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Issues

Condition
    Threatening Processes
      Responses

        At a glance

        Grassy Woodland on Tinderbox Ridge

        The issue

        The term biological diversity or biodiversity refers to the variety of life of earth-plants, animals, micro-organisms-as well as the variety of genetic material they contain and of the ecological systems in which they occur (NLWRA 2001). This Issue Report provides a summary of biodiversity condition and trends for Tasmanian bioregions.

        A Tasmania-wide assessment of biodiversity health has been completed as part of the Australian Natural Resources Atlas (Audit) Australia-wide Assessment of Biodiversity (Gouldthorpe & Gilfedder 2002). The aim of the Audit's Biodiversity Assessment has been to comprehensively and consistently assess key elements of terrestrial biodiversity, to determine the condition and trend of biodiversity and to nominate nature conservation options. The Audit's Biodiversity Assessment includes summary reports for each bioregion. It also includes the bioregional results for Tasmania of the Landscape Health report of the Audit assessed on a scale from 1 to 6 (1 is most stressed, 6 is least stressed).

        This 'At a glance' section provides an overview of the issue of biodiversity health. More detailed information and references are available in the Biodiversity Health Issue Report. The complete report on Biodiversity Condition for each of the Tasmanian bioregions is available through the Australian Natural Resources Atlas. A Tasmanian Northern Midlands Bioregion Case Study is also available from the Audit (Gouldthorpe and Gilfedder 2002).

        Recommendations relevant to biodiversity health include: Threatened Species and Ecological Communities, Native Vegetation, and Conservation and Reservation.

        Favourable news

        The completion of the Tasmanian component of biodiversity health as part of the National Land and Water Resources Audit (Audit) Australia-wide Assessment of Biodiversity is a key response in identifying conservation priorities. The following generally favourable bioregional assessments were reported for Tasmania from the Biodiversity Assessment (Gouldthorpe & Gilfedder 2002):

        • The West (see bioregional map below), Central Highlands and Southern Ranges Bioregions are generally in good condition with static trends and continental landscape stress class 6 as assessed by the Landscape Health report of the Audit.
           
        • Ben Lomond is also in good condition overall, but declining in trend. The region is continental landscape stress class 6.
           

        Unfavourable news

        The following generally less favourable assessments were reported for Tasmania from the Biodiversity Assessment (Gouldthorpe & Gilfedder 2002):

        • The Northern Midlands is generally in degraded condition but declining and is continental landscape stress class 1.
           
        • The South East is generally in fair condition but declining, with continental landscape stress class 3.
           
        • The Northern Slopes is generally in fair condition but declining with continental landscape stress class 4.
           
        • Flinders is in fair condition with declining trend. The Victorian and Tasmanian subregions within Flinders are continental stress classes 6 and 4 respectively.
           
        • King is generally in fair condition but declining, with continental landscape stress class 5.
           

        Uncertain news

        • The Biodiversity Assessment for the Audit used a mix of quantitative analysis and expert opinion.
           
        • The absence of a subregionalisation within bioregions limits appropriate assessment of representativeness in relation to the CAR criteria (comprehensiveness, adequacy, and representativeness) (Gouldthorpe & Gilfedder 2002).
           
        • At this stage, there is only limited mapping of vegetation condition in Tasmania.
           

        Interim biogeographic regionalisation of Australia (IBRA 5)

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        Last Modified: 14 Dec 2006
        URL: http://soer.justice.tas.gov.au/2003/bio/4/issue/57/ataglance.php
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