Wetland inventory and monitoring: Tools for management in Australian tropical wetlands


Internal Report 278
Finlayson CM
Supervising Scientist Division
Department of the Environment

About the report

An inventory and monitoring program for detecting biophysical change in the wetlands of Kakadu National Park in northern Australia has been established. The Park is renowned for its conservation values, but is under threat of major change as a consequence of weed and feral animal invasion, pollution, and predicted sea level rise and climate change. In order to determine the likely extent and rate of such change an inventory and monitoring program for the wetlands has been designed. An inventory of existing baseline information is being established and will be expanded through the use of remote sensing techniques. Monitoring of specific biophysical features will be undertaken in relation to threats to the wetlands and will be underpinned by the baseline information contained within the inventory.

The inventory and monitoring program was developed in close cooperation with all interested parties. Land managers, owners and users have been included in the process from the outset. From these activities a model for developing a wetland monitoring program has been outlined. The components of the model are: establishment of technical expertise; consultation; identification of causes of change; information collation and coordination (inventory); collaboration and partnership; design and implementation; audit; management actions; and communication.

The successful use of such a model is dependent on the strategies by which each of the components is addressed. It is important to stress that the model is supported by the thoroughness with which the inventory information is collated and made available for users.