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Monitoring Contrasting Land Management in the Savanna Landscapes of Northern Australia

Franklin, Donald C., Petty, Aaron Michael, Williamson, Grant James, Brook, Barry William and Bowman, David M. J. S. (2008). Monitoring Contrasting Land Management in the Savanna Landscapes of Northern Australia. Environmental Management (New York): an international journal for decision-makers, scientists and environmental auditors,41(4):501-515.

Document type: Journal Article

IRMA ID 73283902xPUB74
Title Monitoring Contrasting Land Management in the Savanna Landscapes of Northern Australia
Author Franklin, Donald C.
Petty, Aaron Michael
Williamson, Grant James
Brook, Barry William
Bowman, David M. J. S.
Journal Name Environmental Management (New York): an international journal for decision-makers, scientists and environmental auditors
Publication Date 2008
Volume Number 41
Issue Number 4
ISSN 0364-152X   (check CDU catalogue open catalogue search in new window)
Scopus ID 2-s2.0-41549148200
Start Page 501
End Page 515
Total Pages 15
Place of Publication New York
Publisher Springer New York
Field of Research 0502 - Environmental Science and Management
HERDC Category C1 - Journal Article (DEST)
Abstract We compared measures of ecosystem state across six adjacent land-tenure groups in the intact tropical savanna landscapes of northern Australia. Tenure groups include two managed by Aboriginal owners, two national parks, a cluster of pastoral leases, and a military training area. This information is of relevance to the debate about the role of indigenous lands in the Australian conservation estate. The timing and frequency of fire was determined by satellite imagery; the biomass and composition of the herb-layer and the abundance of large feral herbivores by field surveys; and weediness by analysis of a Herbarium database. European tenures varied greatly in fire frequencies but were consistently burnt earlier in the dry season than the two Aboriginal tenures, the latter having intermediate fire frequencies. Weeds were more frequent in the European tenures, whilst feral animals were most abundant in the Aboriginal tenures. This variation strongly implies a signature of current management and/or recent environmental history. We identify indices suitable for monitoring of management outcomes in an extensive and sparsely populated landscape. Aboriginal land offers a unique opportunity for the conservation of biodiversity through the maintenance of traditional fire regimes. However, without financial support, traditional practices may prove unsustainable both economically and because exotic weeds and feral animals will alter fire regimes. An additional return on investment in Aboriginal land management is likely to be improved livelihoods and health outcomes for these disadvantaged communities.
DOI http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00267-007-9006-1   (check subscription with CDU E-Gateway service for CDU Staff and Students  check subscription with CDU E-Gateway in new window)
 
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Created: Thu, 07 May 2009, 09:11:52 CST by Sarena Wegener