Fragmentation pressure on the Gondwana Rainforests of Australia
The Gondwana Rainforest reserves contain the largest and most significant remaining areas of subtropical rainforest in the world. The most significant threats from fragmentation are limited to the smaller, more isolated reserves, primarily in the New South Wales section of the property. The existing extent of the Gondwana Rainforests is sufficient to maintain viable populations of most of the significant species found within the property.
The Gondwana Rainforests of Australia is a serial property comprised of 8 separate groups of reserves, containing 40 component parts. The Queensland sections of Gondwana Rainforests are predominantly within 5 national parks: Springbrook, Lamington, Mount Barney, Mt Chinghee and Main Range.
The Gondwana Rainforest reserves contain the largest and most significant remaining areas of subtropical rainforest in the world, the largest remaining area of littoral rainforest in the region, the largest and most significant areas of warm temperate rainforest and nearly all the areas of Antarctic beech (Nothofagus moorei) cool temperate rainforest in the world.
These remaining areas of rainforest are disconnected in places due mainly to the naturally fragmented distribution of rainforest in this part of Australia. There are concerns relating to the small size of some component reserves of the property and increased exposure to threats such as fire, weeds and pathogen invasion. However, almost all have some connectivity to neighbouring protected areas. On balance, the Outstanding Universal Value of the property is secured through the large reserves which represent the overwhelming majority of the World Heritage area.
A proposed extension of the Gondwana Rainforests of Australia World Heritage Area is on the World Heritage tentative list. The proposed additional 689,364 hectares would improve connectivity of remnant rainforest.
For Queensland sections of the serial property this threat is considered as low.