Native vegetation surveys by DPIE

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Native vegetation surveys by DPIE

29 November 2021

Native vegetation surveys by DPIE

November 29th

Throughout November 2021, the Native Vegetation Information Science section of the Department of Primary Industry & Environment (DPIE) collected on-ground vegetation data on private and public land within the Little River Catchment. This section of the DPIE is involved with the classification and mapping of native vegetation across NSW.

Landholders in our area with good examples of native vegetation on their properties allowed the DPIE survey team to visit their property and conduct a vegetation survey over two days. Quadrants measuring 20m x 20m where constructed in corresponding areas and all vegetation species residing in those areas were professionally identified and recorded by qualified Botanists.

The native vegetation data collected during these surveys will be collated with a very large pool of existing data from over 50,000 sites across eastern NSW and analysed by Office of Environment & Heritage (OEH) scientists. Data describing the different species of trees, shrubs and ground covers will be used to improve understanding of types of native vegetation communities and identify and describe the distinct vegetation types (known as Plant Community Types or PCTs) of eastern NSW.

All five Little River participants will receive a vegetation survey package with all details relating to the survey on their property, including:

  • A map showing all site locations of vegetation assessment.
  • A list of native and exotic plant species recorded at each site as well as additional data such as estimates of the height and cover of the trees, shrubs and ground covers.
  • Information on the elevation, aspect and slope of each site, and
  • Photographs of the vegetation at each site.

The DPIE project provided opportunity for Little River Landcare and landholders to view the standard protocols for vegetation data collection. During their time in the catchment, the survey team happily mentored both CEO and private landholders of each property.

The DPIE internally funded project aimed to:

  • Revise the classification of PCTs using real, plot based vegetation data
  • Follow standard protocols so that the information obtained can be collated and compared to sites across eastern NSW
  • Increase knowledge and awareness of PCTs in eastern NSW


Where can I find information about PCTs in my area?

Information about Plant Community Types (PCTs) is housed in the VIS Community database, and can be accessed via the following here.

Where can I find out more about the plant species recorded on my property?

The Royal Botanic Gardens (RBG) in Sydney maintains a database known as Plant Netwhich provides illustrations and information on the distribution and characteristics of over 7000 plant species in NSW. Photographs and specimens accompany many of the species descriptions.