Nature conservation

Biodiversity Reform

Australian Alps - conservation status analysis

This page shows the conservation status of the bioregion, based on protection of landscapes within formal conservation management mechanisms.

The numbered landscapes referred to in the text are described briefly in the table at the bottom of the page. These landscapes were identified in the State Conservation Monitoring Project. In this project, a total of 1167 landscapes were described, combining three layers: ruggedness, geology and subregions.

Landscape-scale conservation

The Australian Alps Bioregion in NSW consists of 53 landscapes (NPWS in prep). The bioregion is dominated by one extensive landscape (Landscape 1107), with 30.18 per cent of the NSW area of the bioregion, and 38 landscapes occupying less than 1 per cent of the bioregional area. There are 13 landscapes occupying areas of 1-13 per cent of the bioregional area.

At a bioregional scale, the conservation of the Australian Alps Bioregion in NSW is comprehensive in that a large proportion of the bioregion is included in conservation management, particularly national parks and nature reserves. However some landscapes are not (or are minimally) represented in conservation areas and are highly cleared. This increases the priority for managing these landscapes within some form of conservation-oriented program.

National parks and nature reserves

Two of the 53 landscapes are not represented in national parks or nature reserves and only 5 of the landscapes have less than 20 per cent of their area in reserves. Eighteen landscapes occur wholly (100 per cent) within Kosciuszko National Park and nearby nature reserves, and a further 17 have greater than 90 per cent of their area within these reserves.

Voluntary conservation agreements and wildlife refuges

The voluntary conservation agreements and wildlife refuges occupy landscapes that also have high reservation status (area included in national park or nature reserve, which with wilderness offers the most secure form of conservation management). Only a small proportion of the landscapes are cleared.

Property agreements

Similarly to voluntary conservation agreement and wildlife refuges, the conservation zone of the property agreement occurs on two landscapes (1107, already described, and 1120, an area of low ruggedness) which have high reservation status and only a small proportion cleared.

Conservation and clearing

While only a relatively small proportion (about 14,200 hectares or 3.32 per cent) of the NSW part of the Australian Alps Bioregion has been cleared of its native woody canopy, this clearing has been concentrated in only a few landscapes, some of which are not well conserved in reserves and are not represented in other forms of conservation-oriented management. Eighteen of the landscapes have undergone some degree of clearing of their native canopy. Of these, 6 have lost 30 per cent of their area to clearing, 2 landscapes (1014 and 1024, both having low ruggedness) have been 100 per cent cleared, and a further 2 have lost more than 50 per cent of their NSW bioregional area to clearing.

Of this group of highly cleared landscapes, the 2 which are totally cleared are not represented in any form of management surveyed, and 5 have a representation of less than 6 per cent in any form of conservation management. Those landscapes having low representation in the more secure forms of conservation management (national parks, nature reserves, flora reserves, voluntary conservation agreements and property agreements, if perpetual), and particularly those which are highly cleared, are priorities for conservation or restoration.

Profiles of landscapes referred to above
Landscape numberDescription
Landscape 1107 is an area of moderate ruggedness with a dominant geology of acid igneous intrusives occurring in subregion AA1 - New South Wales Alps.
Landscape 1120 is an area of low ruggedness with a dominant geology of acid igneous intrusives occurring in subregion AA1 - New South Wales Alps.

Page last updated: 18 April 2016