Broad vegetation groups within protected areas

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Key finding

Queensland’s current remnant vegetation extent covers 80% of the state: 9% of this remnant vegetation is within protected areas. Protected areas are spread unevenly across the bioregions and the representation of the broad vegetation groups within the protected areas varies widely.

Queensland

Queensland’s current remnant vegetation extent covers 80% of the state: 9% of this remnant vegetation is within protected areas. Protected areas are distributed unevenly across the state’s bioregions. About 50% of protected areas are in the Cape York Peninsula bioregion (28%) and Channel Country bioregion (21%). The 11 other bioregions make up the remainder, unevenly, from the Brigalow Belt bioregion (9%) to the New England Tableland bioregion (0.2%). Similarly, the percentage of each bioregion in the protected areas varies with only five bioregions exceeding 10%, namely: Wet Tropics bioregion (63%), South East Queensland bioregion (31%), Cape York Peninsula bioregion (29%), Central Queensland Coast bioregion (17%) and New England Tableland bioregion (10%).

The representation of broad vegetation groups (BVGs) 1:5 million scale within protected areas varies widely. Only two BVGs at the 1:5 million scale have above 10% representation in protected areas across the state:

  • ‘Eucalypt woodlands to open forests (mainly Eastern)’ (BVG 3, 31%)
  • ‘Other acacia dominated open forests, woodlands and shrublands’ (BVG 10, 10%).

Other BVGs extent within protected areas varies from 9% to as low as 1%.

Brigalow Belt

The Brigalow Belt (BRB) bioregion remnant vegetation comprises 11% of Queensland’s total extent. Of the state’s remnant vegetation in protected areas, the BRB bioregion comprises 9%.

Broad vegetation groups (BVGs) with more than 10% of their bioregional extent protected are:

  • ‘Wet eucalypt open forests’ (BVG 2, 72%)
  • ‘Rainforests, scrubs’ (BVG 1, 22%)
  • ‘Mangroves and saltmarshes’ (BVG 16, 15%)
  • ‘Other acacia dominated open forests, woodlands and shrublands’ (BVG 10, 12%).

Of all BVGs in protected areas within the bioregion, the largest proportions are:

  • ‘Eucalypt woodlands to open forests (mainly Eastern)’ (BVG 3) totalling 48% of all BVGs
  • ‘Other acacia dominated open forests, woodlands and shrublands’ (BVG 10) totalling 18% of all BVGs)
  • ‘Eucalypt dry woodlands on inland depositional plains’ (BVG 5) totalling 14% of all BVGs.

Cape York Peninsula

The Cape York Peninsula (CYP) bioregion remnant vegetation comprises 9% of Queensland’s total extent. Of the state’s remnant vegetation in protected areas, the CYP bioregion comprises 28%.

Most broad vegetation groups (BVGs) in the bioregion have more than 9% of their bioregional extent within protected areas with:

  • ‘Rainforests, scrubs’ (BVG 1, 41%)
  • ‘Other coastal communities or heaths’ (BVG 12, 37%)
  • ‘Eucalypt open forests to woodlands on floodplains’ (BVG 4, 36%).

Of all BVGs in protected areas within the bioregion, the largest proportions are:

  • ‘Eucalypt woodlands to open forests (mainly Eastern)’ (BVG 3) totalling 57% of all BVGs
  • ‘Melaleuca open woodlands on depositional plains’ (BVG 8) totalling 17% of all BVGs
  • ‘Other coastal communities or heaths’ (BVG 12) totalling 9% of all BVGs.

Central Queensland Coast

The Central Queensland Coast (CQC) bioregion remnant vegetation comprises 1% of Queensland’s total extent. Of the state’s remnant vegetation in protected areas, the CQC bioregion comprises 1%.

Broad vegetation groups (BVGs) with more than 10% of their bioregional extent in protected areas include:

  • ‘Wet eucalypt open forests’ (BVG 2, 64%)
  • ‘Other acacia dominated open forests, woodlands and shrublands’ (BVG 10, 44%)
  • ‘Tussock grasslands, forblands’ (BVG 13, 43%)
  • ‘Rainforests, scrubs’ (BVG 1, 42%).

‘Eucalypt open forests to woodlands on floodplains’ (BVG 4) have less than 1% representation in protected areas. ‘Eucalypt dry woodlands on inland depositional plains’ (BVG 5) are not represented.

Of all BVGs in protected areas within the bioregion, the largest proportions are:

  • ‘Rainforests, scrubs’ (BVG 1) totalling 42% of all BVGs
  • ‘Eucalypt woodlands to open forests (mainly Eastern)’ (BVG 3) totalling 30% of all BVGs.

Channel Country

The Channel Country (CHC) bioregion remnant vegetation comprises 17% of Queensland’s total extent. Of the state’s remnant vegetation in protected areas, the CHC bioregion comprises 21%.

Three broad vegetation groups (BVGs) have more than 10% of their bioregional extent in protected areas:

  • ‘Hummock grasslands’ (BVG 14, 30%)
  • ‘Other acacia dominated open forests, woodlands and shrublands’ (BVG 10, 16%)
  • ‘Eucalypt low open woodlands usually with spinifex understorey’ (BVG 6, 13%).

Of all BVGs in protected areas within the bioregion, the largest proportions are:

  • ‘Hummock grasslands’ (BVG 14) totalling 43% of all BVGs
  • ‘Other acacia dominated open forests, woodlands and shrublands’ (BVG 10) totalling 22% of all BVGs
  • ‘Tussock grasslands, forblands’ (BVG 13) totalling 18% of all BVGs.

Desert Uplands

The Desert Uplands (DEU) bioregion remnant vegetation comprises 4% of Queensland’s total extent. Of the state’s remnant vegetation in protected areas, the DEU bioregion comprises 2%.

Three broad vegetation groups (BVGs) have more than 10% of their bioregional extent in protected areas:

  • ‘Other coastal communities or heaths’ (BVG 12, 75%)
  • ‘Eucalypt woodlands to open forests (mainly Eastern)’ (BVG 3, 20%)
  • ‘Melaleuca open woodlands on depositional plains’ (BVG 8, 11%).

‘Hummock grasslands’ (BVG 14) and ‘Wetlands (swamps and lakes)’ (BVG 15) have below 1% representation in protected areas. ‘Callitris woodland-open forests’ (BVG 7), and ‘Acacia aneura (mulga) dominated open forests, woodlands and shrublands’ (BVG 9) have no representation.

Of all BVGs in protected areas within the bioregion, the largest proportions are:

  • ‘Eucalypt dry woodlands on inland depositional plains’ (BVG 5) totalling 34% of all BVGs
  • ‘Other acacia dominated open forests, woodlands and shrublands’ (BVG 10) totalling 28% of all BVGs
  • ‘Eucalypt woodlands to open forests (mainly Eastern)’ (BVG 3) totalling 24% of all BVGs.

Einasleigh Uplands

The Einasleigh Uplands (EIU) bioregion remnant vegetation comprises 8% of Queensland’s total extent. Of the state’s remnant vegetation in protected areas, the EIU bioregion comprises 4%.

Two broad vegetation groups (BVGs) have more than 10% of their bioregional extent in protected areas:

  • ‘Rainforests, scrubs’ (BVG 1, 50%)
  • ‘Other coastal communities or heaths’ (BVG 12, 15%) at 15%.

‘Wet eucalypt open forests’ (BVG 2) have no representation in protected areas.

Of all BVGs in protected areas within the bioregion, the largest proportions are:

  • ‘Eucalypt woodlands to open forests (mainly Eastern)’ (BVG 3) totalling 62% of all BVGs
  • ‘Rainforests, scrubs’ (BVG 1) totalling 14% of all BVGs.

Gulf Plains

The Gulf Plains (GUP) bioregion remnant vegetation comprises 16% of Queensland’s total extent. Of the state’s remnant vegetation in protected areas, the GUP bioregion comprises 7%.

‘Rainforests, scrubs’ (BVG 1) is the only broad vegetation group (BVG) with more than 10% of its bioregional extent in protected areas, with 22% protected.

Of all BVGs in protected areas within the bioregion, the largest proportions are:

  • ‘Melaleuca open woodlands on depositional plains’ (BVG 8) totalling 33% of all BVGs
  • ‘Eucalypt open forests to woodlands on floodplains’ (BVG 4) totalling 20% of all BVGs
  • ‘Eucalypt woodlands to open forests (mainly Eastern)’ (BVG 3) totalling 19% of all BVGs.

Mitchell Grass Downs

The Mitchell Grass Downs (MGD) bioregion remnant vegetation comprises 16% of Queensland’s total extent. Of the state’s remnant vegetation in protected areas, the MGD bioregion comprises 3%.

No broad vegetation groups (BVG) in the bioregion has more than 10% of their bioregional extent in protected areas.

The BVG with the highest representation in protected areas is:

  • ‘Wetlands (swamps and lakes)’ (BVG 15, 3.7%).

Of all BVGs in protected areas within the bioregion, the largest proportion is:

  • ‘Tussock grasslands, forblands’ (BVG 13) totalling 80% of all BVGs.

Mulga Lands

The Mulga Lands (MUL) bioregion remnant vegetation comprises 10% of Queensland’s total extent. Of the state’s remnant vegetation in protected areas, the MUL bioregion comprises 7%.

Two broad vegetation groups (BVGs) have more than 10% of their bioregional extent protected:

  • ‘Eucalypt low open woodlands usually with spinifex understorey’ (BVG 6, 71%)
  • ‘Wetlands (swamps and lakes)’ (BVG 15, 18%).

Of all BVGs in protected areas within the bioregion, the largest proportions are:

  • Acacia aneura (mulga) dominated open forests, woodlands and shrublands’ (BVG 9) totalling 45% of all BVGs
  • ‘Other acacia dominated open forests, woodlands and shrublands’ (BVG 10) totalling 36% of all BVGs.

New England Tableland

The New England Tableland (NET) bioregion remnant vegetation comprises 0.2% of Queensland’s total extent. Of the state’s remnant vegetation in protected areas, the NET bioregion comprises 0.2%.

Broad vegetation groups (BVGs) with more than 40% of their bioregional extent in protected areas include:

  • ‘Wetlands (swamps and lakes)’ (BVG 15, 96%)
  • ‘Wet eucalypt open forests’ (BVG 2, 50%)
  • ‘Other coastal communities or heaths’ (BVG 12, 44%).

‘Eucalypt open forests to woodlands on floodplains’ (BVG 4) has the lowest representation (6%) in protected areas.

Of all BVGs in protected areas within the bioregion, the largest proportions are:

  • ‘Eucalypt woodlands to open forests (mainly Eastern)’ (BVG 3) totalling 63% of all BVGs
  • ‘Eucalypt dry woodlands on inland depositional plains’ (BVG 5) totalling 27% of all BVGs.

Northwest Highlands

The Northwest Highlands (NWH) bioregion remnant vegetation comprises 5% of Queensland’s total extent. Of the state’s remnant vegetation in protected areas, the NWH bioregion comprises 3%.

Three broad vegetation groups (BVGs) have more than 10% of their bioregional extent in protected areas:

  • ‘Wetlands (swamps and lakes)’ (BVG 15, 46%)
  • ‘Mixed species woodlands - open woodlands (inland bioregions) includes wooded downs’ (BVG 11, 16%)
  • ‘Eucalypt woodlands to open forests (mainly Eastern)’ (BVG 3, 16%).

Of all BVGs in protected areas within the bioregion, the largest proportions are:

  • ‘Eucalypt low open woodlands usually with spinifex understorey’ (BVG 6) totalling 67% of all BVGs
  • ‘Mixed species woodlands – open woodlands, includes wooded owns’ (BVG 11) totalling 22% of all BVGs.

Southeast Queensland

The South East Queensland (SEQ) bioregion remnant vegetation comprises 2% of Queensland’s total extent. Of the state’s remnant vegetation in protected areas, the SEQ bioregion comprises 7%.

Broad vegetation groups (BVGs) with the largest representation in protected areas include:

  • ‘Other coastal communities or heaths’ (BVG 12, 75%)
  • ‘Tussock grasslands, forblands’ (BVG 13, 70%)
  • ‘Other acacia dominated open forests, woodlands and shrublands’ (BVG 10, 73%).

‘Eucalypt open forests to woodlands on floodplains’ (BVG 4) have the lowest representation in protected areas at just 7%.

Of all BVGs in protected areas within the bioregion, the largest proportions are:

  • ‘Eucalypt woodlands to open forests (mainly Eastern)’ (BVG 3) totalling 50% of all BVGs
  • ‘Rainforests, scrubs’ (BVG 1) totalling 15% of all BVGs
  • ‘Other coastal communities or heaths’ (BVG 12) totalling 15% of all BVGs.

Wet Tropics

The Wet Tropics (WET) bioregion’s remnant vegetation comprises 1% of Queensland’s total extent. Of the state’s remnant vegetation in protected areas, the WET bioregion comprises 8%.

The majority of broad vegetation groups (BVGs) in the bioregion have more than 10% of their bioregional extent in protected areas, with ‘Rainforests, scrubs’ the highest (BVG 1) at 82% and ‘Eucalypt dry woodlands on inland depositional plains’ (BVG 5) at 2% the lowest.

Of all BVGs in protected areas within the bioregion, the largest proportions are:

  • ‘Rainforests, scrubs’ (BVG 1) totalling 60% of all BVGs
  • ‘Eucalypt woodlands to open forests (mainly Eastern)’ (BVG 3) totalling 27% of all BVGs.

More information:

Indicator: Extent of broad vegetation groups, overall and within protected areas

Extent of Regional Ecosystems  5 million scale Broad Vegetation Groups within protected areas. Data is based on the latest Regional Ecosystems mapping (version 9, 2013) and Nature Conservation Act 1992 protected areas mapping, including Nature refuges.

Download data from Queensland Government data