The Department of the Environment has released more than 1,700 new maps and datasets that local communities can use to find threatened species in their area.
The maps show known and predicted distribution of listed species, including areas of potential habitat.
Threatened Species Commissioner at the Department, Gregory Andrews, said that the maps and datasets were a valuable resource for local groups and natural resource managers, allowing them to target their conservation efforts.
“This information is being made publicly available for the first time. For people to care about their local environment, they need to know what’s there and understand just how precious it is. That’s why tools like this are so important,” Mr Andrews said.
“The maps and data focus on native flora and fauna that are listed under national environment law as vulnerable, endangered and critically endangered.”
The maps were developed by Department of the Environment spatial ecologists using details from State, Territory and national databases, as well as information published in species recovery plans and listing advice.
They were general enough to ensure threatened plants and wildlife could not be illegally collected or disturbed.
The maps are indicative rather than definitive, and they are a starting point for further investigation rather than the outcome of a comprehensive scientific assessment.
The maps are accompanied by associated data including: an industry-standard grid, which can be loaded into a geographic information system (GIS); a summary spreadsheet, which provides an index to each species map and links to further information, and a user guide explaining how the maps were generated.
The maps are available online now from the Department of the Environment. Members of the public are encouraged to provide feedback through the website so that the maps can be kept up to date.