Action item 8.6

Progress

75%

75% Complete.
Consultation undertaken on draft policy, guideline, framework, Bill development.

That as part of a SREBA, a study be undertaken to determine if any threatened species are likely to be affected by the cumulative effects of vegetation and habitat loss, and if so, that there be ongoing monitoring of the populations of these species.

If monitoring reveals a decline in populations (compared with predevelopment baselines), management plans aimed at mitigating these declines must be developed and implemented.

Target completion date

Stage 3.
To be completed by end December 2022.

Reform area
Safeguarding water and the environment
Project action
Collecting baseline data and informing regional management
Lead agency
Department of Environment, Parks and Water Security

Action item update

Implementation progress

The Strategic Regional and Environmental Baseline Assessment (SREBA) Framework PDF (39.7 MB) was released in July 2020.

Government has determined a SREBA is required for the Beetaloo sub-Basin. The region-specific Scopes of Work for various baseline studies will be approved by the Minister for the Environment.

Work in the Beetaloo Sub-basin will be undertaken in cooperation with the Commonwealth Government's GBA program, which has also funded additional ecological studies.  Preliminary mapping of regional ecosystems has been completed, along with targeted surveys for some threatened species.

The data collected during these ecological studies will be used to determine the likelihood of any cumulative effects of habitat loss on threatened species, and to design robust monitoring programs for these species. Field work is in its final stages for 2022 and outputs to date include:

  • A draft fine-scale regional ecosystem map for the SREBA region was developed and used to select representative fauna and flora sites. This is an important base map for all future environmental assessment in this region;
  • Approximately 18,600 rapid observation sites, 210 structural/dominant sites, and 240 full floristic sites were sampled during 2020 and 2021 to ground-truth vegetation mapping and describe the distribution of plant species in the study area.  Around 1700 plant taxa have been recorded from the region to date;
  • Sampling of terrestrial vertebrate and invertebrate fauna has been undertaken at 43 representative sample sites during 2020-2021.  Fauna sampling is underway for 2022.  Combined with historical data, 494 terrestrial vertebrate species have been recorded from the region to date;
  • In addition, a preliminary investigation of the ant fauna was undertaken (by CDU) at 20 representative sites during 2020-21. 232 ant species were detected;
  • Targeted surveys for priority threatened species - Gouldian Finch, Crested Shrike-tit and Greater Bilby – were undertaken during 2020 and 2021. Additional threatened species surveys, including for Ghost Bat, were undertaken in 2021 and 2022; and
  • A desktop analysis of historical data provided 7325 records of 81 waterbird species using wetlands in the SREBA study area. Additional aerial surveys for waterbirds have been undertaken and more are planned for 2022.