Management for nature conservation

Victoria’s parks are important for conservation of representative and adequate examples of the State’s biodiversity and ecological processes. Victoria’s parks are home to many of the state’s largest and least disturbed ecosystems, as well as many of its most threatened species and communities. Parks also play an important role in protecting remnant vegetation in urban areas.

These are the findings of the 2018 State of the Parks Report in relation to Parks Victoria's management for nature conservation:

Status of threats and condition

  • The most commonly reported threats to nature conservation values were weeds (85% of parks) and pest animals (79% of parks).
  • The impact of most key threats has remained stable since 2013.
  • The condition of natural values was good or very good in 54% of relevant terrestrial parks (52% of park area). This percentage has remained stable since 2013.
  • The condition of natural values was good or very good in 93% of marine parks (75% by marine park area). This percentage has remained stable since 2013.

 


Extent management objectives met

  • Management objectives for marine pests, fire and inappropriate water regimes were fully or substantially met in 38%, 58% and 37% of relevant parks, respectively. The extent to which management objectives for these threats were met has remained stable since 2013.
  • Management objectives for weeds, pest animals, non-compliance and visitor impacts were fully or substantially met in 41%, 25%, 13% and 20% of relevant parks, respectively. Although the extent to which management objectives were met was stable for most relevant parks across these threats, significantly more parks reported that it had declined (between 21% and 33% of relevant parks across the four threats) than improved (between 8% and 11% of relevant parks across the four threats) since 2013.
  • Management objectives for nature conservation in terrestrial parks were fully or substantially met in almost 40% of relevant parks (over 60% by park area). Although the extent to which management objectives were met remained stable for most relevant parks (67%), significantly more parks reported that it declined (24%) than improved (9%) since 2013.
  • Management objectives for nature conservation in marine parks were fully or substantially met in over 30% of relevant parks (over 60% by park area). The extent to which objectives were met has remained stable since 2013. 




Key factors influencing management effectiveness (over assessment period, 2013-18)

Improved management actions

  • Implementation of well-planned, resourced and monitored weed, pest animal and habitat restoration initiatives at priority parks (e.g. Mallee, Grampians, Alps).
  • Excellent delivery partnerships (CMAs, volunteers, other government agencies) enabled larger-scale delivery of environmental programs (e.g. large-scale Mallee revegetation).
  • Improved clarity of management objectives for parks through conservation action planning.
  • Improved environmental conditions including mild bushfire seasons, natural flood events and increased environmental water allocations.
  • Targeted compliance programs (e.g. illegal firewood removal).
  • Targeted marine and terrestrial monitoring programs and partnerships providing valuable knowledge (e.g. Great Otway, Yarra Ranges, Alpine National Parks).

 

Challenges

  • Some priority parks were still in recovery phase from recent large-scale bushfires (e.g. Grampians, Yarra Ranges).
  • Improved environmental conditions resulted in favourable conditions for spread of weeds.
  • Lack of effective management strategies for key pest animals (e.g. feral cats, deer).
  • Complex and diverse stakeholder views on proposed threat management, e.g. feral horses.
  • Challenges in reconciling planned burns for community safety and conservation objectives.

 

Future focus

  • Increase the profile of the parks estate’s significant environmental values through digital media and other initiatives.
  • Ensure that programs align with goals and contribute to targets under Protecting Victoria’s Environment - Biodiversity 2037 strategy.

    Continue to roll out conservation action planning priority landscapes to identify clear and measurable objectives for both priority conservation assets and for the key threats to them, as well as development of effective strategies for management, priorities for actions and priorities for monitoring.
  • Continue to roll out conservation action planning priority landscapes to identify clear and measurable objectives for both priority conservation assets and for the key threats to them, as well as development of effective strategies for management, priorities for actions and priorities for monitoring.
  • Grow targeted compliance plans and programs to reduce illegal activities.
  • Continue to build on the science program, including leverage through the research partners panel and partnered, targeted monitoring projects to enable more quantitative information to supplement the qualitative assessments used for State of the Parks.
  • Undertake further planning and assessment and response to respond to climate change impacts.
  • Continue to work closely with DEWLP to ensure that all planned burns optimise ecological objectives.
  • Plan for and respond to emerging issues/changing environmental conditions.

 

Read more about Management for nature conservation in the following sections:

3.1 Extent and representation of natural assets in parks
3.2 Status and management of key threats to park ecosystems
3.3 Condition of park ecosystems
3.4 Key factors influencing management effectiveness

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