Stories in this Theme

Introduction

The understorey ground layer typically supports the majority of the biodiversity of Northern Territory ecosystems. Native plants and most wildlife (perhaps with the exception of birds and some invertebrates) are all more numerous and diverse in the ground layer than in the overstorey.

Whilst many activities require vegetation clearing, the habitat of a threatened species should never be cleared. Threatened species living in a small area are particularly vulnerable to vegetation clearing, which may destroy their entire habitat.

Introduction 

Para Grass is an exotic grass that threatens wetlands across northern Australia. Introduced into Australia in the late 19th century, it is now established in coastal floodplains across the Top End between Darwin and Nhulunbuy. It is a particular problem on the floodplains of the Mary River and Magela Creek, as well as on Croker Island. A small population was recorded on Bathurst Island in the 1990s.

Impacts

Introduction

The Northern Territory has a vast coastline which extends for around 10 000km. In contrast to many areas on the eastern coast of Australia, the ecosystems are largely intact, with only a few remote settled areas. The coastline has shallow tropical waters which support globally significant populations of threatened species, including six of the seven species of marine turtles, colonies of shorebirds, seabirds and waterbirds, sawfish, dugongs, sharks and rays.