Threatened flora species numbers

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Key finding

The number of flora species listed as threatened (‘vulnerable’, ‘endangered’ or ‘extinct in the wild’) in Queensland increased by 275 between 2007 and 2015. Four flora species have been removed from the ‘extinct in the wild’ status.

In Queensland, threatened species are listed under the Nature Conservation Act 1992 (NCA) in the categories ‘vulnerable’, ‘endangered’ and ‘extinct in the wild’. Species at risk of becoming threatened in the near future are listed as ‘near threatened’.

Comparison of species numbers between 2007 and 2015 show that:

  • total number of threatened flora has increased by 275 (‘vulnerable’ by 210 and ‘endangered’ by 69)
  • ‘extinct in the wild’ flora have reduced by four due to the discovery of existing populations
  • an increase in threatened species in all flora groups except algae
  • ‘near threatened’ flora reduced by 230 species between 2011 and 2015.

Although angiosperms (flowering plants) have the highest number of threatened species (649 species), threatened gymnosperms (seed-producing plants i.e. conifers and cycads) (23 species) and pteridophytes (spore-producing plants i.e. ferns and fern allies) (56 species) represent significant percentages of the total number of species in their taxonomic group at 24% and 10% respectively.

All ‘rare’ species were initially reclassified to ‘near threatened’ when the overall classifications were aligned with the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) listing categories. These species were subsequently reviewed to determine which of the categories most adequately describe their status. This process, which incorporates updated information on species and their threats, is likely to explain the reduction in the number of ‘near threatened’ fauna with species either re-categorised as ‘least concern’ or to a threatened status.

The increase in numbers of flora in the vulnerable and endangered categories indicates that despite recovery efforts by Queensland state and local governments and by many non-government organisations, threatened flora continue to be impacted by threats that place them at risk of extinction.

Indicator: Total number of flora species, and proportion listed as threatened and extinct

Count of threatened flora species' conservation status, comparing between 2007, 2011 and 2015. Categorised into flora groups including: Flowering plants, Cycads and conifers, Ferns, club mosses and whisky ferns and Algae. Data current as at September 2015.

Download data from Queensland Government data