Native vegetation

Native vegetation plays a vital role in the health and prosperity of South Australia's ecosystems, communities and natural resource-based industries. Native vegetation refers to any naturally occurring local plant species which are indigenous to South Australia, from small ground covers and native grasses to large trees and water plants. 

Less than 20 percent of indigenous vegetation remains in most agricultural areas, with some regions reporting figures of less than 12 percent. One-quarter of all the plants and animals recorded in South Australia are considered to be threatened.

Indigenous vegetation is important because it provides essential habitat for our native animal species and helps to protect our land and water against problems like erosion, salinity and climate change.

As a result of the high levels of clearance of native vegetation in the agricultural areas of South Australia in the past, steps have been taken to ensure the ongoing preservation of what remains of our native vegetation.

The Native Vegetation Act 1991 ensures that areas of high conservation value are protected and that minor clearance is subject to a thorough assessment process. The Native Vegetation Council (NVC) is responsible for providing advice and making decisions about the removal and re-establishment of native vegetation in line with the Act.

DEWNR and the NVC have a strong focus on landscape restoration and delivering significant environmental benefits that offset the clearance of native vegetation. The Government is committed to protecting native vegetation as part of a broader nature conservation strategy which includes the No Species Loss strategy and the establishment of five biodiversity corridors, known as NatureLinks.

Find out more about the management of native vegetation in South Australia: