print terrestrial ecosystems

Broad vegetation groups within protected areas

Key finding

Queensland’s 2015 remnant vegetation extent covers 80% of the state: 9.6% of this remnant vegetation is within protected areas (national parks and nature refuges). 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 2015 remnant vegetation extent covers 80% of the state: 9.6% of this remnant vegetation is within protected areas.

About half of protected areas are in the Cape York Peninsula bioregion (27%) and Channel Country (20%). The 11 other bioregions make up the remainder, unevenly, from the Brigalow Belt (9%) to the New England Tableland (0.2%).

Similarly, the percentage of each bioregion in the protected areas varies with only five bioregions exceeding 10%:

  • Wet Tropics (63%)
  • Southeast Queensland (31%)
  • Cape York Peninsula (29.7%)
  • Central Queensland Coast (17.7%)
  • New England Tableland (11.2%).

The representation of broad vegetation groups (BVGs) 1:5 million scale within protected areas varies widely. Eight BVGs at the 1:5 million scale have above 10% representation in protected areas across the state.  ‘Mangroves and tidal saltmarshes’ (BVG 16) and ‘Rainforests, scrubs’ (BVG 1) have the highest percentage of their remnant areas within protected area, at 60% and 56% respectively in 2015.

The extent of other BVGs within protected areas varies to as low as 3%.

Brigalow Belt

The Brigalow Belt (BRB) bioregion remnant vegetation comprises 11% of Queensland’s total remnant vegetation 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 remnant 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%).

The most dominant BVGs in this bioregion’s protected areas 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), 18%
  • ‘Eucalypt dry woodlands on inland depositional plains’ (BVG 5), 14%.

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 27%.

All broad vegetation groups (BVGs) in the bioregion have more than 10% of their bioregional remnant extent within protected areas with:

  • ‘Rainforests, scrubs’ (BVG 1, 44%)
  • ‘Other coastal communities or heaths’ (BVG 12, 37%)
  • ‘Eucalypt open forests to woodlands on floodplains’ (BVG 4, 38%).

The most dominant BVGs in this bioregion’s protected areas are:

  • ‘Eucalypt woodlands to open forests (mainly Eastern)’ (BVG 3) totalling 54.2% of all BVGs
  • ‘Melaleuca open woodlands on depositional plains’ (BVG 8), 18%
  • ‘Other coastal communities or heaths’ (BVG 12), 9%.

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 also 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, 44%)
  • ‘Rainforests, scrubs’ (BVG 1, 44%).

‘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.

The most dominant BVGs in this in protected areas within the bioregion are:

  • ‘Rainforests, scrubs’ (BVG 1) totalling 47% of all BVGs
  • ‘Eucalypt woodlands to open forests (mainly Eastern)’ (BVG 3), 30%.

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 20%.

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

  • ‘Hummock grasslands’ (BVG 14, 28%)
  • ‘Other acacia dominated open forests, woodlands and shrublands’ (BVG 10, 17%)
  • ‘Eucalypt low open woodlands usually with spinifex understorey’ (BVG 6, 12%).

The most dominant BVGs in this bioregion’s protected areas are:

  • ‘Hummock grasslands’ (BVG 14) totalling 41% of all BVGs
  • ‘Other acacia dominated open forests, woodlands and shrublands’ (BVG 10), 27%
  • ‘Tussock grasslands, forblands’ (BVG 13), 17%.

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 remnant extent in protected areas:

  • ‘Other coastal communities or heaths’ (BVG 12, 84%)
  • ‘Eucalypt woodlands to open forests (mainly Eastern)’ (BVG 3, 21%)
  • ‘Melaleuca open woodlands on depositional plains’ (BVG 8, 12%).

‘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.

The most dominant BVGs in this bioregion’s protected areas are:

  • ‘Eucalypt dry woodlands on inland depositional plains’ (BVG 5) totalling 33% of all BVGs
  • ‘Other acacia dominated open forests, woodlands and shrublands’ (BVG 10), 28%
  • ‘Eucalypt woodlands to open forests (mainly Eastern)’ (BVG 3), 25%.

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 6%.

Five 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, 16%)
  • ‘Callitris woodland - open forests’ (BVG 7, 13%)
  • ‘Melaleuca open woodlands on depositional plains’ (BVG 8, 12%)
  • ‘Other acacia dominated open forests, woodlands and shrublands’ (BVG 10, 10%)

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

The most dominant BVGs in this bioregion’s protected areas are:

  • ‘Eucalypt woodlands to open forests (mainly Eastern)’ (BVG 3) totalling 65% of all BVGs
  • ‘Rainforests, scrubs’ (BVG 1), 9%.

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 8%.

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

  • ‘Rainforests, scrubs’ (BVG 1, 21%)
  • ‘Other acacia dominated open forests, woodlands and shrublands’ (BVG 10, 13%)
  • ‘Eastern eucalypt woodlands to open forests’ (BVG 3, 12%)

The most dominant BVGs in this bioregion’s protected areas are:

  • ‘Melaleuca open woodlands on depositional plains’ (BVG 8) totalling 28% of all BVGs
  • ‘Eucalypt woodlands to open forests (mainly Eastern)’ (BVG 3), 19%
  • ‘Eucalypt open forests to woodlands on floodplains’ (BVG 4), 18%.

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 group (BVG) in the bioregion has more than 10% of its bioregional extent in protected areas.

The BVG with the highest representation in protected areas is:

  • ‘Wetlands (swamps and lakes)’ (BVG 15, 4.1%).

The most dominant BVG in the protected areas of this bioregion is:

  • ‘Tussock grasslands, forblands’ (BVG 13) totalling 77.4% 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 6%.

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

  • ‘Eucalypt low open woodlands usually with spinifex understorey’ (BVG 6, 75%)
  • ‘Wetlands (swamps and lakes)’ (BVG 15, 18%).

The most dominant BVGs in this bioregion’s protected areas are:

  • Acacia aneura (mulga) dominated open forests, woodlands and shrublands’ (BVG 9) totalling 44% of all BVGs
  • ‘Other acacia dominated open forests, woodlands and shrublands’ (BVG 10), 36%.

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, 95%)
  • ‘Rainforests, scrubs’ (BVG 1, 65%)
  • ‘Other coastal communities or heaths’ (BVG 12, 50%).

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

The most dominant BVGs in this bioregion’s protected areas are:

  • ‘Eucalypt woodlands to open forests (mainly Eastern)’ (BVG 3) totalling 61% of all BVGs
  • ‘Eucalypt dry woodlands on inland depositional plains’ (BVG 5), 29% 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 4%.

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

  • ‘Other coastal communities or heaths’ (BVG 12, 60%)
  • ‘Wetlands (swamps and lakes)’ (BVG 15, 45%)
  • ‘Hummock grasslands’ (BVG 14, 18%)
  • ‘Eucalypt dry woodlands on inland depositional plains’ (BVG 5, 17%)
  • ‘Mixed species woodlands - open woodlands (inland bioregions) includes wooded downs’ (BVG 11, 16%)
  • ‘Eucalypt woodlands to open forests (mainly Eastern)’ (BVG 3, 14%).

The most dominant BVGs in this bioregion’s protected areas are:

  • ‘Eucalypt low open woodlands usually with spinifex understorey’ (BVG 6), totalling 72% of all BVGs
  • ‘Mixed species woodlands – open woodlands, includes wooded owns’ (BVG 11), 16% of all BVGs.

Southeast Queensland

The Southeast 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 6%.

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

  • ‘Other coastal communities or heaths’ (BVG 12, 75%)
  • ‘Wetlands (swamps and lakes)’ (BVG 15, 74%)
  • ‘Tussock grasslands, forblands’ (BVG 13, 70%)
  • ‘Wet eucalypt open forests’ (BVG 2, 56%)

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

The most dominant BVGs in this bioregion’s protected areas are:

  • ‘Eucalypt woodlands to open forests (mainly Eastern)’ (BVG 3), totalling 50% of all BVGs
  • ‘Rainforests, scrubs’ (BVG 1), 15.5%
  • ‘Other coastal communities or heaths’ (BVG 12), 15.1%.

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 7%.

Most broad vegetation groups (BVGs) in WET 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 3% the lowest.

The most dominant BVGs in this bioregion’s protected areas are:

  • ‘Rainforests, scrubs’ (BVG 1), totalling 59% of all BVGs
  • ‘Eucalypt woodlands to open forests (mainly Eastern)’ (BVG 3), 28%.

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 (2017) and Nature Conservation Act 1992 protected areas mapping, including Nature refuges.

Download data from Queensland Government data

Last updated 10 May 2019