1.3.2.1 Description


The total number of ecological assets assessed for water dependency in the PAE of the Clarence-Moreton bioregion was 1616, including 1111 in the ‘Surface water feature’ subgroup and 505 in the ‘Vegetation’ subgroup (Table 6). All of the 1111 surface water features (consisting of six classes listed in Table 6) were assumed to be water dependent and were included in the water‑dependent asset register. Of the 505 vegetation ecological assets, there were 157 classed as ‘Groundwater-dependent ecosystem’ of which all are water dependent.

Table 6 Summary of ecological assets within the preliminary assessment extent (PAE) of the Clarence-Moreton bioregion


Subgroup

Class

Not in water-dependent asset register

In water-dependent asset register

Total assets

(asset list)

Surface water feature

River or stream reach, tributary, anabranch or bend

0

887

887

Lake, reservoir, lagoon or estuary

0

39

39

Waterhole, pool, rock pool or billabong

0

29

29

Wetland, wetland complex or swamp

0

90

90

Marsh, sedgeland, bog, spring or soak

0

12

12

Floodplain

0

54

54

Vegetation

Groundwater-dependent ecosystem

0

157

157

Habitat (potential species distribution)

96

242

338

Riparian vegetation

0

10

10

Total

96

1520

1616

Data: Bioregional Assessment Programme (Dataset 1)

Figure 6

Figure 6 Groundwater-dependent ecosystems within the preliminary assessment extent (PAE) of the Clarence-Moreton bioregion

Data: Bioregional Assessment Programme (Dataset 1)

1.3.2.1.1 Surface water features

There were 1111 ecological assets associated with the ‘Surface water features’ subgroup in the PAE of the Clarence-Moreton bioregion (Table 6). These assets included: wetland, wetland complex or swamp; lake, reservoir, lagoon or estuary; marsh, sedgeland, bog spring or soak (Figure 7), rivers and streams (Figure 8). For the purposes of compiling the preliminary version of the asset register, all assets within this subgroup were assumed to be water dependent.

Figure 7

Figure 7 Surface water features and major rivers within the preliminary assessment extent (PAE) for the Clarence-Moreton bioregion

Data: Bioregional Assessment Programme (Dataset 1)

Figure 8

Figure 8 Stream network within the preliminary assessment extent (PAE) for the Clarence-Moreton bioregion

Data: Geoscience Australia (Dataset 3)

1.3.2.1.2 Groundwater features

Subsurface and surface (where groundwater rises to meet surface water) GDEs were present in the PAE of the Clarence-Moreton bioregion including groundwater-dependent vegetation. There were 157 groundwater-dependent ecosystem groundwater features assumed to be water dependent (Table 6). Water dependency for this class was determined by recent fine-scale (1:10,000) GDE mapping within the PAE (NSW Office of Water, 2014; DEHP, 2014). All of the fine-scale GDE data were considered water dependent,

Assessing GDEs was difficult due to the limited availability of data across the PAE. In the Clarence-Moreton Bioregional Assessment, a cautionary approach is applied and assets were included in the register if the asset intersected with the recent fine-scale GDE data from the Queensland and NSW state agencies (DEHP, 2014; NSW Office of Water, 2014).

1.3.2.1.3 Vegetation

The PAE of the Clarence-Moreton bioregion contained much of the South East Queensland Interim Biogeographic Regionalisation for Australia (IBRA) bioregion and consisted of five IBRA subregions: (i) Clarence Lowlands, (ii) Clarence Sandstones, (iii) Woodenbong, (iv) Scenic Rim and (v) Moreton Basin (SEWPaC, 2012) (for more details see Table 16 in companion product 1.1 for the Clarence-Moreton bioregion (Rassam et al., 2014)).

Seven threatened ecological communities listed under the Commonwealth’s Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act) were in the PAE of the Clarence-Moreton bioregion (Table 7). Six of these threatened ecological communities are included in the water‑dependent asset register where the community represented is associated with a subsurface or surface groundwater-dependent ecosystem.

Table 7 Threatened ecological communities listed under the Commonwealth’s Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 within the preliminary assessment extent (PAE) of the Clarence-Moreton bioregion


Communitya

Status

Decision

Brigalow (Acacia harpophylla dominant and co-dominant)

Endangered

Community demonstrates water dependency, associated with subsurface groundwater-dependent ecosystems

Littoral Rainforest and Coastal Vine Thickets of Eastern Australia

Critically endangered

Community demonstrates water dependency, occurs in moist soils that intersects with surface groundwater-dependent ecosystems

Lowland Subtropical Rainforest on Basalt Alluvium in NE NSW and SE Qld

Critically endangered

Community demonstrates water dependency, occurs in moist soils that intersects with surface groundwater-dependent ecosystems

Natural grasslands on basalt and fine textured alluvial plains of northern New South Wales and southern Queensland

Critically endangered

Not included in asset register as community does not demonstrate water dependency, associated with fine textured cracking clays and low tree canopy (<10%)

Semi-evergreen vine thickets of the Brigalow Belt (north and South) and Nandewar ranges

Endangered

Community demonstrates water dependency, associated with subsurface and surface groundwater-dependent ecosystems

Swamp Tea-tree (Melaleuca irbyana) Forest of South-east Queensland

Critically endangered

Community demonstrates water dependency, occurs in and around surface water bodies

White box-Yellow box-Blakely’s red gum grassy woodland and derived native grassland

Critically endangered

Community demonstrates water dependency, associated with subsurface groundwater-dependent ecosystems

Data: Department of the Environment (Dataset 2)

aTypology and punctuation are given as they are used in the legislation.

The asset register contains 120 Collaborative Australian Protected Area Database (CAPAD) areas that occur in the PAE. CAPAD areas include: national parks (e.g. Bungawalbin National Park), conservation reserves (e.g. Toonumbar State Conservation Area) and Indigenous Protected Areas (e.g. Bandahngan Aboriginal Area). These areas largely represent terrestrial nature reserves. If surface water features or GDEs are contained within the area, they are assumed to be water dependent.

There are 432 threatened species listed under the Queensland, NSW and Commonwealth legislations that are known to utilise the Clarence-Moreton bioregion. Many of these species are listed in Table 19 of companion product 1.1 for the Clarence-Moreton bioregion (Rassam et al., 2014). Species are assessed if their potential distributions are modelled by state government agencies (e.g. using MaxENT (Merow et al., 2013)). The PAE for the Clarence-Moreton bioregion includes the potential spatial habitat distribution of 186 species listed under the EPBC Act. This includes 139 plant, five invertebrate, seven frog, eight reptile, 14 bird and 12 mammal species. Note that the asset under consideration is the habitat of these species rather than the species per se, hence these assets are listed under the subgroup, vegetation. The habitats of 96 of the 186 species are considered water dependent for the following reasons:

  • associated with drainage or soakage areas, wetland or permanent open water dependent
  • associated with floodplain or riparian vegetation communities.

The remaining species are not considered to be water dependent because of ecological associations (they are associated with grassland, woodland, dry scrub, open forest, heathlands or rainforest vegetation communities, or rocky outcrops that are considered not water-dependent), upstream of potential coal seam gas (CSG) and coal mining developments, or it is a wide-spread migratory species that can move across regions. For some species there was insufficient habitat information to make a decision. Table 8 lists the rationale for inclusion in the water-dependent asset register for species’ potential habitat within each functional group.

Table 8 Examples of species listed under the Commonwealth’s Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 within the preliminary assessment extent (PAE) of the Clarence-Moreton bioregion (based on a literature review of habitat requirements)


Functional group

Asset namea

Status

Decision

Birds

Australasian Bittern (Botaurus poiciloptilus)

Endangered

Included in asset register as habitat features consistent with water dependency, species is wetland dependent

Marbled Balogia (Baloghia marmorata)

Endangered

Included in asset register as habitat features consistent with water dependency, associated subtropical rainforest, wet sclerophyll forest and notophyll vine forest

Coxen's Fig-Parrot (Cyclopsitta diophthalma coxeni)

Endangered

Included in asset register as habitat features consistent with water dependency, gallery forest (along watercourses) appears to be important habitat

Red Goshawk (Erythrotriorchis radiatus)

Vulnerable

Included in asset register as habitat features consistent with water dependency, associated with groundwater-dependent riparian trees

Regent Honeyeater (Anthochaera phrygia)

Endangered

Included in asset register as habitat features consistent with water dependency, associated with groundwater-dependent riparian trees

Black-breasted Button-quail (Turnix melanogaster)

Vulnerable

Not included in asset register as habitat features not consistent with demonstrated water dependency, primarily occurs in rainforests and forests

Frogs

Giant Barred Frog (Mixophyes iteratus)

Endangered

Included in asset register as habitat features consistent with water dependency, associated closely with stream habitats and tadpole is completely aquatic

Fleay's Frog (Mixophyes fleayi)

Endangered

Included in asset register as habitat features consistent with water dependency, associated closely with stream habitats and tadpole is completely aquatic

Mammals

Hastings River Mouse, Koontoo (Pseudomys oralis)

Endangered

Included in asset register as habitat features consistent with water dependency, associated with sedges commonly found beside creeks and soakages

Large-eared Pied Bat, Large Pied Bat (Chalinolobus dwyeri)

Vulnerable

Included in asset register as habitat features consistent with water dependency, associated with groundwater-dependent riparian trees

Spot-tailed Quoll (Dasyurus maculatus maculatus (SE mainland population))

Endangered

Included in asset register as habitat features consistent with water dependency, associated with mature wet forest habitat and groundwater-dependent riparian trees

Water Mouse, False Water Rat, Yirrkoo (Xeromys myoides)

Vulnerable

Included in asset register as habitat features consistent with demonstrated water dependency, inhabits mangroves, sedgelands and freshwater wetlands

South-eastern Long-eared Bat (Nyctophilus corbeni)

Vulnerable

Included in asset register as habitat features consistent with water dependency, species roost in river red gums

Reptiles

Yakka Skink (Egernia rugosa)

Vulnerable

Included in asset register as habitat features consistent with water dependency, occurs in woodlands and open forests near river and creek flats

Three-toed Snake-tooth Skink (Coeranoscincus reticulatus)

Vulnerable

Not included in asset register as habitat features not consistent with water dependency, this species occurs in a range of habitat types including rainforest and eucalypt forest

Dunmall's Snake (Furina dunmalli)

Vulnerable

Not included in asset register as habitat features not consistent with water dependency, this species occurs in a range of habitat types, none of which are strictly water dependant

Fish

Oxleyan Pygmy Perch (Nannoperca oxleyana)

Endangered

Included in asset register as habitat features consistent with demonstrated water dependency, an entirely aquatic species

Invertebrates

Acrodipsas illidgei

Vulnerable

Included in asset register as habitat features consistent with demonstrated water dependency; this species occurs in mangrove forests

Mitchell's Rainforest Snail (Thersites mitchellae)

Critically Endangered

Included in asset register as habitat features consistent with demonstrated water dependency; this species occurs in subtropical and swamp sclerophyll rainforest on alluvial soil

Plants

Three-leaved Bosistoa (Bosistoa transversa)

Vulnerable

Not included in asset register as habitat features not consistent with demonstrated water dependency, three-leaved Bosistoa grows in wet sclerophyll forest, dry sclerophyll forest and rainforest up to 300 m in altitude

Swamp Stringybark (Eucalyptus conglomerata)

Endangered

Included in asset register as habitat features consistent with demonstrated water dependency, seasonally waterlogged areas consisting of poorly drained sandy soils

bluegrass (Dichanthium setosum)

Vulnerable

Not included in asset register as habitat features not consistent with demonstrated water dependency, occurs on cracking soils (Blacksoil)

Austral Toadflax, Toadflax (Thesium australe)

Vulnerable

Not included in asset register as habitat features not consistent with demonstrated water dependency, occurs in dry scrub and open forest

Data: Bioregional Assessment Programme (Dataset 1)

aAlthough examples of individual species are listed, bioregional assessments consider the potential impact to the habitat of species not individual species per se. Punctuation and typography appear as used in the asset database.

Last updated:
10 February 2017