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SoE 2009 > Biodiversity > 7.1 Native vegetation

Chapter 7: Biodiversity

7.1 Native vegetation

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7.1 Native vegetation

Until now, land clearing has been the major threat to the extent and condition of native vegetation in New South Wales, but over the past six years the overall area of woody vegetation has remained stable. New native vegetation legislation commenced operation in 2005, providing better control of broadscale clearing and improving vegetation management. Net positive gains in overall vegetation extent and condition are expected as current programs mature.

Sixty-one per cent of NSW is covered by structurally intact native vegetation, with a further 8% that is structurally modified native vegetation. The extent of some vegetation classes, particularly woodlands and grasslands, has been substantially depleted since settlement, due mainly to land clearing, while others remain substantially intact.

Clearing of native vegetation has been greatest in areas to the west of the Central Division, mainly for agriculture, and in coastal regions, primarily for urban development.

Levels of clearing of woody vegetation have fluctuated over the past two decades, but have stabilised in the last three years at around 20,000 hectares per year. Although monitoring of revegetation is inherently more complex than clearing, over the past six years clearing of woody vegetation has roughly been in balance with various forms of regrowth and regeneration. Since the Native Vegetation Act 2003 came into full effect in late 2005, approved clearing has fallen markedly to less than 4000 ha per year.

Vegetation condition largely reflects the dominant land use and is being addressed through better land management practices. However, pressures on condition are likely to remain for the foreseeable future due to the lag effects of fragmentation following clearing, coupled with increasing pressures from invasive species and climate change.

Improved management of native vegetation under the new Act has been implemented through property vegetation plans. Substantially greater effort is now directed to on-ground works to enhance native vegetation extent and condition, through activities such as restoration, revegetation and weed control. These are coordinated by catchment management authorities and carried out by landowners, land managers, and local and community groups.

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NSW indicators

Indicator and status


Information availability

Vegetation extent

No change


Vegetation condition



Pressures on vegetation



Clearing rate for woody vegetation

No change


Notes: Terms and symbols used above are defined in About SoE 2009 at the front of the report.

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NSW has a great variety of native vegetation types, with outstanding examples of rainforests, deserts, alpine habitats, wetlands, grasslands, eucalypt forests and woodlands.

Native vegetation extent and condition is an indicator of ecosystem health and the overall status of ecosystem diversity (Saunders et al. 1998). Native vegetation provides essential habitat for plant and animal species, and is an integral component of healthy, functioning ecosystems.

Vegetation mapping which incorporates information about species composition provides a coarse, practical indicator of the location and status of ecosystems. More generalised mapping based only on vegetation structure and growth form provides a useful overview for reporting on vegetation extent at the statewide level, but is less descriptive of ecosystems. The description that follows is largely based on generalised mapping of vegetation as more detailed mapping is not available consistently on a statewide basis.

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Status and trends

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Vegetation extent

Map 7.1 shows the extent of native vegetation in a range of classes, representing various states (or levels) of modification to natural vegetation. The map is a compilation of existing mapping of intact native vegetation (Keith & Simpson 2006) and land-cover classifications derived from a variety of remote sensing applications, which describe only the dominant structural form of vegetation communities across all vegetation states (DECC 2008a). While the monitoring of woody vegetation by remote sensing techniques has improved significantly over time, similar techniques have only recently been applied to the monitoring of non-woody vegetation (see Pressures).

Map 7.1: Native vegetation extent

Map 7.1

Four categories are described in the compilation of vegetation extent:

  • native – intact: native vegetation in which the structure has not been substantially altered
  • native – derived: vegetation that is predominantly native but is no longer structurally intact as it has been substantially altered and is missing important structural components from its natural state
  • native/non-native mosaic: vegetation that cannot be classified as native or non-native using current remote sensing technologies
  • non-native/other vegetation types: non-native vegetation (crops, plantations, pasture) or other non-vegetative land-cover types.

Extent of intact native vegetation

Vegetation that is structurally intact covers 61% of NSW. This is the extent of native vegetation that retains its full complement of structural layers and where native vegetation communities can still be meaningfully identified and described (Keith & Simpson 2006; Keith & Simpson 2008). However, intact vegetation is not necessarily indicative of it being in good condition, as most of it is subject to a variety of land uses other than conservation, and these land uses have differing impacts on vegetation condition.

The current extent of intact native vegetation in NSW reflects differing rates of clearing across various vegetation types. Generally, flat productive lands have been favoured for development, with particularly high rates of clearing in native grasslands, grassy woodlands, and some types of wetlands and eucalypt forests. Conversely, the extent of some other forms of native vegetation on lands less attractive for development, such as arid shrublands and the alpine complex, has experienced little change.

The status of a range of intact native vegetation types is summarised briefly below (Keith 2004):

Native grasslands have been extensively cleared or modified and only small fragments remain outside the semi-arid zone, although some grazing lands retain important remnants.

Grassy woodlands are also substantially depleted with less than 10% of some classes still remaining.

Rainforests have been substantially reduced, particularly littoral rainforests and those on coastal lowlands. Other rainforests are less depleted, although there have been changes in structure and species composition in areas with a history of timber harvesting.

Wet and dry sclerophyll forests have been less cleared because of constraints imposed by steep terrain and less fertile soils, although levels of depletion are still substantial in some classes.

Semi-arid woodlands have undergone low to moderate levels of clearing (10–60%), although it has increased in recent decades.

Heathlands, arid shrublands and the alpine complex are all largely intact as they are generally less suitable for development purposes.

Extent of modified native vegetation

A further 8% of vegetation is described as 'derived'. This is essentially native vegetation that has been structurally modified, but where more than 50% of the ground cover is native species. Although it has been disturbed, this vegetation still makes some contribution to the overall stock of native habitat values in NSW (DECC 2008a).

The native/non-native mosaic vegetation class covers 20% of NSW and contains a mixture of native and non-native elements which cannot be discriminated, so this class could be also described as indeterminate (DECC 2008a). The majority of this land is non-woody grassland that is devoted to grazing, and the inability to categorise it reflects the newness of monitoring of non-woody vegetation. With a longer monitoring history it is expected that much of this category will be redistributed to other classes and a better understanding of non-woody vegetation in NSW will develop. The native/non-native mosaic class also contributes to the overall extent of habitat values, similarly to the derived category. Given the history of clearing in NSW, the contribution is likely to be small in area, but important in regions where little native vegetation now remains.

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Vegetation condition

The condition of native vegetation ranges from pristine to total replacement. Between these two extremes, native vegetation may be modified to varying degrees by land management practices and unplanned threats and disturbances, such as weed invasion and fire. The impacts of disturbance include changes to the structure, function and species composition of vegetation, reduced regeneration, and diminished habitat values and integrity. Decline in vegetation condition is generally less visible than clearing and occurs over a longer time frame. It is therefore more difficult to detect and assess.

Information about vegetation condition in NSW is only available at a very coarse level at present. Map 7.2 shows vegetation condition in broad terms as reflected by six structural modification classes based on a compilation of vegetation mapping and land-use and land tenure records. These classes correspond to the modification states of the draft National Vegetation Condition Classification system (VAST) (Thackway & Lesslie 2006; Thackway & Lesslie 2008). Essentially this map represents a broad generalisation of land-use mapping, reflecting the transformational change in, or modification to, vegetation structure at the landscape level, enabling the land to be used for different purposes.

Map 7.2: Native vegetation condition classification

Map 7.2

The various structural condition classes are:

  • residual – native vegetation structure, composition and regenerative capacity remain intact, with no significant land-use disturbance
  • modified – the structure, composition and regenerative capacity are intact, with some land-use disturbance
  • transformed – the structure, composition and regenerative capacity are significantly altered by land use
  • indeterminate – vegetation cannot be easily classified as either transformed or replaced
  • replaced/managed – native vegetation has been replaced by non-native vegetation
  • removed – native vegetation has been removed to leave non-vegetated land cover.

These classes broadly align with the vegetation extent classes in Map 7.1. Only 9% of native vegetation is described as residual, and it essentially represents the structurally intact vegetation in the terrestrial reserve system in NSW. A further 52% is described as modified to some extent due to land-use disturbance, but is still structurally intact. Together, these two vegetation condition classes roughly correspond to the intact vegetation extent class in Map 7.1. There is similar strong alignment between the remaining condition and the other extent classes (Dillon et al. in prep.).

This broad assessment of vegetation condition, based on available statewide information, provides only an indicative approach to condition and has some significant limitations. It does not consider the influence of active management practices, nor take into account recent changes in tenure or land management. For example, in the Pilliga region of north-western NSW, cypress forest that has recently been proclaimed as reserve is classified as being in better condition than that in adjoining state forest, despite 150 years of common management. At any particular site, vegetation condition may differ from its described status, but at the landscape level different combinations of vegetation cover, land use and land tenure will be associated with their mapped condition (Dillon et al. in prep.).

A program of data collection based on site surveys of different combinations of land cover, land use and land tenure is being developed to supplement the broad framework for vegetation condition described. Whereas the broad condition framework describes the transformational change to vegetation that facilitates land-use change, the site survey data will better reflect the ongoing changes to condition that are produced by land management practices, given the dominant land use.

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Vegetation extent and condition

Land clearing

Native vegetation has been extensively cleared in NSW for settlement, industry and agriculture. Clearing is generally irreversible due to subsequent uses of the land. It displaces the majority of native biota and leads to ongoing habitat degradation and deterioration in vegetation condition through the effects of fragmentation. Clearing is, therefore, widely accepted to be the main driver of vegetation change and decline.

However, not all clearing is by the direct removal of vegetation. Much of the native grassland in NSW has been cleared or modified by pasture improvement through the application of fertilisers, ploughing and sowing of introduced grasses and clovers. Some freshwater wetlands and arid shrublands have in effect also been cleared by prolonged overgrazing.

Clearing of native vegetation, with the associated destruction of habitat, has been identified as the process representing the greatest single threat to biodiversity in NSW (Coutts-Smith & Downey 2006). It has been listed as a key threatening process under both the Threatened Species Conservation Act 1995 and the Commonwealth Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999.

Clearing of woody vegetation

The annualised record of change in woody vegetation identifies changes in the structure of woody vegetation and describes losses in extent as a result of agriculture, forestry and infrastructure development. It also reports on canopy changes due to the effects of bushfires.

The woody change record provides an indication of the rate of clearing of woody vegetation and, for this report, is taken to apply to changes in vegetation structure due to agriculture and infrastructure development only. Forestry has not been included in the clearing estimate, as it is expected to be sustainable, with the majority of logged forest regenerated as regrowth forest over the term of a production cycle. This estimate of clearing represents the extent of transformational land-use change that is likely to result in permanent changes to natural habitat values and is consistent with the basis for describing vegetation condition, as above.

The woody vegetation change record is produced by analysing Landsat remote sensing data with techniques based on the Statewide Land and Tree Survey (SLATS) methodology, developed in Queensland (DNRW 2007). This methodology detects woody vegetation that is over 2 metres high with more than 20% canopy cover, defined in NSW as 'Detectable Native Forest' (DECC 2009) and commonly referred to as woody vegetation. This presently covers about 38% of the state.

The record of woody vegetation change has been extended back over the past 20 years, from 2008 to 1988, yielding consistent data over a long time frame and providing some historical perspective for the most recent clearing data. Since 2006, clearing of woody vegetation has stabilised at around 20,000 hectares per annum (DECCW 2009a). However, the long-term record appears to fluctuate cyclically between a maximum of just above 30,000 ha and a minimum of just below 15,000 ha, prior to the flattening trend since 2006 (see Figure 7.1).

Most of the recent clearing has been in the wheat–sheep belt, where activity continues along the eastern fringe of the semi-arid zone (DLWC 2002; DECCW 2009a; Keith et al. 2009). A spike in activity recorded in the north-east of the state during 2006–07 has declined again during 2007–08 (DECCW 2009a).

A coarser analysis of the remote sensing data since 2003 also reveals that despite the ongoing levels of clearing, the overall extent of woody vegetation recorded has not changed significantly during this time. The monitoring of revegetation is inherently more complex than the monitoring of clearing, and further work is needed to fully understand these results, but it appears that the overall level of clearing over this period has been in balance with the overall extent of revegetation and restoration.

Figure 7.1: Annual woody vegetation clearing rates, 1988–08

Figure 7.1

Download Data

Source: DECCW data 2009

Notes: Annual rate of clearing is derived from change detected over a two-year period (for example, 1988–90 represents two years from around the end of 1988 to around the end of 1990) – except for 2006–07 and 2007–08, which were assessed annually (and thus essentially comprise most of 2007 and 2008).
There is some variability in the actual length of the two-yearly intervals, depending on the availability of remote sensing data suitable for analysis due to seasonal factors.

Clearing of non-woody vegetation

In effect, the estimates of clearing of woody vegetation describe changes to open and closed forests and woodlands. They exclude large areas of open woodlands and arid shrublands, characteristic of western NSW, where densities of trees and shrubs are below the threshold of reliable detectability of the SLATS methodology. Collectively, along with all grasslands, these formations are commonly referred to as 'non-woody vegetation'.

The area of the state covered by non-woody vegetation is roughly equivalent to, or greater than, the area of woody vegetation, but the clearing rate for non-woody vegetation remains unknown. As the processes and dynamics are quite different, it is not possible to generalise from clearing of woody vegetation to clearing of non-woody vegetation.

The overall rate of clearing for NSW is therefore also unknown, other than that it is somewhere in excess of the known 20,000 ha per annum of woody vegetation clearing.

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Vegetation condition

Table 7.1 summarises the main pressures on vegetation condition, together with estimates of the gross changes to the level of pressures experienced in NSW over the past decade. Assessment of the pressures is based on whether they apply generally to the individual vegetation classes defined by Keith 2004, and the figures represent the total number of classes affected (to a maximum of 99 classes).

The figures are not, however, indicative of the intensity or the significance of each pressure, or necessarily the areas that are affected. For instance, land clearing, which is the most severe pressure, affects only 61 vegetation classes, whereas climate change, soil degradation, fire regimes and invasive species affect more classes (99, 86, 84, 74, respectively).

Table 7.1: Changes to pressures on native vegetation since 1999


Number of affected vegetation classes



No change


Land clearing and resultant fragmentation




This is the most severe* pressure, affecting about 60% of classes.
Abatement is due to introduction of the NV Act and increases in reservation of significant areas of some classes.
Intensification is due to coastal and urban development and expansion of plantations and cropping.

Climate change




This is the most pervasive threat which continues to intensify with an increasing impact across all classes.
Alpine, coastal, rainforest, wetland and arid classes are the most sensitive.

Invasive species (weeds, feral animals and pathogens)




This is the second most pervasive threat affecting ~90% of all classes, an increase from 75% in 2006.**
This threat has intensified due to invasion and establishment of weeds and diseases in new areas.

Altered fire regimes




This is a continuing threat to more than 80% of classes, including fragmented landscapes where fire exclusion limits regeneration.
Alpine and subalpine classes experienced increased pressures due to extensive fires.





Overgrazing affects around 66% of vegetation classes.
Increased pressures to overgraze have come from the drought, especially in the south of the state.

Degradation of soils




Erosion has continued or intensified where there are lagged effects from reductions in perennial plant cover.
Salinisation has intensified in lowlands due to lagged effects from less deep-rooted vegetation in recharge zones.
Acidification has intensified where drying wetlands release acid sulfates.

Changes to water regimes




In wetland, riparian and floodplain classes, lagged effects of over-extraction during the 1970s and 1980s continue.
Pressures on other vegetation classes are partially compensated by reduced drought stress since 2006 and increased environmental flow allocations since 2000.

Harvesting of native species for firewood and timber




Firewood collection has accelerated in woodland classes, while timber harvesting abated in some wet and dry sclerophyll forests due to the expansion of reserves, though this has sometimes been offset by an increased harvest on private land.

Source: DECCW data 2009

Notes: * Severity refers to the intensity of the pressure and is not necessarily related to the number of classes affected (for example, the effects of land clearing are more severe, but affect fewer classes than invasive species, which are more pervasive).
** Trends are assessed over a 10-year window – not the past three years only.

Table 7.1 demonstrates that the majority of pressures are ongoing with little sign of abatement. Some pressures are intensifying, particularly those associated with climate change, while a relatively small number are abating. As there are relatively few instances where pressures are easing and significantly more where they are intensifying, the expectation is that the condition of most vegetation classes will continue to decline. The impacts of individual pressures are summarised below.

Clearing has already been discussed, although the effects of habitat fragmentation continue to have an impact on vegetation condition long after the initial clearing.

Climate change is pervasive and affects all classes of vegetation in NSW. However, some vegetation classes – notably alpine vegetation, wetlands and rainforests – are likely to be especially sensitive. In alpine habitats, for example, there has been a significant reduction in snow cover over the past decade, and this will affect both the area and suitability of habitat for a range of specialist alpine species.

While most arid shrublands and grasslands are not subject to extensive clearing, they are affected by overgrazing. Total grazing pressure has increased, leading to a reduction in perennial plant cover and an increase in erosion in sensitive landscapes. Further effects of overgrazing include lack of regeneration, habitat simplification and an overabundance of species which are less palatable to grazing stock.

Other significant and pervasive pressures affecting vegetation condition are discussed as separate issues in this report. These include invasive species (Biodiversity 7.4), fire (Biodiversity 7.5) and soil degradation (Land 5.1).

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Target 1 under Priority E4 of State Plan 2006: A new direction for NSW (NSW Government 2006) is 'By 2015 there is an increase in native vegetation extent and an improvement in native vegetation condition'. The Monitoring, Evaluation and Reporting Strategy is being implemented to monitor progress towards all E4 targets. A review of State Plan 2006 commenced in August 2009 and this may adjust some of the plan's priorities and targets.

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Native Vegetation Act and property vegetation plans

The Native Vegetation Act 2003 (NV Act) was passed with the stated intention of ending broadscale land clearing in NSW and came into effect in December 2005. The provisions of the NV Act are largely implemented through a framework of voluntary agreements called property vegetation plans (PVPs) which are negotiated between individual landholders and catchment management authorities (CMAs).

Other measures being implemented through the PVP framework are aimed at improving landscape management, enhancing vegetation condition and retaining biodiversity values across all tenures. Special protection is therefore provided for landscape and vegetation types that have been cleared below 30% of their original extent. In addition, measures are being developed to reward farmers for voluntary conservation activities.

The Government will continue to fund its Native Vegetation Assistance Package until June 2011. The package was established to assist landholders who are financially disadvantaged by laws that prevent them from clearing native vegetation on their property. In addition, all CMAs in NSW have access to public funding so that they can assist landholders to sustainably manage and restore native vegetation.

Native Vegetation Report Card

Since 2006, the NSW Government has been collecting native vegetation data from a range of agencies to produce a Native Vegetation Report Card within the NSW Annual Report on Native Vegetation (DECCW 2009a). Table 7.2 shows the extent of newly reserved areas, restored areas, managed areas and cleared areas, all of which have some impact on the extent or condition of native vegetation over the three-year period.

Table 7.2: Native Vegetation Report Card – actions to protect vegetation in NSW





New conservation areas

Public reserve system: national park estate





Public reserve system: flora reserves





Private conservation areas: voluntary conservation agreements





Private conservation areas: conservation covenants





Private conservation areas: wildlife refuges





Private conservation areas: PVPs in perpetuity

not available




Total area (ha)





Restoration or revegetation of native vegetation

Incentive PVPs





PVP offsets





Native plantations





Revegetation through other incentives (non-PVPs)





Retained as a condition of approval to clear: Plantation and Reafforestation Act 1999 and Native Vegetation Conservation Act 1997





Wildlife refuges: habitat restored





Natural regeneration excluding invasive native scrub





Total area (ha)





New management of native vegetation

Invasive native scrub PVPs





Thinning to benchmark PVPs





Public forest estate





Private native forestry on state protected land





Private native forestry PVPs





Improved rangeland management





Weed removal programs





Total area (ha)





New clearing of native vegetation

Clearing PVPs approved where environmental outcomes maintained or improved





Clearing under Native Vegetation Conservation Act 1997





Clearing under Plantation and Reafforestation Act 1999





Clearing under local government RAMAs





Total area (ha)





Source: DECCW and DII data 2009

Notes: There may be some differences between individual figures and overall totals due to rounding.

In general, the total area of land being conserved, restored or undergoing improved management is substantially greater than the area approved for clearing. However, it is too early to determine whether the measures listed in Table 7.2 are producing changes in vegetation extent or condition that are detectable by monitoring systems.


Figures for new conservation areas (Table 7.2) represent additions to the public and private reserve system. A dedicated system of parks and reserves is the cornerstone of conservation programs intended to preserve and protect native vegetation (Biodiversity 7.3). These areas are protected from any threat of clearing, and their condition and extent will be managed in perpetuity with conservation as the primary objective. About 8.4% of all land in NSW has been incorporated into the reserve system. Representation of vegetation formations and classes is a key consideration in planning the future development of the reserves system (see Table 7.7).

Increasing importance is being placed on conservation across whole landscapes and a range of schemes is in place to protect vegetation and habitat values on private land, complementing the network of reserves (see Biodiversity 7.3).

Revegetation and restoration

In Table 7.2 new restoration/revegetation of native vegetation refers to restoration of native vegetation and includes incentive PVPs and PVP offsets, other CMA-funded programs and a range of other initiatives that improve native vegetation condition or increase its area. Restoration of native vegetation is undertaken to improve the condition and natural values of existing vegetation while revegetation will increase the extent of native vegetation.

When undertaken strategically, revegetation can play an important role in buffering existing reserves, providing wildlife corridors and generally reducing fragmentation of the landscape. There has been a major and sustained increase in the area reported as being revegetated since the implementation of the NV Act and PVP framework in 2005, and the Natural Resource Management (NRM) program which is delivered through CMAs.

New management of native vegetation

New management of native vegetation in Table 7.2 incorporates a range of activities that enhance the condition of vegetation, such as clearing of invasive native scrub, weed removal and private native forestry. Under the NV Act and the NRM program, there is an increasing focus on improving the management of land to enhance and maximise environmental outcomes in areas where the predominant land use is production rather than conservation. This includes fencing areas that are sensitive or have high value, weeding, and a range of measures that address specific ecosystem, habitat or species needs.

Regulation of clearing of native vegetation

The NV Act is the key legislation regulating the clearing of native vegetation in NSW. Under the Act, clearing is no longer permitted unless it improves or maintains environmental values at the property scale for each of four criteria: biodiversity, soil health, water quality and soil salinity. A system of offsets has been introduced which allows landowners to clear native vegetation provided they agree to plant, improve, or better manage other vegetation on their own property or elsewhere. The required offsets are negotiated between landholders and the local CMA under a PVP.

Compliance and enforcement

The Native Vegetation: Compliance and Enforcement Strategy (DECCW 2009b) has been developed by the NSW Government to promote compliance with the NV Act and assist with community understanding of its provisions and requirements. New remote sensing technologies are being developed to overcome limitations in statewide monitoring and reporting and there have been a number of successful prosecutions in regard to breaches of the NV Act through illegal clearing.

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Future directions

A review of the NV Act is due to take place in 2009. This should provide an opportunity to assess the effectiveness of the legislation and refine and enhance the delivery of programs and incentives to improve native vegetation and to regulate clearing.

Substantial effort is now being invested into on-ground measures to enhance the extent and condition of native vegetation. These measures should be managed strategically to maximise ecological benefits by improving habitat connectivity, reducing the impacts of fragmentation and creating buffer zones around high-quality native vegetation remnants.

Maintaining or improving the condition of existing vegetation is likely to be more productive than trying to restore land that has been substantially altered. Nonetheless, revegetation and restoration will assist in reversing some of the historical effects of clearing.

Significant activity has been stimulated under the NV Act, but its effectiveness has not been monitored systematically at fine scales, although coarse-scale monitoring of overall performance is in place. A framework to support better collection of information about on-ground works to improve the status of native vegetation and better integration of this information with the outcomes detected by broader monitoring systems would ensure that short-term activity translates to more effective outcomes in the longer term.

Although clearing may be slowed and fragmentation reduced, pressures on vegetation condition are still likely to increase in future due to further weed invasions and new weed incursions, the increasing effects of climate change and related changes to fire regimes. These threats are less predictable and more pervasive in nature, and hence harder to manage and plan for, than are controls on clearing.

Further development of systems to describe and monitor vegetation condition systematically across the landscape will be needed in order to address the growing threats to vegetation condition more effectively. This will be a critical requirement to inform the future management of native vegetation.

A better understanding of the relationship between vegetation types or communities and the biodiversity and natural values they supported, particularly how this relationship varies across different classes of vegetation condition or extent, will be important in focusing conservation priorities and assessing the effectiveness of vegetation management outcomes.

The impacts of climate change are expected to produce shifts in the distribution of species. However, the likely impacts on the composition of vegetation communities and possible changes to their form and structure are less well understood, particularly in response to the interaction between altered climate and fire regimes. More information on the dynamics of climate change is needed, especially as they apply to ecosystems rather than individual species.

There is now a unique opportunity to tackle the issues of vegetation decline and climate change simultaneously and thus make gains in both areas. More work is needed to ensure that revegetation, particularly for carbon sequestration, is undertaken in such a way that it maximises benefits for biodiversity.

There is an ongoing need for fine-scale regional mapping of vegetation communities that is consistent across the state, including a definitive description of the vegetation communities of NSW. This is needed to support adaptive management within regions, enabling effective comparison between regions (CMAs), and providing a connection between regional and statewide monitoring and reporting for SoE and NRM purposes.

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