Regional ecosystems

Regional Ecosystems (RE) are a way of describing different vegetation types that relate vegetation, land form and geology.

They are an effective way to describe different vegetation types and allow us to compare areas currently vegetated to what may have been there in the past.

The RE system is used throughout Queensland and the State Government has mapped the entire state using the:

  • Methodology for survey and mapping of regional ecosystems 

Council uses the Regional Ecosystem classification system as a standard for describing vegetation occurring in the region. Regional Ecosystems provide a basis for species selection for revegetation to ensure that habitats are restored to their original types.

Paperbark open forest
RE 12.3.5 (paperbark open forest on coastal alluvial plains)

What do the regional ecosystems numbers mean?

Regional Ecosystems are given a 3 digit number such as 12.1.1:

  • The 1st number shows what region we are in (e.g. 12 stands for South East Queensland).
  • The 2nd number stands for the land zone, denoting the type of geology.
  • The 3rd number stands for the different vegetation community (or combination of native plants).

The three numbers together give the Regional Ecosystem number.

Status of ecosystems

Because the State has mapped all Regional Ecosystems and where they occurred prior to 1788, it is possible to work out how much of each Regional Ecosystem remains.
Regional Ecosystems are classified in three different ways (referred to as their status):

1. Endangered

  • Ecosystems classified as endangered have less than 10% of vegetation remaining compared with the amount occurring in pre-European times; or
  • Have10-30% of vegetation remaining and the remnant vegetation is less than 10,000 hectares.

2. Of concern

  • Ecosystems classified as Of Concern have between 10% to 30% of vegetation remaining compared with the amount occurring in pre-European times; or 
  • Have more than 30 per cent of vegetation remaining and the remnant extent is less than 10,000 hectares.

3. Not concern at present

  • Ecosystems classified as No Concern at Present have over 30% of vegetation remaining compared with the amount occurring in pre-European times; and 
  • The remnant area is greater than 10,000 hectares.

Further information and Regional Ecosystem Mapping can be obtained from the Department of Environment and Heritage Protection (link opens in new window)

back to top