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Assessment of Common Conservation Values - Intertidal and Subtidal Environs of the Baffle to Fitzroy Coast

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Queensland Department of Environment and Science

Latest documentation


Designed for use in

Queensland, Australia



Assessment purpose


Assessment criteria

Significance, Ecosystem/habitat, Fauna

Method type



Short-medium term – (3-12 months)


Landscape/Catchment, Site/habitat

Wetland system

Estuarine, Marine

Description and method logic

Method purpose

An assessment of common conservation values of the subtidal and intertidal ecosystems. The assessment is non-social, non-economic and tenure independent and is based on a subset of the criteria in the Aquatic Biodiversity Assessment and Mapping Method (AquaBAMM; Clayton et al. 2006) and based on national and international literature.


Several criteria were assessed including the diversity and richness of habitats and taxa, threatened species, ecosystems at risk and other special areas of ecological importance identified by experts. An overall conservation/prioritisation rating was not applied as the intent was for each criteria to be standalone elements for separate interrogation. An overall maximum rating was derived for each spatial unit to indentify areas of high value.

Method logic

The assessment used existing information and structured expert opinion to assess common conservation values in the intertidal and subtidal ecosystems. Criteria utilised under the Aquatic Biodiversity Assessment and Mapping method  were reviewed and adopted where sufficient information was available.

Unlike Aquatic Conservation Assessments completed using the AquaBAMM, a simplified two-tiered approach of Measures -> Criteria (rather than Measures -> Indicators -> Criteria) was used to calculate an overall rating for each Criterion in the current study. Aquatic Conservation Assessments (ACAs) completed using the AquaBAMM generally incorporate multiple measures which are then used to determine indicator scores, and multiple indicator scores to calculate the overall criteria rating. The approach of weighting measures (and indicators) were not used. Based upon feedback from the expert panel, a combined overall significance score was not produced. Instead, a maximum criterion rating was calculated to identify areas of high conservation value.

Criteria groupings of the method

Taxa richness, habitat diversity, ecosystem/habitat significance

Data required

Resources required

Expertise required

  • Individuals with expertise in the local aquatic dependent flora, fauna and ecology
  • GIS analyst

Materials required

  • Geographic Information System
  • Data as previously described

Method outputs


Outputs of the assessment include a compiled ESRI file geodatabase containing spatial representations reflective of the conservation criteria previously described, a species inventory and a summary report that provides additional information on expert panel identified taxa, communities, and areas of special importance.


  • Conservation planning
  • Development assessment
  • Coastal management

Criteria by category


    • Special features and components
      • Features and components of ecological importance identified by experts


    • Fauna Taxa richness
      • Richness of taxa within a defined local area


    • Habitat diversity
      • Richness and evenness of habitat types within a defined local area


Recommended user

Natural resource managers including regional NRM bodies, State government agencies, Local government, consultants and members of the public.


  • Cost effective, uses existing data.
  • Uses expert opinion to reduce issues associated with the lack of data.
  • Flexible with regard to scale and spatial unit and the criteria included.


  • A number of criteria were largely reliant on species records and hence, subject to common issues associated with survey bias
  • Focussed only upon a suite of commonly used ecological conservation criteria

Case studies

(not documented)



  1. Clayton, PD, Fielder, DP, Howell, S & Hill, CJ (2006), Aquatic Biodiversity Assessment and Mapping Method (AquaBAMM): a conservation values assessment tool for wetlands with trial application in the Burnett River catchment, Environmental Protection Agency, Brisbane.

Last updated: 7 February 2019

This page should be cited as:

Department of Environment, Science and Innovation, Queensland (2019) Assessment of Common Conservation Values - Intertidal and Subtidal Environs of the Baffle to Fitzroy Coast, WetlandInfo website, accessed 18 March 2024. Available at:

Queensland Government
WetlandInfo   —   Department of Environment, Science and Innovation