Biodiversity and natural icons

Australia's unique biodiversity underpins the functioning of our natural and productive landscapes, but faces threats from habitat destruction, invasive species, pollution and climate change. These threats need to be systematically addressed.

Our World Heritage and National Heritage sites include places with very high environmental, social and economic values. Effective protection of these natural icons is needed to preserve them.

The following statements outline what we consider to be ambitious but achievable outcomes for the first five years of Caring for our Country.

By 2013, Caring for our Country will:

  • Increase, by at least one million hectares, the area of native habitat and vegetation that is managed to reduce critical threats to biodiversity and to enhance the condition, connectivity and resilience of habitats and landscapes. This is additional to the 125 million hectares that is to be protected within the National Reserve System.
  • Reduce the impact of invasive species:
    • rabbits and rodents on Macquarie Island (Tasmania)
    • the southern and westward migration of Cane Toads
    • Tramp Ants and camels in at least one priority area
    • in at least four other priority areas to be defined through the annual Caring for our Country business plans.
  • Secure management arrangements for all World Heritage areas that meet the requirements of the World Heritage Convention.
  • Improve the protection and management of Ningaloo Reef.
  • Maintain viable Tasmanian Devil populations.

These outcome statements help determine our priorities for investing Caring for our Country funds and help us make decisions about the most efficient way of taking action.