Deforestation and degradation since European settlement

VICTORIA

According to the Victorian Government, ∼66% of the state’s native vegetation has been cleared since European colonization (Victoria Department of Sustainability and Environment 2011), leaving 34% of the state’s land area covered by native forests (7 837 000 ha; Fig. 5) (Australian Bureau of Rural Sciences 2010). According to Lindenmayer (2007), this makes Victoria the most heavily cleared state in the country. Most of the clearance occurred prior to the 1890s as the wheat and livestock industries expanded with European colonization; thereafter, clearance continued at a relatively stable rate of ∼1% per year until 1987 when stringent anti-clearing legislation was introduced (Lindenmayer 2007). However, even from 1995 to 2005, proportional clearance rates remained high and even increased in the latter part of that decade to become the highest among all states and territories in 2005 (Fig. 4).

via Little left to lose: deforestation and forest degradation in Australia since European colonization.