An adaptive framework for monitoring biodiversity in rangelands
Cooperative Research Centre for the Sustainable Development of Tropical Savannas
An analysis of threatening processes in the rangelands is used to identify the questions that a rangeland monitoring framework might be expected to answer as well as providing guidance for relevant management responses. The most significant are to seek to identify the particular impacts upon rangeland biodiversity of:
- clearing of woody vegetation on rangelands
- grazing impacts leading to vegetation change not necessarily involving gross structural simplification, including loss of perennial grasses and thickening of native woody plants
- introduced unmanaged populations of herbivores and predators.
- changed fire regimes
- exotic grasses and other exotic plants
- changed water regimes
Existing pastoral monitoring programs operated by the States and Territories do not provide data with the content or environmental comprehensiveness needed to address these important issues.
We conclude that a system capable of answering significant questions in regard to biological diversity over the long term should include a number of components, including:
- elements of the existing State and Territory pastoral monitoring programs;
- increased application of remote sensing and its improved linkage to both measures of landscape function and direct monitoring of biodiversity;
- additional wildlife (flora and fauna diversity) surveys designed to repeat "landmark" surveys and validate surrogates or indicators;
- regular monitoring of populations of a range of selected species, emphasising those most sensitive to prevailing adverse processes or otherwise identified as good indicator species; and
- explicit linkage of monitoring programs for Parks and Reserves to their equivalents on lands used for primary production.
We identify a minimum set of 11 indicators to provide a starting configuration for an ultimately useful scheme. We acknowledge that these indicators do not directly address all of the important issues in the rangelands and the utility of many of them for indexing adverse processes or status of biodiversity is unproven. However, together, they represent a consensus of opinion on those threads of biodiversity regarded as the most prone to change.
View or download this technical reports:
- "The Framework" [PDF - 320KB]
- Background Paper 1 - "A review of changes in status and threatening processes" [PDF - 2MB] and Appendices A & B [PDF - 6MB]
- Background Paper 2 - "A review of pastoral monitoring programs and their real and potential contribution to biodiversity monitoring" [PDF - 1.2MB]
- Background Paper 3 - "A review of Information gathered from existing biodiversity monitoring programs" [PDF - 663KB]
- Background Paper 4 - "Approaches to broad-scale monitoring of biological diversity - a brief" [PDF - 131KB]
- Case Study 1 - "Biodiversity monitoring in Cape York Peninsular" [PDF - 92KB]
- Case Study 2 - "Biodiversity monitoring in the Gascoyne-Murchison Strategy area" [PDF - 243KB]
- Manual for biodiversity monitoring [PDF - 124KB]
Please Note: PDF files are in Adobe Acrobat Version 4.0 format. You will need a copy of Acrobat Reader in order to view them. Blind and visually impaired users can view.pdf files using a tool available on-line from Adobe Systems that converts the.pdf files on the fly to HTML.
Some documents on this website are available as PDF files. Adobe Acrobat Reader is required to view PDF files.
Links to an another web site
Opens a pop-up window