Assessing the Conservation Status and Threats to Priority Plants: a threat assessment approach and case study in South-East Queensland, Australia

Lynch, A. Jasmyn J. and Drury, Wendy L. (2006) Assessing the Conservation Status and Threats to Priority Plants: a threat assessment approach and case study in South-East Queensland, Australia. Australasian Journal of Environmental Management, 13 1: 36-51.

Author Lynch, A. Jasmyn J.
Drury, Wendy L.
Title Assessing the Conservation Status and Threats to Priority Plants: a threat assessment approach and case study in South-East Queensland, Australia
Journal name Australasian Journal of Environmental Management   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1448-6563
Publication date 2006
Sub-type Article (original research)
Volume 13
Issue 1
Start page 36
End page 51
Total pages 16
Editor Grant Wardell-Johnson and Helen Ross
Place of publication Australia
Publisher Environment Institute of Australia and New Zealand
Collection year 2006
Subject C1
300805 Conservation
770703 Living resources (flora and fauna)
Abstract bstract: During the Regional Forest Agreement (RFA) process in south-east Queensland, the conservation status of, and threats to, priority vascular plant taxa in the region was assessed. Characteristics of biology, demography and distribution were used to assess the species' intrinsic risk of extinction. In contrast, the threats to the taxa (their extrinsic risk of extinction) were assessed using a decision-support protocol for setting conservation targets for taxa lacking population viability analyses and habitat modelling data. Disturbance processes known or suspected to be adversely affecting the taxa were evaluated for their intensity, extent and time-scale. Expert opinion was used to provide much of the data and to assess the recommended protection areas. Five categories of intrinsic risk of extinction were recognised for the 105 priority taxa: critically endangered (43 taxa); endangered (29); vulnerable (21); rare (10); and presumed extinct (2). Only 6 of the 103 extant taxa were found to be adequately reserved and the majority were considered inadequately protected to survive the current regimes of threatening processes affecting them. Data were insufficient to calculate a protection target for one extant taxon. Over half of the taxa require all populations to be conserved as well as active management to alleviate threatening processes. The most common threats to particular taxa were competition from weeds or native species, inappropriate fire regimes, agricultural clearing, forestry, grazing by native or feral species, drought, urban development, illegal collection of plants, and altered hydrology. Apart from drought and competition from native species, these disturbances are largely influenced or initiated by human actions. Therefore, as well as increased protection of most of the taxa, active management interventions are necessary to reduce the effects of threatening processes and to enable the persistence of the taxa.
Keyword Biodiversity conservation
Environmental management
Q-Index Code C1

 
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Created: Wed, 15 Aug 2007, 11:00:03 EST