Northern Australia Aquatic Ecological Assets
Northern Australia boasts a range of significant aquatic ecosystems and ecosystem types, including estuaries, rivers, lakes and wetlands. These ecosystems not only provide clean water, food and recreation but have important intrinsic ecological and cultural values. These ecosystems also support high biodiversity, including many unique species of aquatic plants and animals. To increase knowledge about these aquatic ecosystems, the Australian Government commissioned the Northern Australia Aquatic Ecological Assets Project as part of the Northern Australia Water Futures Assessment (NAWFA).
The first task of the project was to contribute to the Northern Australia Land and Water Science Review 2009 (Pusey & Kennard 2009) by determining both the values of northern Australia aquatic ecosystems and the impact of development alternatives on these ecosystems and the aquatic biodiversity they support.
The second stage of the project involved the mapping and spatial prioritisation of aquatic ecological assets across northern Australia. This broad scale assessment included a trial of the national draft High Ecological Value Aquatic Ecosystems (HEVAE) Framework being developed by the Australian, state and territory governments. Full details of the broad scale assessment are provided in the project’s interim report (Kennard 2010).
The final component of the project was to conduct fine scale assessments of particular catchments in northern Australia. In collaboration with the northern State and Territory jurisdictions and DSEWPAC, the project team held a series of regional expert panel workshops to assess key focal regions (or specific catchments) identified by jurisdictions as high priority or planned development areas. The fine scale assessments had a number of key aims, including identifying high priority aquatic ecological assets and understanding ecological thresholds in relation to flow regimes and maintenance of aquatic ecosystem assets. Full results of the fine scale assessments are available in the project’s final report – Priorities for identification and sustainable management of high conservation value aquatic ecosystems in northern Australia (Kennard 2011).
- Dr Mark Kennard
- Dr Virgilio Hermoso
- Dr Brad Pusey
- Dr Doug Ward
- Professor Jane Hughes
- Dr Ben Cook
- Dr Simon Linke
- Dr Catherine Leigh
- Ms Laura Jardine
- Colton Perna
- Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities (DSEWPaC)
- Tropical Rivers and Coastal Knowledge (TRaCK), Commonwealth Environmental Research Facility
- National Water Commission (NWC)
- Peter Baylis (CSIRO Marine & Atmospheric Research)
- James Boyden (Supervising Scientist Division, Department of Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts)
- Damien Burrows (James Cook University)
- Paul Close (University of Western Australia)
- Arthur Georges (University of Canberra)
- Romy Greiner (Charles Darwin University)
- Neil Petit (University of Western Australia)
- Julian Olden (University of Washington)
- Wayne Robinson (Charles Sturt University)
- Janet Stein (Australian National University)
- Pusey, B., Kennard, M., Burrows, D., Perna, C., Kyne, P., Cook, B. & Hughes, J. (2011). Freshwater fish. Chapter 6 In: BJ Pusey (ed). Aquatic Biodiversity in Northern Australia: Patterns, Threats and Future. Charles Darwin University Press, Darwin. Pp. 71–92. ISBN: 9780980864113.
- Hermoso, V., Kennard, M., Pusey, B. & Douglas, M. (2011). Identifying priority areas for the conservation of freshwater biodiversity. Chapter 9 In: BJ Pusey (ed). Aquatic Biodiversity in Northern Australia: Patterns, Threats and Future. Charles Darwin University Press, Darwin. Pp. 133–149.
- Pusey, B., Warfe, D., Townsend, S., Douglas, M., Burrows, D., Kennard, M. & Close, P. (2011). Condition, impacts and threats to aquatic biodiversity. Chapter 10 In: BJ Pusey (ed). Aquatic Biodiversity in Northern Australia: Patterns, Threats and Future. Charles Darwin University Press, Darwin. Pp. 151–172.
- Douglas, M., Jackson S., Setterfield, S., Pusey, B., Davies, P., Kennard, M., Burrowes, D., & Bunn, S. (2011). Northern futures: threats and opportunities for freshwater ecosystems. Chapter 13 In: BJ Pusey (ed). Aquatic biodiversity of the Wet-Dry Topics of Northern Australia: patterns, threats and future. Charles Darwin University Press, Darwin. Pp. 203–220.
- Hermoso, V. & Kennard, M.J. (2012). Uncertainty in coarse conservation assessments hinders the efficient achievement of conservation goals. Biological Conservation. 147: 52–59.
- Cook, B.D., Kennard, M.J., Real, K., Pusey, B.J. & Hughes, J.M. (2011). Landscape genetic analysis of the tropical freshwater fish Mogurnda mogurnda (Eleotridae) in a monsoonal river basin: importance of hydrographic factors and population history. Freshwater Biology. 56: 812–827.
- Olden, J.D., Kennard, M.J., Poff, N.L. & Lawler, J.J. (2011). Challenges and opportunities in implementing managed relocation for conservation of freshwater species. Conservation Biology. 25: 40-47.
- Olden, J.D., Kennard, M.J., Leprieur, F., Tedesco, P.A., Winemiller, K.O. & García-Berthou, W. (2010). Conservation biogeography of freshwater fishes: recent progress and future challenges. Diversity and Distributions 16: 496–513.
- Cook, B., Kennard, M., Ward, D. & Pusey, B. (2011). The Hydroecological Natural Heritage Story of Cape York Peninsula. Report to the Queensland Government Department of Environment and Resource Management. Available at: http://www.derm.qld.gov.au/cape_york/pdf/cyp-hydroecology.pdf
- Kennard, M.J. (2011). Northern Australia Aquatic Ecological Assets Project. Summary Report. Charles Darwin University, Darwin. Available at: http://www.environment.gov.au/water/publications/policy-programs/nawfa-aquatic-ecological-factsheet.html
- Kennard, M.J. (ed) (2011). Priorities for identification and sustainable management of high conservation value aquatic ecosystems in northern Australia. Final Report for the Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities and the National Water Commission. Tropical Rivers and Coastal Knowledge (TRaCK) Commonwealth Environmental Research Facility, Charles Darwin University, Darwin. ISBN: 978-1-921576-30-0. Available at: http://track.gov.au/publications/registry/907 or http://www.environment.gov.au/water/publications/policy-programs/nawfa-ecological-assets-report.html
- Kennard, M.J. (ed) (2010). Identifying high conservation value aquatic ecosystems in northern Australia. Interim Report for the Department of Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts and the National Water Commission. Tropical Rivers and Coastal Knowledge (TRaCK) Commonwealth Environmental Research Facility, Charles Darwin University, Darwin. ISBN: 978921576ÂÂ232. Available at: http://track.gov.au/publications/registry/843 or http://www.environment.gov.au/water/publications/policy-programs/nawfa-hcvae-trial-report.html
- Pusey, B.J. & Kennard, M.J. (2009). Chapter 3 – Aquatic ecosystems of northern Australia. In: “Northern Australia Land and Water Science Review” (ed. P. Stone). Final report to the Northern Australia Land and Water Taskforce. CSIRO Publishing. Available at: http://www.nalwt.gov.au/science_review.aspx