THE effects of fire regimes on biodiversity is one of the most
important fire research issues for land users across northern
Australia, according to a recent CSIRO survey. CSIRO Sustainable
Ecosystems conducted the survey to help identify priority needs for
fire research among stakeholders that included park management,
Bushfires Counacil NT, pastoralists, and conservation, tourism,
research and Aboriginal interests.
The survey’s response rate of 73 per cent reflected the
keen interest in fire management across all sectors.
CSIRO and other research partners in northern Australia are
planning new projects on fire to support nature conservation. The
projects may become part of the CRC research program. CSIRO
surveyed180 people from the Top End, north Queensland and the
The questionnaire identified the following potential areas of
research, and respondents were asked to rank them from 1 (least
important ) to 7 (most important).
- Fuel loads, fire intensity, and other fire behaviour
- Methods of fire control
- Fire mapping
- Effects of fire regimes on biodiversity
- Effects of fire regimes on Greenhouse gases and carbon
- Burning practices to achieve desired fire regimes
- Traditional Aboriginal burning practices
After fire and biodiversity, the next most important issues were
generally considered to be burning practices to achieve desired
fire regimes, followed by fuel loads, fire intensity and other
aspects of fire behaviour.
There was substantial variation among stakeholder groups in
priorities. For example, compared with other stakeholders, such as
fire managers and pastoralists, rated fuel loads, fire intensity
and other aspects of fire behaviour and control higher, and effects
of fire regimes on biodiversity lower.