Managing for biodiversity in the rangelands - Summary report
Tropical Savannas CRC, Desert Knowledge CRC
Department of the Environment and Heritage, June 2004
ISBN 0 6425 5124 3
- Fire management - Summary report (PDF - 12,401 KB)
- Fire management - Introductory pages (PDF - 399 KB)
- Fire management - The importance of fire management (PDF - 2,871 KB)
- Fire management - Tropical eucalypt savannas (PDF - 1,524 KB)
- Fire management - Melaleuca woodlands (PDF - 803 KB)
- Fire management - Tussock grasslands (PDF - 989 KB)
- Fire management - Hummock grasslands (PDF - 944 KB)
- Fire management - Temperate eucalypt and open woodlands (PDF - 1,501 KB)
- Fire management - Acacia forest, woodlands, open woodlands and shrublands (PDF - 1,203 KB)
- Fire management - Chenopod shrubs, samphire and forblands (PDF - 891 KB)
- Fire management - Mallee (PDF - 807 KB)
- Fire management - Further information (PDF - 244 KB)
This paper is a summary of the report prepared for the Australian Government Department of the Environment and Heritage by the Tropical Savannas CRC and the Desert Knowledge CRC:
About the report
Understanding and implementing appropriate fire management principles in the Australian rangelands is of national significance. The rangelands of Australia have a high biodiversity value, they provide significant economic returns for the communities they sustain, and they are an important feature of the Australian identity.
Compared with the areas of intensive agriculture in most other parts of Australia, the rangelands are relatively intact. Yet, despite this relatively low level of disturbance, the abundance and richness of rangeland biodiversity is declining, and inappropriate fire regimes are considered partly responsible. Fire is an integral part of the ecosystems of Australia's rangelands and is considered one of the few management tools available to land managers in this zone.
Sound fire practices, over both the short and long term, are an important contributor to sustainable pasture production and have a significant impact on biodiversity conservation.
No single fire regime applied at landscape scales can meet the needs of any one major land management objective (e.g. biodiversity conservation), let alone multiple land management objectives. Appropriate fire management practices will vary with factors such as the desired management outcomes, the climate, terrain, flora and fauna, and the scale and patchiness of the ecosystem. While some elements of rangeland ecosystems are resilient to changes in fire regime, others are sensitive to fire intensity and/or to fire interval.
Outlining useful information for managers, this paper aims to help managers develop appropriate fire management practices. It includes a checklist for fire management plans, definitions of commonly-used terms and concepts, and descriptions of fire ecology, fire management, and knowledge gaps for each of the major vegetation types.
This paper is part of a series of related publications on Managing for biodiversity in the rangelands, intended to provide government agencies, land managers and others with relevant information on protecting biodiversity in the rangelands.