This Regional Catchment Strategy assesses the extent and quality of:
The extent and quality of native vegetation are indicators of its ability to provide resilient, functional habitats and ecosystem services across landscapes.
This strategy also describes Potential Nature Links - opportunities for significant future links of vegetation across the landscape.
Permanent Native Vegetation comprises patches which agencies or Councils are committed to preserving as native vegetation. It is assumed that this commitment and ongoing management ensures they will continue to make significant contributions to the region’s ecological health and resilience. It is also assumed that in State Forests where forestry activities occur, the overall, long-term extent of native vegetation will be maintained, in line with government policy, through forest revegetation.
The aim is to identify areas of Permanent Native Vegetation for which the responsible organisations agree to pursue a target of at least maintaining the existing extent.
Information about the Permanent Native Vegetation is presented in tables such as the example below.
‘Other Native Vegetation’ is defined by this strategy as native vegetation outside the ‘Permanent Native Vegetation’ patches. ‘Other Native Vegetation’ is often on private land and exists in many fragmented patches.
The information about 'Other Native Vegetation' in this strategy should not be treated as definitive as estimated extents are based on modelled data. The approximate extent of ‘Other Native Vegetation’ in each Council area has been derived from the 'NV 2010 extent' data layer published by the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning in 2013. The Interactive Map layer for Other Native Vegetation is also based on the 'NV 2010 extent' data set.
Information about the Other Native Vegetation in each Council area is presented in tables such as the example below.
Potential Nature Links are parts of the landscape considered to offer major, realistic and highly-valuable opportunities for creating large-scale vegetation corridors and improving landscape connectivity.
Many Nature Links are priority areas for new carbon plantings because they offer opportunites for carbon sequestration and benefits for biodiversity and landscape health.
Nature Links would generate north-south and east-west connections between existing habitat, enabling species transit and improving ecosystem resilience to climate change and habitat fragmentation.
The Potential Nature Links do not have precise boundaries. They are identified where there is strong potential for revegetation and other activities to improve large-scale connectivity between and around existing vegetation.
The rationale for Nature Links as carbon planting priorities is explained in the document, PPWCMA identification of priorities for carbon plantings and protection of carbon stores in the Port Phillip & Western Port Region. This is available on the Downloads page.
Being large scale, Nature Links will generally require long-term commitment and agreement by numerous organisations. Some of the Nature Links identified in this strategy are listed because they are the subject of existing major projects that involve numerous organisations. An example is the Grow West project that has been underway for 10 years and has planted over 1 million trees working towards a link from the Brisbane Ranges to the Lerderderg State Park.
Nature Links also generally require very strong support and involvement of local communities, especially local landholders. Many landholders will need to participate in land management and revegetation activities in order for any Nature Link to develop.
Within the Nature Links, long-term results could be some continuous vegetation corridors but discontinuous ‘stepping stones’ of vegetation are also valuable. The aim is to enable species to move through disturbed landscapes, extend their range, disperse to other habitats and populations and improve their overall population health.
It is intended that only 15-20 Nature Links will be identified in this strategy so there is a focus on these links as priorities from a regional perspective.
This method has been used to outline the current condition of native vegetation and set targets for the future. Lead organisations are committed to achieving these targets and arrangements are in place to monitor and report on progress and success.