Flora and Fauna Ecological Assessment of Lakes A Zone

What is being monitored?

 
Anticipated environmental result:
  • Maintained and enhanced quality of indigenous vegetation habitats.

Monitoring:

  • To carry out five-yearly flora and fauna surveys of 10% of vegetated land in 10 preset locations to determine quality of flora and fauna.

Purpose of monitoring

Ten preset sites within the Lakes A Zone are used to monitor changes to flora and fauna. These sites were chosen to represent different types of flora and fauna and give a representative result for the area. They are intended to ‘flag’ any issues affecting flora and fauna in the Lakes A Zone and to keep a record of changes. The sites were chosen using the following criteria:

  • Land cover being predominantly indigenous vegetation;
  • Unprotected;
  • High ecological significance of species or habitats present (e.g. rarity, size, representativeness);
  • Representation of identifiable threats;
  • Not currently monitored (at time of choosing sites);
  • Relatively accessible.

Reports available

 
All monitoring reports on flora and fauna ecological assessment are listed below.

Current trends

Ten sites were chosen in 2007 for 5-yearly surveying flora and fauna of the Lakes A Zone. They were first surveyed in 2007, providing baseline information. Surveying includes looking at the amount, type and height of vegetation (canopy heights), and any signs of animals’ presence (for example scratching, browsing, faeces or sightings at the time of surveying).

In 2011 the sites were resurveyed and comparisons were made with 2006 data to identify changes. It was found that not many changes had taken place over the five years. Changes were minor and most probably a result of seasonal variation or animal grazing. Pest animals were identified as the major threat to vegetation (for some sites) and management of these recommended.

A summary of findings in the report says;

4.2 Changes in the Monitoring Plots since 2007

"Overall, changes to the species composition of all sites were minor and mainly restricted to the lower two tiers (i.e. Tier 1 <30 cm and Tier 2 >30 cm to 2 m). These changes resulted either from seasonal variations due to an earlier survey time (i.e. some species were not as far developed as during the late summer surveys in 2007), or were results of animal grazing which led to a decrease in understorey vegetation.

Changes to the top tiers could sometimes be a case of observer bias, i.e. differences in the percentage cover could be a result of different estimates by different observers rather than actual changes in species coverage. This issue was acknowledged when analysing the data and only significant changes of two or more cover classes were interpreted as likely actual change."

 
The full report includes individual site summaries. To view the full report click here.
 
Page reviewed: 17 Apr 2014 1:31pm