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Impacts of the 2019/20 Bushfire Season

Most Biodiversity datasets have not yet been updated to reflect the impacts of the 2019-2020 fire season. NatureKit displays the burnt area by default on top of other layers, so that users may consider that different conditions are present in the affected areas. The Strategic Management Prospects (SMP) Version 2.0 analysis does include data from the 2019-2020 fire season so the SMP layers do reflect the impact of these fires.

Data Downloads

Datasets for download are meant for users who want to create their own map using GIS software. They contain the geometry and attributes of a layer, but no intructions on how to visualise them (colours and symbols). There is no prescribed way of symbolising Biodiversity layers. We are using ColorBrewer for most of NatureKit's layers.

To print a symbolised map from NatureKit: go to General Tools Tab > Map with Legend or Map Window Only. Maps on NatureKit are optimised for screen display, which requires a lower resolution than is typical for printed products. As a consequence, maps printed from NatureKit may look slightly fuzzy.

Biodiversity Decision Systems, NaturePrint and Strategic Management Prospects

NaturePrint Tools and Products

NaturePrint products and tools support effective biodiversity investment and management decisions.

NaturePrint's Strategic Biodiversity Values (SBV) layer provides a means to rank and compare relative biodiversity importance of Victorian locations, NaturePrint’s Strategic Management Prospects (SMP) layers show where there is potential to achieve the most biodiversity benefit from management actions.

Find more information on each of the NaturePrint layers below.

See the NaturePrint webpage for more information and guidance on how to use SMP information for different purposes.

Strategic Biodiversity Values Layer

The Strategic Biodiversity Values (SBV) layer ranks all locations across Victoria for their ability to represent threatened (VROT) vertebrate fauna, vascular flora, and the full range of Victoria’s native vegetation on a scale of 0 to 100. It combines information on important areas for threatened flora and fauna, levels of depletion, connectivity, vegetation types and condition to provide a view of relative biodiversity importance of all parts of the Victorian landscape, enabling comparison of locations across Victoria.

Published in December 2017 

See the NaturePrint webpage for more information on SBV v4.0

Download the SBV v4.0 raster dataset from DataVic

Mean Cost-effectiveness Rank Layer

The Mean Cost-effectiveness Rank map is the summary map to inform strategic biodiversity management decisions in Victoria. It shows where biodiversity management actions will achieve the highest benefit to the most species across Victoria on a scale of 0 to 100. This is a mean rank value calculated for each pixel. This is not an area-based measure. The mean cost-effectiveness rank for individual pixels cannot be added together.

Because it is a mean value, lower ranked places may still have high values for one or more actions. Use this layer as a general guide to where management actions will provide high biodiversity benefits, but also check the Benefit-Cost layers to see the ranking of individual actions.

To see the mean cost-effectiveness rank of all relevant SMP actions at a location: turn on the Mean Cost-effectiveness Rank layer > click on an area of interest.

Published in May 2020

See the NaturePrint webpage for more information on SMP and the SMP layers.

SMP by Summary Area Layer and Summary Area Reports

Approximately 1000 SMP Summary Areas were chosen to provide information at an appropriate biodiversity scale – not so large as to blend the key stories, and not so small as to be influenced by the scale limitations of the data. They follow existing environmental patterns such as bioregions and ecological vegetation groups, as well as patterns of land-use, threats and biodiversity benefits in the SMP data.

Turn on the SMP by Summary Area layer > click on an area of interest > select the report link.

By clicking on an area, you can access a pop-up table of ranked actions in the selected area as well as a linked report. The SMP Summary Area reports describe the best biodiversity management actions and where to carry them out within the Summary Area, a list of species within that area and each species’ response to the SMP landscape-scale actions.

Published in August 2020

See the NaturePrint webpage for more information on SMP and the SMP layers.

SMP reports for custom project areas can in some cases be negotiated by DELWP or other Victorian Government Agencies to inform improvements to biodiversity outcomes. This is a restricted service because of the data-intensive nature of the analysis. Contact

Threats, Benefit & Cost of Actions

This topic is organised by type of management action. Within the layer list, individual actions are included as well as a few important action combinations. More complex action combinations can be accessed in NatureKit through SMP & Habitat Maps > Add Action Combinations. See list of included SMP Action Layers

For most actions, the following layers are displayed. To inspect values at a specific location, turn on the layer and click on the map.

The Threat layer shows where action-related landscape-scale threats are likely to occur across Victoria, represented through spatial models of threat likelihood and expressed on a scale of 1 to 100.

The Benefit of Action layer shows the benefit of the respective action at the selected location, relative to all actions across all locations as a ranking between 1 and 100.

The Cost of Action layer shows an indicative cost for the respective action in $ per hectare over 50 years, considering variations across Victoria due to travel, terrain and other factors.

The Benefit-Cost layer shows the cost-effectiveness of the respective action, relative to all actions across all locations on a scale of 1 to 100. Use this layer for planning biodiversity projects. Actions in the Area in Top 10% will broadly align with the Biodiversity 2037 targets for individual actions and are expected to provide biodiversity benefits for as many species as possible across Victoria.

To find the highest-ranked actions surrounding this location, turn on the SMP Summary by Area layer and click on your area of interest. Use the Results Table or the Summary Area Report to see all relevant ranked actions.

Published in May 2020

See more on SMP including guides on how to use this information at the NaturePrint webpage.

SMP Species Habitat Distribution Models (HDMs)

The SMP Habitat Distribution Models (HDMs) show the predicted habitat suitability of a location for a listed species on a scale of 1 to 100. Higher values indicate a greater likelihood of suitability; lower values were considered unlikely to be suitable habitat for the species and were removed from the model. SMP HDMs are used for biodiversity management. They should not be used for native vegetation regulation. About half of listed species of terrestrial vertebrates and vascular flora have models available in NatureKit.

NatureKit is using an on-demand data repository to manage the large number of SMP HDMs. To add an HDM to the map: go to SMP & Habitat Maps Tab > Add Habitat Maps > Start typing a species name into the search box and tick an SMP HDM model from the suggested list. The selected models will be added as 'User added layers' in the Layer List.

SMP HDMs are currently available for around 2000 listed species of terrestrial vertebrates and vascular flora. Download a list of available models here.

Expand the FAQ & Troubleshooting within the tool to see advice on how to reorder map layers, remove user-added models and how to find information in sparse HDMs.

Published in May 2020

See more about SMP HDMs at the NaturePrint webpage or Habitat Distribution Models (PDF, 271.2 KB) or Habitat Distribution Models (DOCX, 829.9 KB)

Download SMP HDMs from NatureKit: add the model to the map (see above) > click on a location where SMP HDM data is available > select Download in pop-up

Biodiversity Response Planning (BRP) Areas

Biodiversity Response Planning (BRP) is a planning approach to biodiversity conservation in Victoria delivered in 11 areas, which are shown in this layer.

Project duration 2018 - 2021

More information on Biodiversity Response Planning

This dataset is still under development and may be available for download in the future.

The Victorian Biodiversity Atlas (VBA)

VBA Flora and Fauna Observations

The Victorian Biodiversity Atlas (VBA) is a dataset for multi-disciplinary species occurrence observations. The data available in Naturekit is a snapshot and only those records that indicate presence or abundance of the species identified and have been vetted by species specialists. Please check the version date of the records to confirm when the data was last shared.

Due to the large amount of observations in the VBA, NatureKit is currently showing in its Layer List only threatened sensitive and non-sensitive observations. Sensitive species locations are represented as an approximate location polygon of 1-minute-grid size (approx. 1.8 x 1.5 km) and certain attribute information is withheld. At scales above 1:500,000, non-sensitive flora and fauna observations are shown as sites without attribute information. At 1:500,000 and below, observation points are displayed with on-click attribute information, species image (if available) and shading by year of observation.

To filter threatened species by characteristics and location: VBA Species Observations Tab > Filter Species

While NatureKit does not visualise non-threatened species, it is possible to extract a list of all VBA species for an area: go to VBA Species Observations Tab > Download from all Observations. DataVic (link below) provides an explanation of attribute column names used in the extracted csv list. At the moment, NatureKit does not offer an option to view the distribution of non-threatened species. You can create your own distribution map in a GIS software using the datasets provided for download on DataVic.

Please see the NatureKit user guide for further information on species observations tools.

Last update of VBA data in NatureKit December 2020

For more information, including data on where species absence has been recorded, visit the Victorian Biodiversity Atlas

Download from NatureKit using the species observations tools or download complete datasets from DataVic

VBA Taxa List

The VBA Taxa List contains a snapshot of published taxa names from the Victorian Biodiversity Atlas. When VBA flora and fauna observations are updated in NatureKit, we also process name changes for all drop down menus of NatureKit's tools and model zip file names. Differences in species names may occur between names used in NatureKit and within SMP reports. To look a name or Taxon-ID up: go to VBA Species Observations Tab > Species Name Lookup

Last update of VBA Taxa List in NatureKit December 2020

More information and download from DataVic (content may differ due to update date)

Vegetation & Bioregions

2005 Ecological Vegetation Classes 

Ecological Vegetation Classes (EVCs) are the standard unit for classifying vegetation types in Victoria. EVCs are described through a combination of floristics, lifeforms and ecological characteristics, and through an inferred fidelity to specific environmental attributes. Ecological Vegetation Class (EVC) benchmarks relate to a single EVC within one bioregion. They have been developed to assess the vegetation quality of EVCs at the site scale in comparison to a 'benchmark' condition. Some EVCs may not have a benchmark assessment because they were classified as a complex/mosaic/aggregate at the scale used for the assessment. In these cases, find the EVC benchmark assessment for each EVC in the combination, or an on-ground assessment to decide the best fit.

The combination of EVC and bioregion is used to determine the bioregional conservation status (BCS) of an EVC. This is a measure of the current extent and quality for each EVC, when compared to its original (pre-1750) extent and condition. On this basis a BioEVC will have a BCS of endangered, vulnerable, depleted, least concern or rare.

To View EVCs in NatureKit: turn on the 2005 EVC Layer > click on an area on the map where EVC data is present (EVC geometry is large, it may take a moment for the pop-up with attribute information to load).

In NatureKit, optimised for desktop screen display, EVC visualisation differs depending on the selected scale. At 1:100,000 and below, EVCs show detailed subgroup information with a detailed legend. At scale levels above 1:100,000, EVC display and legend are summarised in supergroups. This means creating a map that shows a large area of Victoria will not display EVCs in subgroup detail - you can create your own map in a GIS software using the EVC geometry and attributes provided by the download link. At scales of 1:25,000 and below EVC abbreviation labels show. Since many EVCs are very small, full names cannot be displayed. Download a legend with EVC abbreviations and names here.

When printing EVC maps in NatureKit, select the 'Legend on next page option': General Tools Tab > Map with Legend. Legends are long since they display all EVCs in Victoria, not just the ones in your selected area.

More on EVCs and Bioregions

Most current public version as of August 2020

Download from DataVic

Pre-1750 Ecological Vegetation Classes 

This layer represents the modelled extent of Ecological Vegetation Classes in 1750 (EVC's as described by Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services Division).

Most current public version as of August 2020

More information on EVCs and Bioregions

Download from DataVic

Victorian Bioregions

This dataset delineates Victorian biogeographic regions that capture the patterns of ecological characteristics in the landscape, providing a natural framework for recognising and responding to biodiversity values.

More on EVCs and Bioregions

Most current public version as of August 2020

Download from DataVic

IBRA Bioregions

Interim Biogeographic Regionalisation for Australia (IBRA) version 6.1 represents a landscape-based approach to classifying the land surface of Australia. 85 biogeographic regions and 405 sub regions have been delineated, each reflecting a unifying set of major environmental influences which shape the occurrence of flora and fauna and their interaction with the physical environment across Australia.

The IBRA Version 6.1 data consists of two datasets.  IBRA bioregions, which is a larger scale regional classification of homogenous ecosystems, and sub regions, which are more localised.

Version 6.1 created October 2018

More information on and download from

Native Vegetation Regulation (2017) Habitat Importance Maps (HIM) for Vulnerable, Rare or Threatened (VROTs) species


This data series is a set of spatial maps describing importance of suitable habitat within the current extent of native vegetation for rare or threatened species. These maps have been developed for use in the native vegetation removal regulations. Thresholds have been applied to the maps because lower likelihood areas do not receive species-specific consideration in the assessment process. Habitat importance is ranked for dispersed species; for highly localised habitats it is equal across the map.

NatureKit is using an on-demand data repository to manage the large number of NVR2017-HIMs. To add a HIM to the map: go to SMP & Habitat Maps Tab > Add Habitat Maps > Start typing a species name into the search box and tick a NVR2017-HIM map from the suggested list. The selected maps will be added as 'User added layers' in the Layer List.

Expand the FAQ & Troubleshooting within the tool to see advice on how to reorder map layers, remove user-added maps and how to find information in sparse maps.

Most current public version as of August 2020

More information on NVR2017-HIMs

Download all HIMs from DataVic or individual HIMs from NatureKit: add the map (see above) > click on a location where NVR2017-HIM data is available > select Download in pop-up.

Land Cover

Victorian Land Cover Time Series

Victorian Land Cover provides a consistent through time, whole-of-state, spatial land cover data set for 7 epochs (1987-1990, 1990-1995, 1995-2000, 2000-2005, 2005-2010, 2010-2015 and 2015-19). The dataset uses Landsat satellite imagery and local calibration data. It gives users a snapshot of the current and previous type of cover over different areas. That cover can include native forests, bushland, wetlands, farmland, land used for recreation, and built up areas, including towns and cities.

Last update in 2020

More information on Land Cover

Download from DataVic


Smartline Basic and Advanced

Smartline provides a consistent map of coastal landforms for the Australian coast. It is a polyline representation of the geomorphic features located within 500m of the high-water mark to landwards and seawards.

Smartline is provided at two resolutions. Smartline Basic displays the coast classified into just five landforms categories based on very broad differences in the composition and erodibility of coastal landforms. Smartline Advanced shows the location and extent of more differentiated but still quite broadly defined coastal landform types or groups.

Last revision July 2016

More information on Smartline

Download from Research Data Australia

Marine Assets

This layer provides the boundaries of significant marine environmental assets which have been identified on the basis of their environmental value for marine biodiversity and/or marine ecological processes.

Most current public version as of August 2020

More information on and download from DataVic

Combined Biotope Classification Scheme

The Victorian Benthic Habitats is a synthesis of all existing benthic habitat characterisations of the embayment which have been reclassified to conform to the Combined Biotope Classification Scheme (CBiCS).

More information on and download from

Sediment Compartments

A coastal compartment is an area in which coastal processes, and their effects on the geology of the coast, are broadly homogeneous. The coastal compartments approach provides a useful framework for coastal management and regional planning, as the compartments are derived from the assessment of the spatial areas of linked coastal processes and landforms.

More information on CoastAdapt

Recent Wildfires

Burnt Area

The Burnt Area layer shows the bushfire incident area for the fire season 2019-2020. Most Biodiversity datasets have not yet been updated to reflect the impacts of the 2019-2020 fire season. NatureKit displays the burnt area by default on top of other layers, so that users may consider that different conditions are present in the affected areas.

More information and download from DataVic

Fire Severity

The Fire Severity layer shows the Fire severity map of the major fires in Gippsland and north east Victoria in 2019/20.

Fire severity classes are:

  • Class 6: Canopy burnt (> 20% canopy foliage consumed)
  • Class 5: High canopy scorch (>80% of canopy foliage is scorched)
  • Class 4: Medium canopy scorch (Canopy is a mosaic of both unburnt and scorched foliage, 20 - 80%)
  • Class 3: Low canopy scorch (Canopy foliage is largely unaffected (<20% scorched), but the understorey has been burnt)
  • Class 2: Unburnt (Canopy and understorey foliage are largely (>90%) unburnt)
  • Class 1: Non-woody vegetation (unclassified)
  • Class 0: No Data (e.g. due to obscuration by cloud, cloud-shadow and/or smoke and haze)

More information and download from  DataVic

Reference Maps

About Reference Maps

Reference Maps contain several DELWP corporate datasets. Users can suggest for additional reference datasets to be included into NatureKit if they are in the DELWP public domain.

Reference maps were last updated in March 2020 from the DELWP corporate library.

The Bathymetry layer is a combination of different datasets that we do not distribute for download.

Page last updated: 24/03/21