Landscape scale analysis of the value of waterbirds in the Alligator Rivers Region, northern Australia

2004

Internal Report 445
M Bellio, P Bayliss & P Dostine
Supervising Scientist Division
Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts

About the report

In 1999 the World Heritage Committee recommended that landscape and ecosystem analyses of the entire region be undertaken to help protect the ecological and cultural integrity of Kakadu. In response to this recommendation the Supervising Scientist Division of Environment Australia has commenced a number of landscape-wide projects that link various threats and pressures to ecosystems of the ARR (e.g. mining, invasive species, climate change & salinisation), in particular wetlands, in order to outline risk management strategies. Waterbirds are a key component of tropical wetlands and occupy several trophic levels. They are also potential indicators of ecological condition and have high cultural and natural significance. We are developing a conceptual model which directly links waterbird dynamics to the quality of their wetland habitats, both in terms of the availability of food and nesting resources. Being able to use the abundance and diversity of waterbirds as key indicators of “wetland health” and determining the efficacy of this approach is a key issue.