), siltation and sedimentation of soil surfaces, soil disturbance and compaction from construction works, including sewer and other pipe installation, track construction, etc; construction of fire trails and other roads results in destruction of vegetation and habitat, changed drainage, weed invasion, erosion, access for feral animals and access for inappropriate human activities.

(iv) Inappropriate fire management
Inappropriate fire regimes and lack of understanding of the cumulative effects of fire on natural systems leads to alteration of the composition and dominance of vegetation communities and ecosystems, resulting in loss of species diversity and predominance of fire adapted species. Ill considered hazard reduction burns can also contribute to increased fire frequency, weed invasion, soil erosion and unnecessary air pollution.

(v) Specific fauna impacts / introduced animals
Introduced species such as foxes, cats, dogs, rabbits, indian mynahs, domestic hens, and the european wasp and honeybee compete for resources and hunt or predate on and displace native animal species.
Stress, habitat loss, water pollution and introduction of new diseases impact on the health of fauna populations.
Chemicals in our environment impact on fauna in ways which are poorly researched and which often go overlooked, eg, recent deaths of Tawny frogmouths associated with high blood levels of organochlorines (Wildlife Information and Rescue Service, 1995).
Linear developments such as roads separate fauna populations, cut through home ranges and increase risk of road kills.
Fauna residing in bushland areas are not restricted by bushland boundaries and are subject to a wide range of injury and accidental death from human made alterations to their environment, such as electrocution on electricity lines, drowning in swimming pools, starving to death with heads stuck in aluminium cans, etc. Well intentioned human activities such as feeding birds or garden design which promotes the survival of some animal species at the expense of others can also adversely affect natural processes and species survival.

(vi) Direct human interference
Undesirable human impacts include:
Dumping of garden refuse and other rubbish including cars, removal of plants and soil, removal of animals for private collection or sale, disturbance of habitat by collection of firewood and bushrock, trampling of vegetation, track formation, inappropriate vehicular use, destructive play and vandalism, arson , mowing of the understorey, bushland regeneration/restoration work which is carried out without guidance from trained bush regenerators or which does not take into account habitat values of degraded areas, such as lantana infestation which protects bandicoot colonies, Tradescantia albiflora providing habitat for the Gully Skink, old cars and sheets of tin providing habitat for herpetofauna."

(Urban Bushland Under Threat: Review of Urban Bushland & Recommendations for its Protection, May 1996 The Nature Conservation Council of NSW).

"In fragmented landscapes, wildlife need to move between habitat patches to exchange genes, increase the size of declining populations and recolonise areas where animals have become extinct. For many species, roads may act as barriers that prevent or limit dispersal, potentially isolating some habitats and populations. The disruption to normal movement patterns and behaviour may increase the risk of mortality, as well as threatening populations and species with extinction. Roads are clearly critical to the social and economic health of all Australians. However, conflict often arises in ................. areas where the cumulative effect of numerous relatively minor roads (e.g. in areas of high road density such as urban or urban-rural fringe areas) exceeds threshold levels." ("Ecological effects of roads and traffic on flora, fauna and ecological processes", R. van der Ree, ARCUE)

The following is an extract from Natural Heritage Trust Annual Report 2002-03 Chapter 4: Regional Partnerships (continued) Victoria (continued) Regional summaries (continued) Port Phillip:


"The largest proportion of funding supported native vegetation, which is continually under threat from an expanding population and the pressures of urban and industrial development."

The following is taken from Victorian FFG nomination No. 706 (p. 20)


"Development of low lying areas necessitates changes to the hydrology to improve drainage and prevent local flooding which in turn ensures the demise of the River Red Gum trees. This is not just a lack of understanding but is essential to make these areas liveable. The effect of development on River Red Gum trees is evident in other areas where nearby development has occurred, for example, at Lindenhurst to the Southeast of Melbourne. Necessary changes to hydrology is just one of many threats posed by nearby development. In Beardsell C., 1997 Sites of Faunal and Habitat Significance in North East Melbourne, NEROC vol 1, p.182 (Issue 1: Habitat destruction, modification or fragmentation) Beardsell notes:
"Urban Issues: residential advance into bushland (this includes issues of weed and vermin invasions, habitat fragmentation, water pollution and disturbance.""

These threats are further illustrated by the following extract again from Victorian FFG nomination 706.


"Trying to protect biodiversity within a residential development of this size is impossible. Human habitat of this intensity and the natural habitat are uneasy bed partners. We have a cosmetic view of the environment. We like kangaroos, koalas (possums are cute too) and trees; kangaroos as long as they do not make a nuisance of themselves, koalas and possums provided they do not urinate or occupy our roof space. We like trees to look at provided they do not drop their limbs or leaves (which must be cleaned up at every opportunity). We put protective fences around heritage trees that only help to further isolate them. We don't like snakes, spiders, and insects of any kind, birds that screech, dig up our gardens, or attack fruit trees. We don't like the untidiness of bush or the messiness of native animals (for example wombats defecating on our pathways).
We are careless with poison bait and raptors and owls eat poisoned rodents. We pollute the atmosphere with insect sprays, building and other chemicals, garden pesticides, herbicides and exhaust fumes in large doses. We transport pests and diseases from one place to another on earth moving equipment and motor vehicles; with the help of our pets we trample the vegetation and compact the soil; our pets chase and sometimes kill the fauna; we disturb the invertebrates, bats and nesting birds in fact the whole ecosystem. We are scared of fire and will not allow the burning necessary to kill pests and diseases and to help regenerate a balanced ecosystem. We alter the microclimate by changing the air movement, heating our houses, by the general bulk of buildings and we increase the amount of electromagnetic (at all frequencies) and sonic (noise) radiation and we dramatically change the hydrology. We plant species in our parks and gardens that crossbreed with natives and produce genetically different hybrids.
"How can we expect natural ecosystems to survive? If they do, it is as unnatural ecosystems. Only the species that can tolerate close contact with human habitat survive; magpies, crows, native miners, possums and common types of vegetation none of which are threatened or likely to become extinct or truly represent the original ecosystems and the biodiversity thereof."



Table 3










Table 7













BROAD VEG. TYPES

Original vegetation (ha)

Existing vegetation (ha)

Proportion Remaining (%)

Area reserved (ha)

Proportion original reserved (%)

Proportion of total reservation (%)

Cumulative proportion (%)

Conservation status

Valley Grassy Forest

28,891

274

<1

131

<1

0.09

0.09

Endangered

Grassland

204,724

6,137

3

780

<1

0.52

0.61

Endangered

Riverine Grassy Woodland

5,128

213

4

1

0

0

0.62

Endangered

Plains Grassy Woodland

176,091

8,351

5

501

<1

0.34

0.95

Endangered

Riparian Forest

26,621

1,308

5

214

<1

0.14

1.10

Endangered

Box Ironbark Forest

6,246

314

5

81

1

0.05

1.15

Endangered

Swamp Scrub

26,696

1,456

5

509

2

0.34

1.49

Endangered

Montane Grassy Woodland

125

7

6

0

0

0

1.49

Endangered

Lowland Forest

93,973

7,150

8

1,089

1

0.73

2.23

Endangered

Coastal Scrubs and Grasslands

35,054

4,436

13

1,912

5

1.29

3.51

Threatened

Coastal Grassy Woodland

33,549

5,175

15

1,626

5

1.09

4.61

Threatened

Montane Dry Woodland

847

184

22

11

1

0.01

4.61

Threatened

Heathy Woodland

44,017

13,578

31

9,126

21

6.14

10.75

Not threatened

Heath

26,213

8,123

31

2,168

8

1.46

12.21

Not threatened

Dry Foothill Forest

278,718

123,502

44

35,785

13

24.07

36.28

Not threatened

Herb-rich Woodland

6,688

3334

50

822

12

0.55

36.84

Not threatened

Moist Foothill Forest

266,236

179,916

68

82,127

31

55.25

92.08

Not threatened

Montane Moist Forest

11,308

11,304

100

9,993

88

6.72

98.81

Not threatened

Unknown

6,647

2,066




1,582




1.06

99.87




Undefined

0

2,344




196




0.13

100




TOTAL

1,277,773

379,171

30

148,654

12

100








Table a. Broad vegetation types in reserves in the gREATER mELBOURNE aREA (Port Phillip & Westernport Catchment).

(Source: PP&W Draft Native Veg Plan August 2000 – Vic Govt.)

Appendix B. EXTRACTS FROM National Recovery Plans IDENTIFYING THE nominated THREAT.


Kataloq: system -> files -> pages -> 87ef6ac7-da62-4a45-90ec-0d473863f3e6 -> files
pages -> Greater Blue Mountains World Heritage Area Values Study in the Cessnock Local Government Area and Surrounds
pages -> Wildlife Trade Operation proposal Harvest and export of native wildlife. Introduction
pages -> Draft banksia Woodlands of the Swan Coastal Plain – Draft description and threats
pages -> This summary has been produced by the Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water
pages -> This summary has been produced by the Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water
pages -> Appendix b – additional information about the ecological community
pages -> Focusing on the Landscape Biodiversity in Australia’s National Reserve System
pages -> Verticordia harveyi (Autumn Featherflower) Advice Page 1 of 4 Advice to the Minister for the Environment and Heritage from the Threatened Species Scientific Committee
pages -> Consultation Document on Listing Eligibility and Conservation Actions
files -> Section 1 Name and Description

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