Vegetation Mapping in NSW

A description of two NSW state-wide vegetation maps and comments on their relevance to biodiversity assessment

Dr John Benson, Ecologist and member of National Parks Association of NSW

The recent comment on biodiversity decline in New South Wales canvassed that unreliable vegetation mapping could compound deficiencies in recently enacted biodiversity regulations. After the change of government in New South Wales in 2011, it appears a decision was made for NSW to adopt maps in biodiversity regulations replacing previous on-ground site assessment and property planning. This transition to maps raises challenges because unlike a google street map, vegetation maps contain errors leading to significant uncertainty in site-based land-use decisions.