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Wet Tropics of Queensland integrity

Key finding

Invasive species, pathogens and climate change are impacting the Wet Tropics’ Outstanding Universal Value (OUV).

Wet Tropics of Queensland (information applies statewide, map locations are for reference only)

When inscribed in December 1988, the Wet Tropics was identified as an essentially intact ecosystem with the level of human impact low (especially when compared to other tropical forest regions) with 80% of the estimated cover originally present at the time of the first European settlement remaining.

A substantial amount of lowland forest, adjoining the property, had been cleared for agricultural purposes. Human disturbances that cumulatively detract from the overall natural integrity are scattered throughout (e.g. infrastructure such as transmission lines, access roads, abandoned mine sites and more extensive areas selectively logged prior to listing). However, the evaluation noted that these disturbances accounted for only a small proportion of the total area of the property.

Climate change is a key emerging threat to the Wet Tropics’ integrity. With even a small increase in temperature, large declines are predicted for almost every endemic vertebrate species as well as many restricted plant species confined to the area.

Other threatening processes impacting on the Wet Tropic’s OUV are:

  • invasive plants, animals and pathogens
  • fragmentation
  • altered hydrological patterns
  • altered fire regimes.

More information:

Indicator: Integrity of World Heritage criteria attributes

Integrity of Wet Tropics of Queensland World Heritage property World Heritage criteria attributes.

Last updated 12 February 2020