4680.0.55.001 - Information Paper: An Experimental Ecosystem Account for the Great Barrier Reef Region, 2015 Quality Declaration 
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SECTION 4 BIODIVERSITY


BIODIVERSITY

Biodiversity is the variety of plant and animal life in a particular habitat, the different plants, animals and micro-organisms, the genetic information they contain and the ecosystems they form. Species accounts are often used as an indicator of biodiversity in ecosystem accounting. For this release, terrestrial mammal, fish and marine mammal species accounts have been prepared for the GBR Region and associated NRM Regions.

Data from different sources used in the Species Accounts relate to a range of years; for example, the fish data ranges from 2010 to 2012. The results have been integrated in order to represent one point in time - 2012.

The tables below present information on threatening processes affecting Terrestrial Mammals (Table 4.1), Marine Mammals (Table 4.2) and Marine Fish (Table 4.3) for the GBR Region. They also provide data on the number of current species in each threat status category. Each number in the table represents the number of species which are affected by the threatening process in question.

Table 4.1 below shows that most of the threatened terrestrial mammals in the GBR Region are at risk from agricultural and aquacultural activities, as well as invasive species. Table 4.2 shows that most marine mammals are threatened by shipping lanes (transportation corridors) and pollution, such as nutrient runoff into marine waters from agricultural activities. Table 4.3 shows that the major threat to marine fish is biological resource use, which includes commercial fishing, subsistence hunting and collection of fish for aquariums.


TABLE 4.1: THREATENED TERRESTRIAL MAMMALS, GREAT BARRIER REEF REGION, by Number of Species, Location, Source of Threat and Threat Status Category, 2012

Threat Status Category
Source of Threat
Critically endangered
Endangered
Vulnerable
Near threatened
Total

Number of species
2
5
6
12
25
Residential / commercial development
0
2
3
3
8
Agriculture / aquaculture
1
4
5
9
19
Energy production / mining
0
0
1
3
4
Transportation and service corridors
0
2
0
2
4
Biological resource use
0
0
1
4
5
Human intrusions / disturbance
0
0
1
2
3
Natural systems modifications
1
4
2
3
10
Invasive species
2
5
1
7
15
Pollution
0
0
2
0
2
Geological events
0
0
0
0
0
Climate change / severe weather
2
1
1
3
7
Other
1
2
2
2
7

Sources: Atlas of Living Australia and International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List Categories and Criteria


TABLE 4.2: THREATENED MARINE MAMMALS, GREAT BARRIER REEF REGION, by Number of Species, Source of Threat and Threat Status Category, 2012

Threat Status Category
Source of Threat
Critically endangered
Endangered
Vulnerable
Near threatened
Total

Number of species
0
2
2
2
6
Residential / commercial development
0
0
1
1
2
Agriculture / aquaculture
0
0
0
0
0
Energy production / mining
0
0
0
0
0
Transportation and service corridors
0
2
1
1
4
Biological resource use
0
2
2
2
6
Human intrusions / disturbance
0
0
0
0
0
Natural systems modifications
0
0
0
0
0
Invasive species
0
1
0
0
1
Pollution
0
1
2
1
4
Geological events
0
0
0
0
0
Climate change / severe weather
0
0
0
0
0
Other
0
2
1
0
3

Sources: Atlas of Living Australia and International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List Categories and Criteria


TABLE 4.3. THREATENED MARINE FISH, GREAT BARRIER REEF REGION, by Number of Species, Source of Threat and Threat Status Category, 2012

Threat Status Category
Source of Threat
Critically endangered
Endangered
Vulnerable
Near threatened
Least concern
Data deficient
Total evaluated
species
Total unevaluated
species

Number of species
0
1
2
12
194
5
214
312
None
0
0
0
0
124
1
125
na
Residential / commercial development
0
0
0
0
3
0
3
na
Agriculture / aquaculture
0
0
0
0
0
1
1
na
Energy production / mining
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
na
Transportation and service corridors
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
na
Biological resource use
0
1
2
10
55
4
72
na
Human intrusions / disturbance
0
0
0
0
2
0
2
na
Natural systems modifications
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
na
Invasive species
0
0
0
0
1
0
1
na
Pollution
0
0
0
1
9
1
11
na
Geological events
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
na
Climate change / severe weather
0
0
0
2
14
1
17
na
Other
0
0
0
5
28
2
35
na

na - not available

Sources: Reef Life Survey (RLS), Reef Life Survey Foundation and International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List Categories and Criteria