- Bioregional Assessment Program
- Clarence-Moreton bioregion
- 1.1 Context statement for the Clarence-Moreton bioregion
- 1.1.7 Ecology
- 188.8.131.52 Terrestrial species and communities
The Commonwealth’s Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 is a legal framework to protect and manage nationally and internationally important ecological communities, flora, fauna and heritage places that are identified in the Act as of national environmental significance. Queensland’s Nature Conservation Act 1992 and the New South Wales National Parks and Wildlife Act 1974 regulate the protection of wildlife and protected areas and places within the bioregion. The bioregion includes parts of two natural resource management regions: South East Queensland Catchments and North Coast Local Land Services. A regional plan has been developed for both areas to target ecological sustainability priorities in the next two decades (DERM, 2009; Northern Rivers CMA, 2013; RDA-Northern Rivers, 2013; SEQ Catchments, 2013).
The Clarence-Moreton bioregion consists of five IBRA subregions (Figure 29, Table 16, and Table 17) and is listed as a National Biodiversity Hotspot.
The bioregion consists of:
- moist volcanic soils derived from basalts supporting subtropical and warm temperate rainforests, or wet sclerophyll forests. Dominant plants include black booyong (Argyrodendron actinophyllum), white booyong (Argyrodendron trifoliolatum), hoop pine (Araucaria cunninghamii), bangalow palm (Archontophoenix cunninghamiana), climbing palm (Calamus muelleri), rough tree fern (Cyathea australis), Australian cedar (Toona australis), teak (Flindersia australis), white mahogany (Eucalyptus acmenoides), small-fruited grey gum (Eucalyptus propinqua), tallowwood (Eucalyptus microcorys) and Sydney blue gum (Eucalyptus saligna)
- low hills and slopes derived from sedimentary materials to form sandy loams supporting dry sclerophyll forests and woodlands with grassy or shrubby understorey. Dominant species include red bloodwood (Corymbia gummifera), pink bloodwood (C. intermedia), Baileys stringbark (Eucalyptus baileyi), blackbutt (E. pilularis), scribbly gum (Eucalyptus signata), bastard white mahogany (E. umbra), turpentine (Syncarpia glomulifera), fern-leaved banksia (Banksia oblongifolia), hairpin banksia (B. spinulosa var. collina), Leptospermum polygalifolium, flaky-barked teatree (L. trinervium), grass tree (Xanthorrhoea latifolia), wiry panic (Entolasia stricta) and blady grass (Imperata cylindrica var. major)
- sedimentary and alluvial soils on relatively flat river plains. Most of this area has been cleared for grazing and intensive agriculture.
There are 202 flora species found in the north coast of New South Wales listed in the schedules of the New South Wales Threatened Species Conservation Act 1995. Of these, 108 are endangered, 89 are vulnerable and 5 are considered extinct in the bioregion (National Land and Water Resources Audit, 2002). There are 157 fauna species recorded in the north coast New South Wales and these are listed in the schedules of the New South Wales Threatened Species Conservation Act (National Land and Water Resources Audit, 2002). Of these, 36 are listed as endangered and 121 are listed as vulnerable (Table 18 and Table 19).
There are 88 animal species and 165 plant species listed as rare or threatened in the south-east Queensland region. Rare or threatened species includes those listed as extinct, extinct in the wild, critically endangered, endangered, vulnerable or conservation dependent under either the Nature Conservation Act (Queensland) or the EPBC Act (DEHP, 2013g) (Table 18 and Table 19).
High level plant and animal endemism exists in the Clarence-Moreton region with many plants reaching southern or northern limit of their distributions. This includes Zieria prostrata and Elaeocarpus sp. Rocky Creek. Z. prostrata is restricted to Moonee Beach Nature Reserve and is listed as endangered in both the NSW TSC Act and the EPBC Act (NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service, 1998). Eleocarpus. sp Rocky Creek is found in only four locations on the southern edge of the Mount Warning caldera and is also listed as endangered in both the NSW TSC Act and the EPBC Act (NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service, 2003).
The subtropical habitats of the north coast New South Wales and south-east Queensland are rich in bird diversity, with many endemic species and species with restricted distributions, especially in rainforest habitats where there are also several threatened species. The rainforest areas of the Scenic Rim/Richmond/Tweed part of the bioregion is important for the logrunner (Orthonyx temminckii), paradise riflebird (Ptiloris paradiseus), the Albert's lyrebird (Menura alberti), rufous scrub-bird (Atrichornis rufescens), the Coxen's fig-parrot (Cyclopsitta dipthalma coxeni) and northern species of eastern bristlebird (Dasyornis brachypterus) (Birdlife International, 2013; National Land and Water Resources Audit, 2002). The Loveridge's frog (Philoria loveridgei), pouched frog (Assa darlingtoni) and Fleay’s barred frog (Mixophyes fleayi) are also endemic to this rainforest area (ARC, 2013).
The threatened species and ecological communities in the bioregion have been exposed to numerous threatening processes (WetlandCare Australia, 2013) including:
- land clearing for agriculture and urban development, leading to habitat fragmentation and removal
- modified hydrological regimes and water extraction
- erosion and sedimentation
- invasive species impacts
- acid sulfate soils
- poor water quality and pollution
- impacts from industry, such as forestry, dredging and mining.
Figure 29 Clarence-Moreton bioregion with relevant natural resource management and Interim Biogeographic Regionalisations for Australia subregion boundaries
Table 16 Brief description of the south-east Queensland Interim Biogeographic Regionalisations for Australia subregions occurring in the Clarence-Moreton bioregion
Source data: (i) NSW Environment and Heritage (2011), (ii) NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service (2012) and (iii) SEWPaC (2013).
Table 17 State legislated threatened ecological communities within the Clarence-Moreton bioregion grouped by Interim Biogeographic Regionalisations for Australia subregions
Source data: (i) www.ehp.qld.gov.au/ecosystems/biodiversity/regional-ecosystems/, (ii) www.environment.nsw.gov.au/threatenedSpeciesApp/ and (iii) www.environment.gov.au/biodiversity/threatened/communities/.
Table 18 Threatened terrestrial species of the Clarence-Moreton bioregion
Table 19 Species listed as threatened in the various IBRA subregions of the Clarence-Moreton bioregion
E = Endangered; CE = Critically Endangered; V = Vulnerable; P = Protected; C =China Australia Migratory Bird Agreement; J = Japan Australia Migratory Bird Agreement; K = Republic of Korea Australia Migratory Bird Agreement
Because of large numbers of species, the table only shows the endangered species for birds and the nationally endangered for plants.
Source data: (i) New South Wales Bionet (NSW Environment and Heritage, 2013) – www.bionet.nsw.gov.au/, (ii) Qld Wildlife Online (Qld DEHP, 2013) – www.ehp.qld.gov.au/wildlife/wildlife-online/ and (iii) Department of the Environment (2013a) www.environment.gov.au/node/19448.
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- 1.1.1 Bioregion
- 1.1.2 Geography
- 1.1.3 Geology
- 1.1.4 Hydrogeology and groundwater quality
- 1.1.5 Surface water hydrology and surface water quality
- 1.1.6 Surface water – groundwater interactions
- 1.1.7 Ecology
- Contributors to the Technical Programme
- About this technical product