Loss of woodlands associated with agricultural development has been widespread since the region was settled by Europeans in the early 19th century. Today habitat loss continues to be a major threat to the area’s species particularly the loss of hollow-bearing trees and certain feed species such as She-Oaks.
Loss of woodlands has resulted in lost or reduced connectivity between forested ridges, whilst roads and urban development have served to carve up the landscape into isolated pockets of habitat.
Woodland species across the Abercrombie catchment have been declining over the past few decades as a result of past clearing, loss of habitat, ongoing erosion of remaining habitat through loss of mature paddock trees and competition from feral animals and weeds.
Forty-five recorded species of weeds occur in the Abercrombie Catchment with exotic plants now comprising a significant proportion of the flora in the region. Agricultural species are the most prevalent.
Introduced predators including foxes and cats impact heavily on native animals in many parts of the catchment whilst pest species of herbivore, such as goats and pigs, outcompete native ones.
Combined grazing pressure exerted by all stock – domestic and wild, native and feral – has contributed to significant changes in the structure and composition of native vegetation across the landscape. Impacts include soil erosion, fouled water supplies, weed invasion, loss of potential productivity and biodiversity.
Changed fire regimes resulting in more intense burns and at times when native species are more susceptible to burning, have the potential to significantly impact habitat, landscape connectivity, soil nutrients and carbon.