Native vegetation, both remnant and recovering, provide habitat for wildlife, bank stability on our waterways, nature-based recreation opportunities, and climate refuges for both people and wildlife. SEQ needs to maintain its forest extent of 50% to provide insurance against large-scale changes to the ecology of the region which could have a major impact on the environment and the economy.
Headline Target: Bushland (NC1)
By 2031, the 2001 extent of regional vegetation cover – including both remnant vegetation (35.9%) and additional non-remnant woody vegetation (22%) – will be maintained or increased.
NC 2 – Vegetation fragmentation and connectivity
By 2031, there will be no net fragmentation of larger tracts (greater than 5000 hectares), and 20% of priority smaller tracts (less than 5000 hectares) will be better connected than the 2003 baseline.
NC 4 – Vulnerable ecosystems
By 2031, at least 4% of the original pre-clearing extents of vulnerable regional ecosystems will be represented in protective measures.
NC 5 – Native species
In 2031, the 2008 conservation status of native species will be maintained or improved.
NC 6 – Habitat for priority species
By 2031, the 2001 extent and condition of habitat for priority taxa will be maintained or increased.
The 2016 NRM Plan Review found:
- Remnant vegetation cover was 35.5% with an estimated loss of 10,500 hectares (0.04%) since 2001.
- Non-remnant vegetation (forest regrowth) extent increased slightly to 25.8% cover, despite clearing of 80,973 hectares (up to 5,400 hectares on average per year).
- One major bushland area (Core Forest) was split into smaller areas and most of the remaining 20 largest bushland areas had reduced in size.
- 35 of the 149 different regional ecosystems in SEQ had less than 4% of their extent within a protected area (national park, state forest).
- Concern that further loss and fragmentation of SEQ forests will increase the impact of extreme natural events (fire, drought, flood) impacting forest health, wildlife, and flow on impacts to the economy, tourism, and society.