Con­ser­va­tion di­ver­sity plan

Pilbara News - - News - Court­ney Fowler

The big­gest and most com­plex re­gional bio­di­ver­sity sur­vey un­der­taken in WA will un­der­pin and guide fu­ture con­ser­va­tion de­ci­sions in the Pil­bara.

Dur­ing the sur­vey, teams of sci­en­tists from the De­part­ment of Parks and Wildlife, the West­ern Aus­tralian Mu­seum and sev­eral Aus­tralian uni­ver­si­ties and herbar­i­ums, sam­pled mam­mals, birds, rep­tiles, frogs, in­ver­te­brates and flora at 422 ter­res­trial, 98 wet­land and 508 ground­wa­ter sites.

Dr van Leeuwen said the re­sults of the sur­vey would pro­vide a clear un­der­stand­ing of bio­di­ver­sity in the re­gion, pro­vid­ing an in­for­ma­tive tool to un­der­pin fu­ture con­ser­va­tion, land use and nat­u­ral re­source man­age­ment de­ci­sions.

“Through these pub­li­ca­tions, the com­mu­nity will be in­formed on the bio­di­ver­sity val­ues of the Pil­bara and the ef­fects of land use and other fac­tors such as in­va­sive species on its plants and an­i­mals in or­der to guide con­ser­va­tion ac­tions,” he said.

“This in­cludes im­prov­ing the con­ser­va­tion re­serve sys­tem as well as its man­age­ment, and fos­ter­ing eco­log­i­cally sus­tain­able de­vel­op­ment through ad­vice to land­hold­ers, in­dus­try and the com­mu­nity on the dis­tri­bu­tion and sta­tus of species and com­mu­ni­ties.”

Dr van Leeuwen said re­sults had been pub­lished in sci­en­tific pa­pers us­ing data com­piled from field sur­veys un­der­taken from 2002 to 2006.

The first vol­ume en­com­passes a back­ground doc­u­ment and bio­geo­graphic ap­praisals of mam­mals, birds, ants, bee­tles, spi­ders, scor­pi­ons, aquatic in­ver­te­brates and weeds. The sec­ond vol­ume in­cludes as­sess­ments of the bio­geo­graphic pat­terns of rep­tiles and frogs, birds, ground­wa­ter and wet­land plant com­mu­ni­ties, and a fi­nal syn­the­sis pa­per iden­ti­fies gaps in the Pil­bara’s con­ser­va­tion re­serve sys­tem.

Pic­ture: Parks and Wildlife

The black Pil­bara gecko.

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