The distinctiveness of each ecosystem spacial unit was assessed by identifying and ranking Special Values that were associated with the site. This allowed the CFEV assessment to incorporate threatened species or sites of significance into an Integrated Conservation Value (ICV) ranking for the spacial unit.

Each Special Value was tagged as one of the following, and weighted accordingly to fine tune its influence on ICV:
  • 'Outstanding' Special Values include species listed under the schedules of the Tasmanian Threatened Species Protection Act 1995 and/or the Commonwealth Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999, species of national significance under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (Commonwealth) or sites/communities assessed as significant on a global, national or state scale.
  • 'Non-outstanding' Special Values are those assessed as significant at the regional level but not listed under legislation. They are often interesting or important features that have limited management implications.
  • 'Undifferentiated' Special Values are those for which full and critical significance assessment is pending.
For example, an ecosystem spacial unit with an RCV of band B will have an ICV of Moderate if no SVs are present, but if it has a single outstanding SV, it will be considered High ICV. Multiple outstanding SVs give a site a Very High ICV ranking. The rules that govern ICV are detailed in the CFEV assessment framework summary, available from the CFEV resources page.

Different types of Special Values (SV)

All of the following types of Special Values have been included in the CFEV assessment framework:

Threatened flora and fauna species
Freshwater-dependent threatened flora and fauna species were selected from the Tasmanian Threatened Species List.
Threatened flora communities
Threatened forest communities associated with freshwater ecosystems were selected from the Regional Forest Agreement (RFA) list if they were listed as being rare, vulnerable or endangered.

Priority fauna communities 

Priority freshwater fauna communities (benthic estuarine macroinvertebrates, riverine macroinvertebrates and cave fauna assemblages) were nominated by experts.

Allanaspides hickmani  (Photo: The Waterbug Book)

Priority flora communities
Riparian or freshwater-dependent non-forest vegetation communities prioritised by the Comprehensive, Adequate and Representative Scientific Advisory Group (CARSAG) were selected if they were listed as being rare, vulnerable or endangered.

Priority flora and fauna species
Priority flora and fauna species are species that are considered to be important and have a limited distribution but have not been formally listed on the Tasmanian Threatened Species List. The priority flora and fauna lists were made up of species listed through the Regional Forest Agreement process and nominations from scientific experts.

Priority geomorphic features
Russell Falls at Mt Field is a good example of spectacular river geomorphology

Russell Falls (Photo: Danielle Hardie)

Geoconservation is the preservation of non-living environments, including bedrock features, landforms, and soil features and processes (see also Conservation - Geoconservation). In Tasmania, important geomorphic features known for their intrinsic, ecological and human-centred values are assessed and if considered significant, are listed on the Tasmanian Geoconservation Database. Freshwater related features were selected as priority geomorphic features for the assessment.

Priority limnological sites
Limnology, or the study of inland waters, is a broad topic that includes research on physical, chemical and biological aspects of freshwater systems. Limnological features were nominated by experts for their outstanding physical features, novel chemistry, or noteworthy biology.

Fauna species richness
Places of high fauna species richness are locations known to have a large number of different species inhabiting the same area or ecosystem. As with other environments, the key to conserving freshwater species diversity is to protect the habitat. Sites of high species richness were nominated by scientific experts.

Phylogenetically distinct fauna species
Taxa of phylogenetic distinctiveness may be termed 'living fossils'. These animals are not closely related to other living species and may have a restricted distribution.

Palaeolimnological sites
Palaeolimnology is the study of microfossils preserved in the layers of sediment at the bottom of lakes, bogs and other standing waterbodies. Microfossils can include pollen, microcrustacean, or insect exoskeletons. All of the sites nominated in this section were the result of palynology (pollen) studies.

Palaeobotanical sites
Tasmania has geological sites containing plant fossils that are of historical, scientific and cultural significance.

Important bird sites
Many of Tasmania's freshwater-dependent ecosystems are important habitat, breeding and refuge areas for a variety of waterbird species including endemic, threatened and migratory birds. A list of important bird sites in Tasmania was nominated by an expert panel.