Stories in this Theme

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.

A clean-up of the Lakes is the first of several key projects scheduled by The Western Cape Land Care Group following their general meeting held on Tuesday 6 May.

Key to discussions were clean-ups of local beauty spots, including beach areas where marine debris wash ashore, and tidying major intersections of Weipa access roads, where roadside rubbish from travellers is a major concern.
Alex Dunn, president of Western Cape Land Care Groups said a renewed effort to clean up the town lakes was chosen as a key project to pursue, in partnership with Goodline.

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.

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 

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.

Introduction

Seagrasses are marine flowering plants that have adapted to growing in muddy, near-shore environments. They form meadows wherever the ocean is shallow enough to allow the sunlight to reach the sea floor. Seagrass meadows are found in river estuaries, along the coast and, if the water is clear enough, way out to sea in waters up to 60 m deep. Recent mapping of the seagrass distribution along the eastern half of the Northern Territory coastline found over 70,000 hectares of intertidal and shallow sub-tidal seagrass beds.