Stories in this Theme

Submitted by Charles Darwin University

In November 2014 Western Cape Turtle Threat Alliance Coordinator Johanna Karam and Apudthama Ranger Dale Motlop joined more than 40 people from across northern Australia for a workshop on wildlife monitoring using motion detection cameras, in Darwin.

By James Donaldson

Two recent visits to Dawnvale Station and the Bloomfield River have excited local fish researchers Brendan Ebner (Ebb) and James Donaldson from CSIRO and TropWATER at James Cook University.

Case Study of Fire Management and related costs for Elsey Station (1999).

Directors of Oyala Thumotang Land Trust met in Weipa on 6 and 7 May 2014 to plan for the future of the land trust.

By Lyndal Scobell

Predatory raids on turtle egg nests continue to threaten the survival of two endangered turtle species that nest on the shores of western Cape York Peninsula.

Feral pigs are the most common culprits.  Nearly 100% of Olive Ridley and Flatback turtle nests have suffered predation in recent years. Cape York Sustainable Futures (CYSF) hosted the Cape York Sea Turtle Project for the past six years, working  with Western Cape communities and ranger groups to reduce the impact of predators on the turtles eggs, increasing the chances of species survival.

Tree hollows are naturally-occurring holes in living or dead trees. Hollows form in many species but are most abundant in eucalypts. Termite activity, storms and fire contribute to both the formation and destruction of tree hollows.
Many species can live in moderately-altered landscapes that retain most of their trees, shrubs and grasses. However, a few species survive only where their habitat has been fenced to prevent grazing, trampling and rooting by feral or domestic animals.

Weeds are introduced plants that reproduce or even proliferate unaided. Most weeds are exotic, however native plants can also be considered weeds if introduced outside of their natural range. In many cases it is not for many years, or even decades after a plant’s introduction that it is considered a weed as they tend to be recognised as such only when they have already spread.

Environmental weeds are plants that represent a threat to the conservation values of natural ecosystems.

Introduction

The understorey shrub layer is an important component of many vegetation communities across the Northern Territory. Unlike grassy savannas, many forest and woodland communities feature either an open or more closed understorey shrub layer, especially in the Top End. Sometimes the shrub layer is the dominant vegetation stratum, particularly in the arid zone. In general, the structure, density and composition of the shrub layer are largely determined by rainfall, soil type and management history.

Introduction

Landscapes are often thought of and described in terms of their tree layer, however it is usually the understorey that supports the widest range of wildlife. Grasses and herbs comprise most of the plant diversity in the majority of terrestrial communities across northern Australia. This is particularly the case in the tropical savannas. Some studies estimate that up to 90% of biodiversity is found in the understorey.