The loss of wetlands and riparian vegetation is mostly caused by clearing, often for agricultural use. Wetland modification through bunding can increase the extent of wetlands. Ground cover is influenced by land management and climate. There were significant areas of low ground cover within the Burdekin and Fitzroy regions which were drought declared.
About the indicators
Riparian vegetation is the vegetation beside waterways. Both riparian vegetation and ground cover are important to help reduce pollutant flow to waterways and prevent erosion. Wetland and riparian areas have a water quality protection function and a value in their own right.
Groundcover levels are based on annual monitoring data using satellite imagery, calibrated by field data.
Riparian vegetation extent is measured every four years using satellite imagery.
Wetland extent is derived from wetlands mapping every four years. A separate case study (PDF, 954K) outlines the pilot project to report on wetland environmental values and processes.
A standardised scoring system was developed for each of the key indicators in the report card. The scoring system is used to assess and communicate progress towards the catchment targets using the following categories:
|Poor||Very poor||No data|
Further details on the scoring system (PDF, 596K) for each indicator are outlined in the supporting technical information.
Change in extend of natural wetlands between 2009 and 2013 (reported every four years)Target: no net loss by 2018.
|Great Barrier Reef||330ha loss (<0.1%)||Good|
|Cape York||No loss||Very good|
|Wet Tropics||9ha loss (<0.1%)||Good|
|Burdekin||61ha gain (<0.01%)||Very good|
|Mackay Whitsunday||5ha gain (<0.1%)||Very good|
|Fitzroy||348ha loss (0.1%)||Good|
|Burnett Mary||39ha loss (0.1%)||Good|
Read the detailed Wetland extent results (PDF, 962 KB).
Change in extend of riparian vegetation between 2009 and 2013 (reported every four years). Target: extent increased by 2018.
|Great Barrier Reef||30,980ha loss (0.4%)||Moderate|
|Cape York||226ha loss (0.02%)||Good|
|Wet Tropics||1060ha loss (0.2%)||Moderate|
|Burdekin||8351 ha loss (0.3%)||Moderate|
|Mackay Whitsunday||539ha loss (0.3%)||Moderate|
|Fitzroy||14,777ha loss (0.7%)||Poor|
|Burnett Mary||6027ha loss (0.7%)||Poor|
Read the detailed Riparian results (PDF, 746 KB).
Late dry season ground cover in 2013-2014 Target: minimum 70% cover by 2018.
|Great Barrier Reef||77%||Very good|
|Cape York||84%||Very good|
|Wet Tropics||85%||Very good|
|Mackay Whitsunday||88%||Very good|
|Burnett Mary||81%||Very good|
Read the detailed Ground cover results (PDF, 5.5 MB).