Biodiversity is the variety of all life forms on earth—the different plants, animals and micro-organisms, their genes, and the terrestrial, marine and freshwater ecosystems of which they are a part.
This diversity exists at different scales: regional diversity, ecosystem diversity, species diversity and genetic diversity. Biodiversity is not static, but constantly changing. It is increased by genetic change and evolutionary processes and reduced by processes such as habitat degradation, population decline and extinction.
Maintaining and enhancing the biodiversity values have been prioritised across 44 covenanted nature refuges in Northern Gulf/Cape York (1,392,262 ha) including areas adjacent to national parks, Wet Tropics World Heritage and nationally important wetlands.
Biodiversity surveys have been conducted across Nature Refuges, and long-term monitoring sites established to provide longitudinal data on trends in biodiversity across Northern Gulf and Cape York regions.