Description of the Northern Rivers region
The Plan provides a range of priority actions for the recovery of threatened species and communities as well as the enhancement and repair of landscape connectivity and integrity of species habitats.
Northern Rivers covers approximately 50 000 km2 of north-east NSW, from just south of Port Macquarie to the Queensland border and inland to the tablelands as far as Armidale, and major land uses include:
- 22% national parks
- 12% State forests
- diverse primary industry on private freehold (59%)
- major population centres.
Historically, vast areas of north east NSW have been cleared for agriculture, particularly on the alluvial floodplains and the tablelands. Timber harvesting has also occurred through much of the mid-slopes and ranges. The region's current high population growth, with associated urban and tourist developments particularly along the coastal fringe, is a major cause of continued habitat loss and fragmentation. While some 22% of the region is within protected areas (i.e. national parks and nature reserves), not all vegetation communities or habitat types are well represented and for some threatened species, like the Koala, significant habitat occurs on private lands.
The region includes the NSW component of the Border Ranges biodiversity hotspot, a nationally recognised region that supports largely intact natural ecosystems where native species and communities associated with rainforest ecosystems are well represented.
The DECCW has also prepared a biodiversity management plan for the Border Ranges rainforest area in conjunction with Northern Rivers Catchment Management Authority, Queensland Department of Environment and Resource Management, South East Queensland Catchments Ltd and the Australian Government. This plan, known as the Border Ranges Rainforest Biodiversity Management Plan, is available for download from the Australian Government Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities.
Page last updated: 27 February 2011