1.1.7 Ecology


The Clarence-Moreton bioregion covers a large part (24,292 km2) of the south-east Queensland Interim Bioregionalisation of Australia (IBRA) region, which consists of five subregions: Clarence Lowlands, Clarence Sandstones, Woodenbong, Richmond-Tweed Scenic Rim and Moreton Basin. Most of the steeper slopes are protected by national parks and forest reserves. Vegetation communities consist of subtropical rainforest and wet sclerophyll forest in the mountain slopes and plateaus, transitioning to dry sclerophyll forest and woodlands in lowland areas, as well as coastal floodplains and estuaries. The lower slopes and floodplains are used extensively for agriculture. The coastal plains and lowland areas have been extensively altered by land clearing for agriculture and urban and peri-urban settlement, as well as through natural and modified drainage across wetlands and floodplains. Urban growth is continuing to put pressure on the natural ecosystems.

The Clarence-Moreton bioregion has 14 threatened ecological communities with 7 of these also listed endangered by the Commonwealth’s Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999. Of these threatened communities, 5 are directly associated with water bodies and riverine systems. These are the swamp sclerophyll forest on coastal floodplains, montane peatlands and swamps of the New England tableland, lowland rainforest on floodplains, coastal saltmarsh, and the subtropical coastal floodplain forest. The Clarence-Moreton bioregion is home to 432 threatened species listed under the Queensland, New South Wales and Commonwealth legislations. These include: amphibians (13 species), insects (9 species), gastropod (1 species), fish (5 species), birds (94 species), mammals (42 species), reptiles (18 species) and plants (250 species).

A number of lacustrine and palustrine wetlands are situated around the region, including some substantial wetlands in the Clarence Lowlands. Some of these wetlands are included in A Directory of Important Wetlands in Australia (Environment Australia, 2001). A number of endangered species use the wetlands as their habitat, including 13 frog species. These wetlands are also important to local and migratory bird species with at least 11 species listed in the international migratory bird agreements. There are also 5 threatened fish species associated with the wetlands.

Last updated:
8 January 2018
Thumbnail images of the Clarence-Moreton bioregion

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