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1370.0 - Measures of Australia's Progress, 2010  
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Biodiversity

BIODIVERSITY GLOSSARY

Biodiversity

The variety of all life forms on earth – the different plants, animals and micro-organisms, the genes they contain and the ecosystems which they form part of.

Conservation Status

The 'Environment Protection and Biodiversity Act 1999' (Cwlth) classifies listed threatened species (fauna or flora) into six categories: extinct; extinct in the wild; critically endangered; endangered; vulnerable; and conservation dependent. The Act also classifies listed threatened communities into three categories: critically endangered; endangered; and vulnerable.

Critically endangered

Strong evidence that a species faces an extremely high risk of extinction in the immediate future.

Ecological communities

The definition of an ecological community in the EPBC Act is as follows: 'an assemblage of native species that: (a) inhabits a particular area in nature; and (b) meets the additional criteria specified in the regulations (if any) made for the purposes of this definition'.

Endangered

Strong evidence that a species faces a very high risk of extinction in the near future.

Endemic species

Native to a particular area and found nowhere else.

Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation (EPBC) Act

The EPBC Act provides a framework for protection of the Australian environment, including biodiversity and its natural and culturally significant places. Enacted on 17 July 2000, it established a range of processes to help protect and promote the recovery of threatened species and ecological communities, and preserve significant places from decline.

Extinct

There is no reasonable doubt that the last member of a species has died.

Fauna

The entire animal life of a site or region.

Flora

The entire plant life of a site or region.

International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) protected area classification scheme

Category IA – Strict Nature Reserve: Protected area managed mainly for science.
Category IB – Wilderness Area: Protected area managed mainly for wilderness protection.
Category II – National Park: Protected area managed mainly for ecosystem protection and recreation.
Category III – Natural Monument: Protected area managed for conservation of specific natural features.
Category IV – Habitat/Species Management Area: Protected area managed mainly for conservation through management intervention.
Category V – Protected Landscape/Seascape: Protected area managed mainly for landscape/seascape conservation and recreation.
Category VI – Managed Resource Protected Areas: Protected area managed mainly for the sustainable use of natural ecosystems.

Protected areas

An area of land and/or sea especially dedicated to the protection and maintenance of biological diversity and of natural and associated cultural resources, and managed through legal or other effective means. It is classified as protected under the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) protected area classification scheme.

Terrestrial area

Australia's land.

Vulnerable

Strong evidence that a species faces a high risk of extinction in the medium term.

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