Skip to Content

Key messages

  • Our land sustains us and supports our way of life, but is under threat from a range of pressures resulting in continuing decline in biodiversity.  
  • Many native species and communities face extinction as a result of the cumulative impacts of habitat change, overexploitation, pollution, invasive species and climate change.
  • Data is often inadequate to satisfactorily assess changes in the condition of our natural assets, resulting in us being unable to measure the effectiveness of our investments in managing the pressures on those assets. This is exacerbated by the cumulative impacts of small incremental loss of native vegetation.
  • Examples of indicators currently reported on are:
    • The percent cover of woody vegetation is stable. Condition unknown.
    • The percent cover of low native vegetation is declining due to conversion to agricultural use and replacement by woody native vegetation. Condition unknown.
    • The abundance and distribution of native plants and animals are declining, with an estimated 12% threatened.
    • The abundance and distribution of invasive plants and animals are increasing.
    • Soil acidity is getting worse, while soil erosion is stable.
  • Recent legislative changes to better integrate our conservation legislation with planning and development legislation could improve for early prevention of land degradation and loss of biodiversity.
  • There is an urgent need for targeted large-scale habitat restoration to reverse the declining trends and effectively adapt to the effects of a changing climate.
  • 30% of landscapes in SA is adequately protected, ranging from just 8% in the Northern and Yorke region to 81% in Alinytjara Wilurara region. In 5 of the regions, protection is 30% or less.
  • Private land conservation is an integral part of the solution and requires effective integration of national and state support programs.
  • Robust evaluation of the effectiveness of conservation policies and programs are essential to inform prioritisation of investment and targeting of efforts.