No comprehensive national update on pressures affecting biodiversity has been published since the 2008 Assessment of Australia’s terrestrial biodiversity report (DEWHA 2009), which identified the following key pressures:
- fragmentation of habitat
- climate change
- land-use change
- invasive species and pathogens
- grazing pressure
- altered fire regimes
- changed hydrology.
However, as highlighted in all previous SoE reports (1996, 2001, 2006 and 2011), the major pressures on biodiversity are clear; these same pressures remain in 2016.
Information about pressures facing biodiversity is provided from the threatened species listing process under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act). Invasive species are the most frequently cited pressure affecting species listed under the EPBC Act, with approximately 80 per cent of species considered to be at potential risk from the impact of invasive species (Figure BIO2). Changing fire regimes are considered a threat to 60 per cent of listed species.
Currently, 21 key threatening processes are listed under the EPBC Act. In the past 5 years, 2 key threatening processes have been added: ’Aggressive exclusion of birds from potential woodland and forest habitat by overabundant noisy miners (Manorina melanocephala)’ in May 2014, and ‘Novel biota and their impact on biodiversity’ in February 2013 (more detail is provided in Pest species and pathogens).