South Australia's native vegetation is
fundamental to the health of our environment and the prosperity of our
primary industries. Native vegetation protects our land from erosion and
dry-land salinity, improving our agricultural productivity and storing
carbon. It provides habitat for our native animals, places for
recreation, gives our landscape its identity and is culturally important
for Aboriginal people.
Development has resulted in extensive
clearance in agricultural areas (75 per cent cleared), resulting in
reduced coverage and increased fragmentation of native vegetation.
Remaining native vegetation is under additional pressure from
inappropriate grazing and fire regimes, weeds, pests, plant diseases and
firewood collection. Altered water flows, increasing soil salinity and
climate change are also threats. Several native vegetation communities
in the state are now listed as threatened.
Substantial conservation investments are
required to establish a network of permanently protect areas, improve
the condition of native vegetation, and to link patches through
‘corridors’ of continuous vegetation. Together the network of protected
areas and corridors, will improve the survival of native plants and
animals. Monitoring the condition of native vegetation is essential to
ensure that management activities are effective.