2014 Summary of assessment
Habitats to support species
Information on the condition and trend of habitats is highly variable with some well known (for example shallower coral reefs) and others poorly known, particularly habitats in remote areas or deep waters (for example Halimeda banks). The habitats of the northern third of the Region are believed to remain in very good condition and are able to support dependent species. Habitats in the southern two-thirds of the Region — especially those inshore — have deteriorated, particularly seagrass meadows and coral reefs. There is only condition and trend information for a limited number of species and species groups; hence the assessment of some components is highly uncertain. Of those for which there is information, there have been significant declines in many, especially in the inshore southern two-thirds of the Region, and some iconic and cultural keystone species. For example, significant declines have been recorded in most hard corals and seagrasses, some fishes and sharks, dugongs, plus some seabird populations. There are four examples of species showing good recovery after past serious declines: humpback whales, estuarine crocodiles, loggerhead turtles and green turtles (southern stock). However, even these species have not recovered to their original numbers. The overall condition of the Region’s species appears to have deteriorated significantly and the assessment of ‘good’ is considered borderline with ‘poor’.
Population of species and groups of species
Full assessment summary: see Section 2.5
< Photograph © Chris Jones