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Cape York Peninsula Land Use Strategy

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Areas of Conservation Significance on Cape York Peninsula

Cape York Peninsula Land Use Strategy
Abrahams, H., Mulvaney, M., Glasco, D., & Bugg, A.
Office of the Co-ordinator General of Queensland
Australian Heritage Commission, March 1995


Areas of Conservation Significance on Cape York Peninsula

6.0 The Vegetation Communities Exhibiting the Principal Characteristics of their Class

6.1 The Method Adopted

The best examples of a particular vegetation class were identified under sub-criterion D1 (Significant for exhibiting the principal characteristics of a class) using the Neldner and Clarkson (1994) 1:250 000 Vegetation mapping. The wilderness quality information (Section 3 of this report) was used also to provide an indication of condition and integrity.

The assumptions on which this analysis was based are:

The Neldner and Clarkson vegetation data is complex in that each discrete mapping unit or polygon is further divided into 10% proportions of present vegetation communities. This is discussed in detail above (Section 4).

This representative areas analysis has been undertaken by considering only the proportionately dominant vegetation community for each polygon. There are eleven communities that are mapped only as sub-dominants in this coverage, all of which are rare communities (Section 4).

To determine those examples of each vegetation class that exhibit the best condition and integrity of the class, three indicators were used from the vegetation mapping itself and the National Wilderness Inventory (NWI) wilderness analysis undertaken as part of this project. The details of this analysis are outlined in Appendix 4.

The method considered wilderness quality, biophysical naturalness and the area of each mapped vegetation unit. The results of this analysis indicating all the areas identified as representing the principle characteristics of class are illustrated in Figure 6.1. It is not possible to plot this map so as to illustrate the areas important for each of the 201 vegetation classes, however that information is readily available from the GIS coverage.

6.2 Discussion

This method of selecting areas representative of vegetation communities is directed toward selecting those that best exhibit the principle characteristics of the vegetation class. Using the Natural Wilderness Inventory information, it has been possible to model those areas with relatively high condition and integrity and which are also among the larger mapped areas.

In only very few instances has the analysis resulted in a substantial proportion of the vegetation class being identified (Appendix 4). Difficulties in selecting representative samples from a rare or restricted vegetation communities is only to expected. The results of the analysis themselves indicate the applicability and suitability of the analysis.

An important consideration has been to endeavour to incorporate the natural frequency and size distribution of the vegetation community in the analysis. Incorporating a comparison of polygon information with others in the same vegetation class ensures a better consideration of these distributional factors than identifying a fixed proportion across all of the vegetation classes.

In the context of any land use planning exercise the areas identified indicate those areas which better represent each vegetation community, or when considered collectively, the suite of vegetation communities, on the Peninsula. This is not a representative areas reserve selection analysis, however in any reserve system analysis it would be appropriate to favour selection from these identified areas rather than from other examples of the same vegetation communities.