Gondwana Rainforests of Australia

Australia
Inscribed in
1986
Criteria
(viii)
(ix)
Designation
IBA

This site, comprising several protected areas, is situated predominantly along the Great Escarpment on Australia’s east coast. The outstanding geological features displayed around shield volcanic craters and the high number of rare and threatened rainforest species are of international significance for science and conservation.
© UNESCO

Summary

2017 Conservation Outlook

Finalised on
08 Nov 2017
Good with some concerns
The Gondwana Rainforests is a serial property composed of 41 component parts, ranging in size from 36 hectares to 39,120 hectares. Each of the component parts conserve different values and are faced with different threats and management responses. In general, the values for which the site was inscribed on the World Heritage List in 1986, with a large extension in 1994, have been mostly maintained apart from a decline in some significant species. While management has so far been effective in addressing some challenges, further management responses will be required to address some increasing threats, particularly those posed by invasive species and pathogens and climate change.

Current state and trend of VALUES

Low Concern
Trend
Data Deficient
While the geological values appear stable, the trends for some threatened species seem to be deteriorating, despite recovery and action plans. The greatest concern is for the amphibian species within the property, although declines in indicator bird species have also been reported. However this analysis remains superficial and more monitoring data is needed. In addition, if invasive species including pathogens continue to increase, natural ongoing evolutionary processes will be compromised. Although many biodiversity values are being well conserved in the site, the situation in the Gondwana Rainforests is of some concern.

Overall THREATS

High Threat
Although the list of current and potential threatening processes to the property is long, there have been major management responses to these threats. However even with excellent management response, given the sheer number and diversity of threats, the multi-use functions of the property and the somewhat fragmented disposition of its component parts, as well as the unquantified effect of climate change, the threats are still assessed as high.

Overall PROTECTION and MANAGEMENT

Effective
Protection and management of the component parts appears to be highly to mostly effective. The only question is, given this is a serial property, whether all the component parts are adequately buffered and as connected as possible. There seems to be some potential to further extend the property in order to ensure better connectivity and better protection of its OUV. While management has so far been effective in addressing main challenges, further management responses will be required to address some increasing threats, particularly those posed by invasive species and pathogens and climate change.

Full assessment

Click the + and - signs to expand or collapse full accounts of information under each topic. You can also view the entire list of information by clicking Expand all on the top left.

Finalised on
08 Nov 2017

Description of values

Outstanding examples of significant ongoing geological processes

Criterion
(viii)
When Australia separated from Antarctica following the break-up of Gondwana, new continental margins developed and volcanoes erupted in sequence along the east coast resulting in the Tweed, Focal Peak, Ebor and Barrington volcanic shields. This sequence of volcanos is significant as it enables the dating of the geomorphic evolution of eastern Australia through the study of the interaction of these volcanic remnants with the eastern highlands. The Tweed Shield erosion caldera is possibly the best preserved erosion caldera in the world, notable for its size and age, for the presence of a prominent central mountain mass (Wollumbin/Mt Warning), and for the erosion of the caldera floor to basement rock. All three stages relating to the erosion of shield volcanoes (the planeze, residual and skeletal stages) are readily distinguishable. Further south, the remnants of the Ebor Volcano also provide an outstanding example of the ongoing erosion of a shield volcano (SoOUV, 2012).

Outstanding examples of relict plant species

Criterion
(ix)
Age of the Pteridophytes’ from the Carboniferous Period with some of the oldest elements of the world’s ferns and the ‘Age of Conifers’ in the Jurassic Period with one of the most significant centres of survival for Araucarians (the most ancient and phylogenetically primitive of the world’s conifers) are represented in the site. Likewise the site provides an outstanding record of the ‘Age of the Angiosperms’. This includes a secondary centre of endemism for primitive flowering plants originating in the Early Cretaceous, the most diverse assemblage of relict angiosperm taxa representing the primary radiation of dicotyledons in the mid-Late Cretaceous, a unique record of the evolutionary history of Australian rainforests representing the ‘golden age’ of the Early Tertiary, and a unique record of Miocene vegetation that was the antecedent of modern temperate rainforests in Australia (SoOUV, 2012).

Outstanding examples of relict and other vertebrate and invertebrate species

Criterion
(ix)
The site contains an outstanding number of songbird species, including lyrebirds (Menuridae), scrub-birds (Atrichornithidae), treecreepers (Climacteridae) and bowerbirds and catbirds (Ptilonorhynchidae), belonging to some of the oldest lineages of passerines that evolved in the Late Cretaceous. Outstanding examples of other relict vertebrate and invertebrate fauna from ancient lineages linked to the break-up of Gondwana also occur in the site (SoOUV, 2012). Relict frogs include all frogs in Myobatrachidae and Hylidae, families having Gondwanan origins. Relict species of reptiles include chelid turtles Emydura signata and Elseya latisternum, Leaf-tailed Gecko (Saltuarius spp.) and the Southern Angle-headed Dragon (Hypsilurus spinipes). Relict invertebrates include fresh-water crayfish; land snails; velvet worms; a number of beetle families including flightless carabid beetles; the second largest butterfly in Australia the Richmond Birdwing (Troides richmondia) and glow-worms (Nomination, 1994; Hunter, 2004).

Outstanding examples of ongoing evolutionary processes

Criterion
(ix)
Ongoing evolutionary processes continue within the site’s rainforests which have been described as ‘an archipelago of refugia, a series of distinctive habitats that characterise a temporary endpoint in climatic and geomorphological evolution’. The distances between these ‘islands’ of rainforest represent barriers to the flow of genetic material for those taxa which have low dispersal ability, and this pressure has created the potential for continued speciation (SoOUV, 2012).

Endemic and threatened plants

Criterion
(x)
The Gondwana Rainforests protects the largest and best stands of rainforest habitat remaining in this region, containing many endemic and threatened plant species. Altogether 170 families, 695 genera and 1625 species of vascular plants have been recorded, with about 150 endemics (IUCN Evaluation, 1994; SoOUV, 2012).

Endemic and threatened mammals

Criterion
(x)
The Gondwana Rainforests protects endemic and threatened mammals. While no mammals are restricted to the site, the region represents the major distribution of the Hastings River Mouse (Pseudomys oralis) and Parma Wallaby Macropus parma). Thirty-one species of bats, half of all Australia’s bat species, occur in the site (IUCN Evaluation 1994; SoOUV, 2012).

Endemic and threatened birds

Criterion
(x)
More than 270 species of birds have been recorded (about 38% of all Australian birds) with two species of lyrebirds (Albert’s Lyrebird (Menura alberti) and Superb Lyrebird (M. novaehollandiae) and the rare Rufous Scrub-bird (Atrichornis rufescens) particularly significant. Other species listed as rare in the region include the Coxen's Fig-Parrot (Cyclopsitta diophthalma coxeni), Plumed Frogmouth (Podargus ocellatus plumiferus), Topknot Pigeon (Lopholaimus antarcticus), Wonga Pigeon (Leucosarcia melanoleuca), Black-breasted Button-quail (Turnix melanogaster) and Eastern Bristle-bird (Dasyornis brachypterus) (Nomination, 1994).

Endemic and threatened frogs

Criterion
(x)
Some 45 species of frogs, about 25% of Australia’s total frog fauna, includes the significant species the Hip-pocket Frog Assa darlingtoni . Other frogs with distributions largely confined to the site include Mountain Frog Philoria (=Kyarranus) kundagungan; Loveridge’s Frog P. (=K.) loveridgei; Sphagnum Frog P. (=K.) sphagnicolus; Fleay’s Frog Mixophyes fleayi; Booroolong Frog (Litoria (= Utoria) booroolongensis; Pearson’s Frog L. pearsoniana and Glandular Frog L. subglandulosa (Nomination, 1994).

Endemic and threatened reptiles

Criterion
(x)
About 110 species of reptiles, including the world’s largest skink the Land Mullet (Egernia (=Bellatorias) major). Several other species with the major part of their distribution within property include Southern Angle-headed Dragon Gonocephalus spinipes; Northern Leaf-tailed Gecko Phyllurus 'cornutus' (probably two species); Rainforest Cool-skink Harrisoniascincus (=Cautula) zia, Three-toed Snake-tooth Skink Coeranoscincus reticulatus; Border Ranges Shadeskink Saproscincus (=Lampropholis) challengerii; Montane Sunskink Lamphrophlis caligula (restricted to Barrington Tops region); Short-limbed Snake-skink Ophioscincus truncatus and Murray’s Skink Eulamprus murrayi (Nomination, 1994).

Assessment information

High Threat
Although the list of threatening processes to the property is long, there have been major management responses to these threats. However, even with excellent management response, given the sheer volume and diversity of threats facing the various component parts of the property, the threats are still assessed as high.
Housing/ Urban Areas
Low Threat
Outside site
Incompatible land-use on adjoining properties, escaped fires, and pressure for residential and tourist development due to increasing urbanization and population, pose a threat in some locations. Off-site activities such as clearing and erosion within upstream catchments may be a potential threat for the attributes of OUV in some sections of the property (IUCN Consultation, 2017). Diversity in local government zoning policies creates a potential for inconsistent planning (Periodic Report, 2003).
Temperature extremes
High Threat
Inside site
Outside site
Climate change, resulting in increased temperatures, more frequent and intense storms, and changes to the cloud base, mist availability or rainfall is emerging as a high threat to the property’s OUV. It may already be impacting some of the World Heritage values and these impacts are expected to increase (Periodic Report, 2011; ANU 2009; IUCN Consultation, 2017).
Tourism/ visitors/ recreation
Low Threat
Inside site
Outside site
Tourism development, due to increasing visitor pressure and infrastructure (Periodic Report, 2003) is a threat included in park management plans. There are high levels of visitation in a number of the reserves (IUCN Consultation, 2017). Visitation is managed to minimise impact while supporting the visitor experience and appreciation of values.
Invasive Non-Native/ Alien Species
High Threat
Inside site
Outside site
A number of introduced pathogens include Phytophthora cinnamomi (a soil-borne water mould which infects the roots of native plants), Amphibian Chytrid Fungus Disease (infecting native frogs), Psittacine Circoviral (beak and feather) disease infecting parrots and Myrtle Rust (a disease of native Myrtaceae plants caused by the exotic fungus Puccinia psidii – initially identified as Uredo rangelii). Management of pathogens is in part dealt with in national park management plans although they continue to pose high threat to the attributes of the OUV. Given the fragmented nature of the property it is difficult to impose biosecurity controls and manage the introduction and spread of pathogens without coordinated, landscape-scale measures (IUCN Consultation, 2017).
Fire/ Fire Suppression
Low Threat
Inside site
Outside site
Intense wildfires are threats to the property’s OUV (Periodic report, 2011; GRSMF, 2017, unpublished). A better understanding of the interactions between fire and rainforest, and also fire and wet sclerophyll forest, is necessary to refine fire management strategies. In particular, fire management must be designed to suit not only the rainforest areas but also the surrounding habitats (Hunter, 2004). The different management agencies have differing approaches to fire management. The impacts of these differing approaches should be the subject of a comprehensive and coordinated research project (IUCN Consultation, 2017).
Invasive Non-Native/ Alien Species
High Threat
Inside site
Outside site
A variety of invasive plant species have been recorded including Bitou Bush and Boneseed (Chrysanthemoides monilifera subsp. rotundata and subsp. monilifera) which affect coastal areas; Mist Flower (Ageratina riparia), Crofton Weed (Ageratina adenophora) Lantana (Lantana camara), Camphor Laurel (Cinnamomum camphora and Kahill ginger (Hedychium gardnerianum), Madeira Vine (Andredera cordifolia), and others. Scotch Broom (Cytisus scoparius) is a particular problem in the southernmost part of the property. Management response to these invasive species includes implementation of Threat Abatement Plans for those listed as key threatening processes and pest management plans in national parks.
Introduced animals include fox (Vulpes vulpes), rabbit (Oryctolagus cuniculus), feral cat (Felis catus), black rat (Rattus rattus) the common house mouse (Mus musculus), goat (Capra hircus), wild dog (Canis lupus familiaris or hybrids with Canis lupus dingo), feral pig (Sus scrofa), feral deer (Cervidae spp.) and others. All these animals have an impact on the park either by displacement, predation or competition and their management is included in management plans (NPWS, 1998; NPWS, 2005; DERC, 2011). Straying stock (cattle, Bos taurus) pose a problem in some parts of the site (Chester & Bushnell, 2005).
Strategies to manage these pest animals are incorporated in national parks management plans and implemented in cooperation with neighbours (IUCN Consultation, 2017).
Other
High Threat
Inside site
Outside site
The site is a serial property of eight separate groups of reserves composed of 40 component parts (http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/368/). Some of these components are very small, but almost all have some connectivity to neighbouring protected areas (IUCN Consultation, 2017). The area/boundary ratio of fragmented reserves increases exposure to threats such as weed and pathogen invasion, changes the microclimate of otherwise intact rainforest and potentially has negative impacts on natural biological processes (including altitudinal and latitudinal migration in response to climate change) (IUCN Consultation, 2017).
High Threat
Risk management is in place although it is likely that invasive species and pathogens could still arrive into the site given the multi-use functions of the property and the somewhat fragmented disposition of its component parts. Management responses to climate change are difficult, although mitigation by increasing connectivity between the different components could help.
Invasive Non-Native/ Alien Species
High Threat
Inside site
Outside site
Other invasive species and pathogens could still be introduced to the site although biosecurity plans are in place.
Temperature extremes
Very High Threat
Inside site
Outside site
Potential threats include higher temperatures, Increased carbon dioxide (CO2) concentrations; periods of prolonged drought; a rise in the orographic cloud layer; exacerbation of fire regimes that are inappropriate to maintenance of rainforest species (ANU, 2009).
Although the list of current and potential threatening processes to the property is long, there have been major management responses to these threats. However even with excellent management response, given the sheer number and diversity of threats, the multi-use functions of the property and the somewhat fragmented disposition of its component parts, as well as the unquantified effect of climate change, the threats are still assessed as high.
Data Deficient
Data deficient
Highly Effective
Good (Periodic Report, 2003).
Highly Effective
This is a serial property comprising 41 components located in the States of New South Wales and Queensland (SoOUV, 2012). The Federal government funds an executive officer and two advisory committees, which provide technical and scientific advice to the management agencies. The executive officer also provides the secretariat support for management committees to support coordination between the Commonwealth and state governments (IUCN Consultation, 2017). An overarching Strategic Plan is in place for the entire serial property to coordinate its management. The Queensland, NSW and Australian governments have been working together to review and update the Strategic Plan and Management Framework for the Gondwana Rainforests of Australia World Heritage Property (IUCN Consultation, 2017).
Management plans or statements, along with fire, pest and visitor strategies are developed or are being developed for most national parks within the property.
Legal framework
Highly Effective
Most of the property lies within national park boundaries. National environmental law [The Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999], as well as various state laws (Queensland Nature Conservation Act 1992, and the NSW National Parks and Wildlife Act 1974 and Environment Planning and Assessment Act 1979; Queensland Planning Act 2016; Environmental Protection Act 1994; Aboriginal Cultural Heritage Act 2003], protect the property from threats originating both inside and outside the properties boundaries (Feros, 2009; SoOUV, 2012).
Enforcement
Highly Effective
Overall, enforcement of existing laws and regulations is highly effective.
Management effectiveness
Effective
Although not conducted at the scale of the entire property, management effectiveness for some of the component parts is being monitored every 3-5 years through the State of the Parks Report (IUCN Consultation, 2017). There is a need for closer alignment of protected area management between Queensland and NSW with monitoring and research focussed on resolving questions of differing approaches to management of fire in particular (IUCN Consultation, 2017).
Implementation of Committee decisions and recommendations
Effective
The Committee decisions for this site were related to the extension of the property, change of its name and recently to the adoption of Retrospective Statement of Outstanding Universal Value. No other decisions or recommendations which would require implementation were adopted.
Boundaries
Some Concern
Since inscription there have been major tenure changes, meaning most flora reserves that were previously managed by State Forests of New South Wales were revoked and incorporated into new or existing national parks and nature reserves managed by the New South Wales National Parks and Wildlife Service. In Queensland, all State Forests in the property have been converted to national park. Whilst the boundaries of the World Heritage Property have not changed, the boundaries of some of the reserves have been extended. This has led to enhanced protection of the property (SOC, 2003). There have also been major expansions in the National Park estate in both New South Wales and Queensland, including significant additional areas of rainforest that could be added to the property in the future (Feros, 2009). Potential extension of the World Heritage property has been discussed and such an extension was added to the Australia's Tentative List in 2010 (http://whc.unesco.org/en/tentativelists/5541/); however, no proposal has been officially submitted yet. An extension of the property would help improve the connectivity between different components.
Sustainable finance
Effective
Funding is largely the responsibility of the State management agencies. The Australian Government has funded the position of the Gondwana Rainforests Executive Officer and provided funding support for the Advisory Committees since 1994 (Feros, 2009). Funding is provided by State and Commonwealth agencies to carry out priority issues, but some threatening processes are by necessity not able to be adequately addressed. Some examples include weed and pest control, rehabilitation of degraded areas and systematic monitoring and research (SOC, 2003).
Staff training and development
Data Deficient
Data deficient.
Sustainable use
Data Deficient
Data deficient. Unlikely that sustainable use is allowed within the site, as the vast majority lies within National Parks, although there may be some.
Education and interpretation programs
Highly Effective
Excellent tourism management and interpretation (Periodic Reporting, 2003).
Tourism and visitation management
Highly Effective
Excellent tourism management and interpretation (Periodic Reporting, 2003).
Monitoring
Effective
There is currently no overall coordinated monitoring programme for the site, however there are a number of reserve-specific projects being undertaken which provide baseline and trend data. These projects are undertaken to the limit of available resources, often guided by political priorities. Examples of these include vegetation mapping; visitation indicators; species specific and flora/fauna communities projects; threatening processes – particularly fire, weeds and pest species; and agencies own integrated ‘state of the park’ reporting. Monitoring has been identified as a management objective in the Strategic Overview (SOC, 2003). A monitoring strategy has been published (Chester & Bushnell, 2005). Some attributes of the Outstanding Universal Value of the property need to be better understood and monitored (IUCN Consultation, 2017).
Research
Highly Effective
Each year approximately 200 - 300 scientific and technical studies are undertaken in the area, with a number of new discoveries taking place (SOC, 2003).
Assessment of the effectiveness of protection and management in addressing threats outside the site
Protection and management of the component parts appears to be highly to mostly effective. The only question is, given this is a serial property, whether all the component parts are adequately buffered and as connected as possible. There seems to be some potential to further extend the property in order to ensure better connectivity and better protection of its OUV. While management has so far been effective in addressing main challenges, further management responses will be required to address some increasing threats, particularly those posed by invasive species and pathogens and climate change.
Assessment of the effectiveness of protection and management in addressing threats outside the site
Data Deficient
More information is required to understand protection and management outside the site. In many of the reserves it appears that they are protected by additional protected areas, but not all of them.
World Heritage values

Outstanding examples of significant ongoing geological processes

Good
Trend
Stable
No reports of any significant damage to the reserves in which these processes are occurring (Periodic Report, 2003).

Outstanding examples of relict plant species

Data Deficient
Trend
Stable
No reports of any significant loss of relict plant species occurring within the site (Periodic Report, 2003). However more recent information concerning the conservation status of the flora in the property is required.

Outstanding examples of relict and other vertebrate and invertebrate species

Data Deficient
Trend
Deteriorating
No reports of any significant loss of relict species occurring within the property (Periodic Report, 2003). However more recent information concerning the conservation status of the birds in the property is required. The decline in the Rufous Scrub-bird and Eastern Bristle-bird indicates a deterioration in this value (IUCN Consulation, 2017).

Outstanding examples of ongoing evolutionary processes

Low Concern
Trend
Stable
No reports of any significant damage to the reserves in which these processes are occurring (SOC, 2003). However if the area covered by invasive plants increase, this will pose a greater risk to evolutionary processes. Climate change, intense wildfires and invasive pests may be leading to local extirpation of disjunct and genetically divergent populations of species such as mountain mist frogs (Kyarranus/Philoria) (IUCN Consultation, 2017).

Endemic and threatened plants

Low Concern
Trend
Stable
1625 plant taxa (170 threatened) were listed in the nomination and many of these are on the EPBC list of threatened flora (www.environment.gov.au/cgi-bin/sprat/public/publicthreatenedlist.pl?wanted=flora). Monitoring of some key species occurs through threatened species and park management programs (IUCN Consultation, 2017). No reports of any plant taxa becoming increasingly threatened within the property have been reported (Periodic Report, 2003).

Endemic and threatened mammals

High Concern
Trend
Deteriorating
In addition to monitoring the conservation status of the 75 species of mammals listed as occurring in the site, it has been suggested that arboreal fauna as well as Rufous Bettong (Aepyprymnus rufescens), Broad-toothed Rat (Mastacomys fuscus), Spotted-tailed Quoll (Dasyurus maculatus) and Hastings River Mouse (Pseudomys oralis) serve as indicators (Chester & Bushnell, 2005). There are recovery plans for the Hastings River Mouse (DECC, 2005) and the Broad-toothed Rat (DECC, 2007), and an Action Plan for the Spotted-tailed Quoll (ACT, 2003). . While such species as Brush-tailed Phascogale (Phascogale tapoatafa); Common Planigale (Planigale maculata); Common Dunnart (Sminthopsis murina); Mountain Brushtail Possum (Trichosurus caninus); Common Brushtail Possum (Trichosurus vulpecula); Feathertail Glider (Acrobates pygmaeus); Eastern Pygmy Possum (Cercartetus nanus); Greater Glider (Petauroides volans); Yellow-bellied Glider (Petaurus australis); Sugar Glider (Petaurus breviceps); Squirrel Glider (Petaurus norfolcensis); Common Ringtail Possum (Pseudocheirus peregrinus); and Koala (Phascolarctos cinereus) are not listed as threatened (apart from Brush-tailed Phascogale and Great Glider listed as Near Threatened, and the Koala is listed in Australia as Vulnerable and has recovery plans), Chester & Bushnell (2005) note that all populations of these species have declined by 10% to 50% (Maxwell et al., 1996). The Parma Wallaby (Macropus parma) has been listed as Near Threatened by IUCN (Lunney & McKenzie, 2008). Monitoring programs for key populations of key species is continuing. There are no reports of any mammal taxa becoming increasingly threatened within the property (IUCN Consultation, 2017).

Endemic and threatened birds

High Concern
Trend
Deteriorating
Two subspecies of the Rufous Scrub-bird occur within the site. This species has been extensively studied and monitored (www.environment.gov.au/cgi-bin/sprat/public/publicspecies.pl?taxon_id=67058). Birdlife (2012) notes that “some subpopulations of A. r. rufescens are thought to have disappeared within the last 2 decades, including those at Mt Warning and Spicers Gap, while declines in A. r. ferrieri are inferred because of a reduction in area occupied by calling males in New England National Park (Garnett and Crowley 2000).” Therefore it appears that there has been a decline of this species within the site since inscription, although the protected areas where this species occurs are its last refuge. The Eastern Bristle-bird has also been divided into two subspecies with the northern subspecies rapidly decreasing (CR) and the southern subspecies stable, although the threat of destructive fires in the majority of this species’ habitat means that an overall future decline is very likely so it has been listed as EN (Birdlife, 2012). While monitoring just 3 threatened species of the 270 present in the property is not representative, at the same time these 3 species were identified at time of nomination as exceptional for criteria ix and x. Until it is demonstrated that their populations are at least stable or increasing within the property there is cause for concern.

Endemic and threatened frogs

Critical
Trend
Deteriorating
45 species of frogs were listed at time of inscription with no special mention of threatened species. Today 11 of these species are listed as globally threatened and 2 Near Threatened (IUCN, 2012), with other reports of regional decline. Causes of decline are still unclear and may be due to several factors including loss of habitat due to feral animals, weed infestation, change in river flows due to upstream timber harvesting and urban development, fish predation, climate change and Chytrid infection (Hines et al., 2004; Hunter & Gillepsie, 2011). Chytrid infection has been implicated for species including Fleay’s Barred-frog (Mixophyes fleayi) (EN and largely restricted to the property) and the Giant Barred River-frog (Mixophyes iteratus) (EN) (Ehmann 1997; Berger et al. 1998; Hines et al. 1999; Hines & McDonald 2000; Hines et al., 2002, 2004). A recovery plan (up to 2005) exists (Hines et al., 2002), as well as one for M. balbus (VU) (Gillepsie et al., 2004; Hunter & Gillepsie, 2011). A recovery plan for the Critically Endangered Booroolong Frog (Litoria booroolongensis) has recently been published (Hero et al., 2004; OEH, 2012), as has a threat abatement plan for Chytrid infection DEC, 2011). Serious attention is being paid to this problem but until these amphibian populations stabilise or improve the threat to some amphibians in the property must be viewed as critical.

Endemic and threatened reptiles

Data Deficient
Trend
Data Deficient
About 110 species of reptiles have been reported in the site. Of the 7 species reported to be mostly restricted to the property, none are on the EPBC list. Two species listed as present in the property are listed on the EPBC list as VU (Three-toed Snake-tooth Skink Coeranoscincus reticulatus and Collared Delma Delma torquata). No reports of any significant increase in number of threatened reptile species occurring within the property (Periodic Report, 2003). Species with wide climatic distributions are likely to adapt to a moderate change in temperature. However, some species such as Tyron’s skink (Eulamprus tryoni) and the beech skink (Pseudemoia zia) are only found above 800 m ASL, so may be affected by a moderate rise in temperature as their climatic envelope disappears off the top of the mountains (ANU 2009).
Assessment of the current state and trend of World Heritage values
While the geological values appear stable, the trends for some threatened species seem to be deteriorating, despite recovery and action plans. The greatest concern is for the amphibian species within the property, although declines in indicator bird species have also been reported. However this analysis remains superficial and more monitoring data is needed. In addition, if invasive species including pathogens continue to increase, natural ongoing evolutionary processes will be compromised. Although many biodiversity values are being well conserved in the site, the situation in the Gondwana Rainforests is of some concern.

Additional information

Health and recreation
The site is a major destination for a large number of tourists.
Cultural and spiritual values
The larger component parts provide wilderness and landscape values.
Cultural and spiritual values
Many of the component parts conserve historical, cultural and spiritual values.
Environmental services
Many of the component parts provide major environmental services in carbon sequestration, controlling erosion and conserving and maintaining water quality.
Knowledge
The site is a natural laboratory for a wide range of scientific questions generating new knowledge and for providing education to the public
The property provides a wide array of benefits to the surrounding community as well as nationally and internationally. This includes an essential role in nature conservation, tourism, generation of jobs and knowledge, and provision of environmental services such as clean water supplies.
While the significant Aboriginal cultural and spiritual values associated with this property were not part of the reasons for inscription for this site, the local as well as national and international community benefits from their conservation in this property.
Organization/ individuals Brief description of Active Projects
1 Royal Botanic Gardens Sydney Rainforest Seed Project.
2 Friends of Gondwana Forest Cave Creek Rainforest Rehabilitation Scheme (adjacent to Springbrook NP)
3 Australian Rainforest Conservation Society Springbrook Rainforest Restoration Project (and others)
4 Wild Mob Volunteers for Wilderness Conservation Lamington National Park Conservation Project

References

References
1 ACT (2005). Spotted-tailed Quoll (Dasuyurus maculatus)—a vulnerable species. Action Plan No. 30. Environment ACT Government, Canberra.
2 ANU (Australian National University) (2009). Implications of climate change for Australia’s World Heritage properties: A preliminary assessment. A report to the Department of Climate Change and the Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts by the Fenner School of Environment and Society, the Australian National University. 207 pp.
3 Berger, L., Speare, R., Daszak, P., Green, D.E., Cunningham, A.A., Goggin, C.L., Slocombe, R., Ragan, M.A., Hyatt, A.D., McDonald, K.R., Hines, H.B., Lips, K.R., Marantelli, G. & Parkes, H. (1998). Chytridiomycosis causes amphibian mortality associated with population declines in the rainforests of Australia and Central America, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 95: 9031–9036.
4 BirdLife International (2012). Species factsheets: Menura alberti ; Atrichornis rufescens; . Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 03/10/2012
5 Chester, G. & Bushnell, S. (2005) Central Eastern Rainforest Reserves of Australia: A monitoring strategy. Cooperative Research Centre for Tropical Rainforest Ecology and Management, Cairns. 156 pp.
6 DEC (2004). State of the Parks 2004. Department of Environment and Conservation (NSW), Sydney.
7 DEC (Department of Environment and Conservation) (2006). NSW Threat Abatement Plan –Invasion of native plant communities by Chrysanthemoides monilifera (bitou bush and boneseed). Department of Environment and Conservation (NSW), Hurstville.
8 DECC (2005) Recovery Plan for the Hastings River Mouse (Pseudomys oralis). Department of Environment and Climate Change (NSW), Hurstville.
9 DECC (2007) Draft Recovery Plan for the Barrington Tops Broad-toothed Rat Endangered Population. Department of Environment and Climate Change (NSW), Sydney.
10 DEH (2006). Threat abatement plan: Infection of amphibians with chytrid fungus resulting in chytridiomycosis. Department of the Environment and Heritage, Australia.
11 DERC (2011). Lamington National Park Management Plan 2011. Planning Services Unit, Department of Environment and Resource Management, Queensland.
12 DPWHA (2009). Littoral Rainforest and Coastal Vine Thickets of Eastern Australia: A nationally threatened ecological community. EPBC Policy Statement 3.9 Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts.
13 Ehmann, H. (1997) Threatened frogs of New South Wales: Habitats, status and conservation. Frog and Tadpole Study Group of NSW, Sydney.
14 Feros, K. (2009). Case Study 1: Gondwana Rainforests of Australia. In: Engels, B. (ed.) Serial Natural World Heritage Properties – Challenges for Nomination and Management. Proceedings of a workshop. BfN, Germany.
15 Garnett, S.T. & Crowley, G.M. (2000). The Action Plan for Australian Birds 2000. [Online]. Canberra, ACT: Environment Australia and Birds Australia. Available from: http://www.environment.gov.au/biodiversity/threatened/publi….
16 Gillespie, G., Robertson, P., Hines, H.B, Lemckert, F. & Hero, J.-M. (2004). Mixophyes balbus. In: IUCN 2012. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2012.1. <www.iucnredlist.org&gt;. Downloaded on 07 October 2012
17 Hero, J.-M., Gillespie, G., Lemckert, F., Robertson, P. & Littlejohn, M. (2004). Litoria booroolongensis. In: IUCN 2012. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2012.1. <www.iucnredlist.org&gt;. Downloaded on 07 October 2012.
18 Hines, H.B. & McDonald, K. (2000). Declining frogs of subtropical Australia’s rainforests, declining frogs of Australia’s rainforests. Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service.
19 Hines, H.B. and the South-east Queensland Threatened Frogs Recovery Team (2002). Recovery plan for stream frogs of south-east Queensland 2001–2005. Report to Environment Australia, Canberra, Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service, Brisbane.
20 Hines, H.B., Mahony, M. & McDonald, K. (1999). An assessment of frog declines in wet subtropical Australia, in A. Campbell (ed.). Declines and disappearances of Australian frogs. Environment Australia, Canberra: 44–63.
21 Hines, H.B., Meyer, E., Newell, D., Clarke, J., & Hero, J.-M. (2004). Mixophyes fleayi. In: IUCN 2012. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2012.1. <www.iucnredlist.org&gt;. Downloaded on 07 October 2012.
22 Hines, H.B., Newell, D., Clarke, J., Hero, J.-M. & Meyer, E. (2004). Mixophyes iteratus. In: IUCN 2012. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2012.1. <www.iucnredlist.org&gt;. Downloaded on 07 October 2012.
23 Horton, B.M. (2012). Mitigating the effects of forest eucalypt dieback associated with psyllids and bell miners in World Heritage Areas. Australasian Plant Conservation 20(4): 11-13.
24 Hunter, D. & Gillespie, G.R. (2011). National Recovery Plan for the Stuttering Frog Mixophyes balbus. Department of Sustainability and Environment, Melbourne.
25 Hunter, R.J. (2004). World Heritage and associative natural values of the Central Eastern Rainforest Reserves of Australia. NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service.(first published 2003, revised 2004).
26 ISC (2011). Environmental effects of Myrtle Rust Backgrounder. Invasive Species Council. www. Invasives.org.au
27 IUCN (1992). Evaluation of the Central Rainforests of Eastern Australia. IUCN.
28 IUCN (2012). IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2012.1. <www.iucnredlist.org&gt;. Downloaded on 07 October 2012.
29 Lunney, D. & McKenzie, N. (2008). Macropus parma. In: IUCN 2012. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2012.1. <www.iucnredlist.org&gt;. Downloaded on 3 October 2012.
30 Maxwell, S., Burbidge, A.A. and Morris, K. (1996). Action Plan for Australian Marsupials and Monotremes. Australian Government Department of the Environment and Heritage. http://www.environment.gov.au/biodiversity/threatened/publi… accessed on 7 October, 2012.
31 Menkhorst, P., Dickman, C., Denny, M., Aplin, K., Lunney, D. & Ellis, M. (2008). Pseudomys oralis. In: IUCN 2012. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2012.1. <www.iucnredlist.org&gt;. Downloaded on 3 October 2012.
32 Nomination (1984). Nomination of New South Wales Rainforests. Govt of Australia.
33 Nomination (1992). Nomination of the Central Rainforests of Eastern Australia. Govt. of Australia.
34 OEH (2012). National Recovery Plan for Booroolong Frog (Litoria booroolongensis). Office of Environment and Heritage (NSW), Hurstville.
35 PWS (1998). Dorrigo National Park Plan of Management. NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service. http://www.environment.nsw.gov.au/resources/parks/pomfinald…
36 PWS (2005) Gibraltar Range Group of Parks (Incorporating Barool, Capoompeta, Gibraltar Range, Nymboida and Washpool National Parks and Nymboida and Washpool State Conservation Areas) Plan of Management. National Parks and Wildlife Service Department of Environment and Conservation, New South Wales. http://www.environment.nsw.gov.au/resources/parks/PoMGibral…
37 SOC (2003). Report on the State of Conservation of the Central Eastern Rainforest Reserves of Australia. Australian National Periodic Report.
38 Sunshine Coast Council (2010). Sunshine Coast Biodiversity Strategy 2010-2020.