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Effect of different fire regimes on vegetation thickening in grasslands on Cape York Peninsula

Crowley G.M.

Season of burn
Late dry season
(October to December)   


The tip of Cape York is traditionally known as Pajinka, the name of the Aboriginal-owned resort just 400 metres from the very tip. You walk from either the Lodge or camping ground to Frangipani Beach, which is, of course, Australia's northern-most beach (on the mainland).

As is the case with much of north Australia, fire plays an important role in the maintenance of ecological systems in Cape York.

Wildfires burn across vast areas of northern Australia every year.  These bushfires are very different from those in
southern states where fuel loads are much lighter and the trees themselves rarely burn.

Crimson Finch are small birds; males are blood red and females a grey-brown with a red bill.

Flocks of Crimson Finch indicate that rank grasses around swamps are protected from grazing.

To most people, pastureland and wildlife habitat are completely different landscapes. One elicits images of short, sweet grasses and scattered trees; the other of tangled, wild country thick with trees, shrubs and fallen logs.