2.5.2 Populations of species and groups of species continued
Current summary and assessment components
Assessment grade and trend Very good Good Poor Very poor
Confidence Grade Trend
Other invertebrates: Little is known about most invertebrates. Changing environmental conditions in central and southern inshore areas, as well as some fishing activity, are likely to have affected invertebrates. Human-related impacts are implicated in outbreaks of crown-of-thorns starfish. Plankton and microbes: Changes in water temperature and quality are likely to be altering plankton communities. Bony fishes: Little is known about the condition of most fish species; habitat declines are likely to have negatively affected them. The abundance of some fished species has declined. Fishing activities affect targeted and non-targeted species. Sharks and rays: The condition of most shark and ray species is unknown. Many are considered at risk. One species of shark is likely to be near extinction or extinct in the Region. Sea snakes: A large number of sea snakes are caught as bycatch. Reduction in effort and better management of trawl fisheries is likely to have reduced impacts on some sea snakes. Marine turtles: Nesting populations of most marine turtle populations are stable or increasing. Some are in decline and all are conservation dependent. Turtle populations are affected by threats both within and well beyond the Region. Estuarine crocodiles: The estuarine crocodile population continues to recover steadily after being protected under Queensland legislation in 1974. Recovery is limited primarily by the availability of nesting habitat. Seabirds: Trends in seabird populations are highly variable between different species and locations, and there are limited long-term data. Changes in key supporting resources and environmental conditions are affecting some seabirds. Not assesed Shorebirds: There are no population estimates for the Region’s shorebirds; there are substantial declines Australia-wide, including for migratory populations that would move through the Region. Whales: There is little information on the condition of most whale populations; humpback whales are recovering strongly. Dolphins: Two inshore dolphin species are considered at risk and likely to be in serious decline. The inshore bottlenose dolphin is also considered vulnerable. There is limited information available on trends in the other 15 dolphin species but they are likely to be less susceptible to pressure. Dugongs: While the northern dugong population remains stable, the population south of Cooktown has declined substantially due to a combination of extreme weather and human-related impacts. Grading statements
Only a few, if any, species populations have deteriorated as a result of human activities or declining environmental conditions.
i i n 0 h 0
Trend since 2009
Populations of some species (but no species groups) have deteriorated significantly as a result of human activities or declining environmental conditions.
Populations of many species or some species groups have deteriorated significantly as a result of human activities or declining environmental conditions.
Populations of a large number of species have deteriorated significantly.
h n i 0
Improved Stable Deteriorated No consistent trend
Adequate high-quality evidence and high level of consensus Limited evidence or limited consensus Inferred, very limited evidence