Vegetation complexes have been mapped for the entire south west of the state by Heddle et al. (1980). There are 22 vegetation complexes mapped for the Shire of Harvey. Vegetation complexes are derived from an assessment of mapping of soils, landforms and rainfall information. The Shire of Harvey covers sections of the Swan Coastal Plain to the west and the Darling Scarp and Plateau to the east.
Some vegetation complexes have been cleared to critical levels in the past, in particular on the eastern side of the Swan Coastal Plain for the purpose of agriculture. As large sections of the Swan Coastal Plain have been cleared the majority of remnant vegetation within this section of the Shire is locally and regionally significant.
The Shire of Harvey is characteristic of an open forest of Jarrah-Marri (Eucalyptus marginata – Corymbia calophylla) on the lateritic soils of the Darling Scarp, Banksia (Banksia attenuata, B. menziesii and B. grandis) woodlands on the leached grey sands of the Bassendean dune system, Tuart (Eucalyptus gomphocephala) and Peppermint (Agonis flexuosa) woodlands on the younger yellow sands of the Spearwood dune system, and heaths and shrublands on the coastal Quindalup dune system (Mattiske, 1996).
Western Australia’s unique fauna is protected by the Wildlife Conservation Act, 1950; however many are considered to be threatened. Threatened fauna known to occur within the Shire includes, but is not limited to, the Chuditch, Carnaby’s Black Cockatoo, Redtail Black Cockatoo, Western Ringtail Possum and Graceful Sun Moth.
The Department of Environment and Conservation has prepared a number of recovery plans for some of these threatened fauna species. Further information can be downloaded from the Department of Environment and Conservation website.
The greatest threatening activity to the Shire’s local biodiversity is any change in landuse which results in the clearing of native vegetation, such as subdivision, construction of houses or roads and the expansion of agricultural activities (Ironbark Environmental, 2011).
Where natural areas are surrounded by cleared or developed areas, a range of other threats become evident. These include weed infestations, increased frequency of fire, spread of Phytophthora dieback and feral animals, increased rubbish dumping and physical disturbance by vehicles, pedestrians, bikes and horses (Ironbark Environmental, 2011).