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  • Christmas Island Biodiversity Conservation Plan

    DRAFT

    March 2014

  • b / Draft Christmas Island Biodiversity Conservation Plan

    Prepared by: Director of National Parks

    Made under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999

    © Commonwealth of Australia, 2014

    This work is copyright. You may download, display, print and reproduce this material in unaltered form only (retaining this notice) for your personal, non-commercial use or use within your organisation. Apart from any use as permitted under the Copyright Act 1968, all other rights are reserved. Requests and inquiries concerning reproduction and rights should be addressed to Commonwealth Copyright Administration, Attorney-General’s Department, Robert Garran Offices, National Circuit, Barton ACT 2600 or posted at: ag.gov.au/cca

    Note: This recovery plan sets out the actions necessary to stop the decline of, and support the recovery of, listed threatened species. The Australian Government is committed to acting in accordance with the plan and to implementing the plan as it applies to Commonwealth areas. The plan has been developed with the involvement and cooperation of a broad range of stakeholders, but individual stakeholders have not necessarily committed to undertaking specific actions. The attainment of objectives and the provision of funds are subject to budgetary and other constraints affecting the parties involved. Proposed actions may be subject to modification over the life of the plan due to changes in knowledge.

    While reasonable efforts have been made to ensure that the contents of this publication are factually correct, the Commonwealth does not accept responsibility for the accuracy or completeness of the contents, and shall not be liable for any loss or damage that may be occasioned directly or indirectly through the use of, or reliance on, the contents of this publication.

    This plan should be cited as:

    Director of National Parks (2014) Christmas Island Biodiversity Conservation Plan. Department of the Environment, Canberra.

    http://ag.gov.au/cca

  • CHRISTMAS ISLAND BIODIVERSITY CONSERVATION PLAN DRAFT

  • ii / Draft Christmas Island Biodiversity Conservation Plan

    Invitation to comment Before ‘making’ a recovery plan under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act), the Minister must consider all comments made. Under s.275 of the EPBC Act, comments are invited on the draft Christmas Island Biodiversity Conservation Plan.

    All comments submitted by the due date (below) will be carefully considered and this draft plan will be revised accordingly.

    To ensure your comments are clear and concise please:

    • list your points in order, numbered according to the relevant parts and page numbers of the draft plan

    • state whether you agree or disagree with statements and give your reasons

    • if you disagree, suggest alternatives

    • include any matters you may wish to raise that are relevant to the plan but not covered by the draft plan.

    Comments on the draft plan must be submitted by 9 July 2014 and may be emailed to recoveryplans@environment.gov.au or posted to:

    The Director Terrestrial Species Conservation Section Wildlife, Heritage and Marine Division Department of the Environment GPO Box 787 CANBERRA ACT 2601

  • iii

    Acknowledgements The Director of National Parks is grateful to the many organisations and individuals who contributed to or provided information for the preparation of this recovery plan and have been or are still involved in implementing conservation and threatened species recovery efforts on Christmas Island.

    In particular the Director acknowledges authors of previous recovery plans, researchers and conservation experts, including university, Commonwealth and Western Australian Government staff, Christmas Island National Park staff, the Crazy Ant Scientific Advisory Panel as well as the contribution of its individual members, the Christmas Island community and island based individuals and organisations, and the Christmas Island Expert Working Group.

    Finally, the Director acknowledges the Christmas Island based Working Group, established to contribute to and provide advice for the plan’s preparation. The Working Group comprised representatives of the Shire of Christmas Island; Australian Government departments and agencies with biodiversity conservation and/or land management responsibilities on Christmas Island; Christmas Island Phosphates; and the then Administrator of the Indian Ocean Territories, who was the Chair of the Working Group.

  • v

    Contents Invitation to comment ........................................................................................................ ii

    Acknowledgements ............................................................................................................ iii

    Executive summary ...........................................................................................................viii

    Executive summary in Bahasa Malay .............................................................................x

    Executive summary in Mandarin ...................................................................................xii

    Part 1—Introduction ...........................................................................................................1 1.1 Vision 1

    1.2 Why conserve Christmas Island native species and their habitats 1

    1.3 Purpose and scope of the plan 2

    1.4 Interaction with other documents and other management programs 4

    1.5 Legislative context 7

    1.6 Planning approach 9

    Part 2—Description of Christmas Island .....................................................................11 2.1 Socio-economic aspects of Christmas Island 11

    2.2 Climate and geography of Christmas Island 15

    Part 3—Ecology and biodiversity of Christmas Island ...........................................17 3.1 Ecosystems and ecological processes 17

    3.2 Species 25

    Part 4—Threats ................................................................................................................... 34 4.1 Known threatening processes 34

    4.2 Likely or potential threatening processes 44

    4.3 Processes considered and determined not to currently be a threat 47

    Part 5—Overview of previous and existing biodiversity management ......... 48 5.1 Management of threats 48

    5.2 Species and ecosystem recovery and management 52

    5.3 Research and monitoring 54

    5.4 Communication 57

    5.5 Marine conservation 57

  • vi / Draft Christmas Island Biodiversity Conservation Plan

    Part 6—Objectives and actions ................................................................................... 58 6.1 Objectives 58

    6.2 Recommended actions 62

    6.3 Management practices 74

    Part 7—Implementation ................................................................................................. 75 7.1 Priorities 75

    7.2 Implementation stakeholders 76

    7.3 Timing and costs 77

    7.4 Plan review 77

    7.5 Social and economic benefits and impacts 80

    7.6 Affected interests 82

    7.7 International agreements 83

    Glossary and acronyms .................................................................................................... 84

    Bibliography ........................................................................................................................ 87

    Appendices .......................................................................................................................... 96 Appendix A—How the recovery plan addresses the Government response to the recommendations of the Expert Working Group 96

    Appendix B—International Agreements relating to species on Christmas Island 102

    Appendix C—Endemic vascular plants of Christmas Island 104

    Appendix D—EPBC Act listed Christmas Island flora and fauna 105

    Appendix E—Non-endemic vascular plants of Christmas Island of possible conservation concern 107

    Appendix F—Birds of Christmas Island 109

    Appendix G—Terrestrial mammals and reptiles of Christmas Island 110

    Appendix H—Land and shoreline crabs of Christmas Island 111

    Appendix I—Threat risk assessment 112

    Appendix J—Review of existing recovery plans 114

    Appendix K—Species profiles 137

  • vii

    Tables Table 1: Terrestrial plants and animals of Christmas Island listed as threatened 3

    Table 2: Relevant national threat abatement plans 4

    Table 3: National recovery plans and threat abatement plans relevant to marine areas 5

    Table 4: Land tenure and uses on Christmas Island 13

    Table 5: Description and distribution of rainforest vegetation 20

    Table 6: Species of Christmas Island identified as significant 27

    Table 7: Key threatening processes relevant to Christmas Island 34

    Table 8: Some research studies conducted on Christmas Island since 2002 55

    Table 9: Estimated cost and current priority of recovery actions 78

    Figures Figure 1: Location of Christmas Island 11

    Figure 2: Land tenure and park boundaries 14

    Figure 3: Native vegetation 19

    Figure 4: Ramsar wetlands 23

    Figure 5: High density crazy ant colonies 36

  • viii / Draft Christmas Island Biodiversity Conservation Plan

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