This region has been home to at least 525 species of native fish, amphibians, reptiles, birds and mammals. Today, there are estimated to be 427 native species still surviving here, though a number of species exist in small, isolated populations that may not be sustainable.
Native animals and their habitats are connected in many ways. Every animal species supports the abundance or health of others. Loss of species threatens the health and resilience of ecosystems and their capacity to be productive and beneficial.
The targets set by this strategy aim to:
- maintain the diversity of native animal species that still inhabit the region
- stabilise or improve the health of populations of selected ‘indicator species’ predicted to reflect the health of other animals sharing their landscapes and threats.
Urbanisation, weeds, pest animals, and the impacts of a drying, warmer and more fire-prone climate on native vegetation and habitat are pressures that challenge the attainment of this strategy’s targets. Work to minimise the effects of these pressures will take place against a background of extinction debt – further species losses driven by the irrevocable legacies of past actions.
The condition of native animals across the region has been assessed (Method and Condition) and targets have been set (Targets). Lead organisations are committed to achieving targets and arrangements are in place to monitor and report on progress. Targets and leadership arrangements are determined in consultation with relevant departments, agencies and delegated land managers. This strategy’s interactive map provides various kinds of spatial information about the region’s native animals.