2015 Application of Interim Biodiversity Data
This report is designed to guide use of the interim biodiversity data products from the Hunter, Central Coast Regional Environmental Management Strategy (HCCREMS) biodiversity program. The data covers the Central Coast, Hunter and Lower North Coast of NSW.
The interim biodiversity data has been produced through two independent studies conducted by the Landscapes and Policy Research Hub and the Environmental Decisions Hub of the National Environmental Research Program in collaboration with the HCCREMS team.
The Interim Biodiversity Data represents two substantial datasets that advance the regional understanding of important habitat patches and key links for multiple species. The connectivity assessment considers general movement requirements for species that use woody vegetation cover (structural connectivity) for dispersal. The Species Distribution Models (SDMs) predict habitat suitability for 621 flora and fauna species extrapolated from correlation between known occurrences and 18 input environmental variables. The combination of these two datasets provides a broad overview of:
- Spatial distribution of general woody habitat patches greater than 10 ha, as defined by the connectivity assessment
- Regional least cost links (indicative locations), fragmentation and barriers (component boundaries)
- A relative measure of likely habitat suitability for 621 species including 151 threatened species (with over 20 records); and 21 Endangered Ecological Communities (EECs)
The interim data sets are part of a long term investment in key, region-wide conservation data sets that may be used by all stakeholders to improve biodiversity management outcomes. The common goal is to identify regionally significant biodiversity areas for long term conservation. The SDMs and connectivity analysis provide key inputs to knowledge of regional biodiversity hotpots. This report outlines numerous regional scale and local scale applications for the species distribution models and connectivity analysis. The report explores design considerations for future regional conservation assessments building on the new regional datasets.