Biodiversity | Framework for monitoring biodiversity | Under review |
From waterholes in arid mountain gorges to saltbush plains,
tropical billabongs to mallee scrub, the Australian outback
supports a remarkable variety of ecosystems, plants and animals.
While much has been lost, some areas are known to be recovering.
The question now is whether we are indeed witnessing a recovery, or
has an irreversible process of decline been put in place?
To provide more concrete evidence about the extent and direction
of change and most importantly, management directions, the National
Land and Water Resources Audit, established from the Natural
Heritage Trust, has commissioned a project called ‘Developing
an adaptive framework for monitoring biodiversity in the
This project is part of a program under the Audit to establish
Australia-wide rangeland monitoring and reporting. The
‘Monitoring and Reporting framework for Australia’s
Rangelands’, when implemented will cover biophysical,
production, biodiversity, social, economic, institutional and
cultural issues and be publicly available via the web, complete
with summaries for each of Australia’s IBRA regions.
The biodiversity project is being undertaken by a team based at
the Tropical Savannas CRC. However, this is a a rangeland-wide
project, embracing about 75 per cent of the continent.
The project will review:
- trends and threats to biodiversity in the rangelands
- existing rangelands monitoring programs
- biodiversity monitoring programs overseas
- the theory and statistics of monitoring programs
A framework will then be structured to help produce tangible
measures of long-term trends for a range of biodiversity. This
could involve making better use of existing datasets, adding
additional monitoring components or even starting afresh.The team
will also draw on a panel of experts assembled from around the
nation and become a key part of the Australia wide Rangelands
Monitoring and Reporting initiative.