Potential impacts of climate change on the fauna values of the Tasmanian wilderness World Heritage Area

1 Jan 2013

This report provides an assessment of the potential impacts of climate change on the fauna values of the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area (TWWHA) and identifies management response options.

The report covers fauna values associated with terrestrial, freshwater and estuarine environments, as well as marine mammals which breed and or haul-out on the Tasmanian coast and offshore islands, and beach-nesting shorebirds. The true marine environment and its fauna (pelagic fish, marine invertebrates) are not within the scope of the present report.

Fauna habitats, World Heritage fauna values, and priority species identified as High risk from the
effects of climate change are listed below. Note that only priority species were subject to risk
analysis, and the list of high risk species is not intended to be a complete inventory of all fauna likely to be impacted by climate change in the TWWHA. A number of the fauna habitats ranked as most at risk from climate change are found primarily within and or have their most characteristic expression within the TWWHA, notably alpine heathlands and a range of freshwater habitats. Many of these High risk habitats are World Heritage values identified in the original listing of the TWWHA due to their high levels of (Tasmanian) faunal endemism and the high numbers of primitive, relictual or Gondwanan taxa, particularly among the invertebrate fauna. As a result, climate change is predicted to have significant and adverse impacts on many of the specifically World Heritage fauna characteristics of the TWWHA.

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