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Ord Land and Water: Conservation
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ORD LAND AND WATER       » Management Plan » Conservation
Introduction

This chapter is focussed on identifying ways of minimising the impacts on and improving the management of the environment in the Ord River catchment.

Most of the strategies suggested throughout the chapter are environmental management guidelines. The group would like to encourage the Shires of Halls Creek and Wyndham East Kimberley to develop an Environmental Management Plans using the suggested management guidelines from each issue as a starting point.

Other local government authorities around Australia are developing Environmental Management Plans for the better management of the environment in their local shires. Local government has been identified as the organisation that can have a major impact upon environmental problems within a region by taking a lead role.

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Cane Toad

Fire

Goals

  • To increase the understanding of causes and frequency of unplanned fires and their impact to enable effective management.

  • To increase community awareness of the cause and effects of fires.

  • To improve the coordination of planned fires between stakeholders.

Background

Fire is occurring with alarming frequency in most of the Rangeland regions of Western Australia and particularly in the northern Kimberley regions. Late dry season fires, frequently deliberately lit, burn in many areas almost every year. Massive fires, usually caused by lightening, sweep over large areas of the Inland Arid Region, creating fire scars which persist for many years making the long-term survival of plants and animals difficult.

While the complexities of the interactions between fire and ecosystems are not completely understood, there is no doubt that the implications of frequent, large and intense late dry season fires are serious.

In the past, studies undertaken in the Kimberley have indicated that native plants and animals are being adversely affected; with some communities, for example rainforest and species, for example grain feeding birds, facing local and possibly regional extinction. More recently, over the last decade, renewed focus has been applied to the management of fire in the Kimberley. Organisations including the Departments of Parks and Fire and Emergency Services and the Kimberley Land Council, have invested significant resources to address issues resulting from the mismanagement of fire. As a result, the Kimberley region has experienced a seasonal shift in its burning pattern from late season, intense and destructive fires to an early dry season, cooler and ecologically sensitive fire regime.

Fire can be a very effective tool for managing woody weed problems for example mimosa bush (Vachellia farnesiana), when used appropriately. Often, when areas have not been burnt there is a noticeable increase in the density of the native trees. Different types of fires can be used as tools (hot or cool fires) to address different issues, but it is important to maintain a frequency of burning that is conducive to natural population regeneration and enables native species to out compete weeds (O’Reagain, 1999).

Cool burns at different times of the year (including burns in the Wet Season), reduce the fuel loads and thereby also the hazard of intense hot burns. Burning at different times of the year provides the perennial grasses and other native plant species an opportunity to survive and set seed. An increase in broad-scale early dry season burning is likely to reduce the extent of later, more destructive, fires while providing other benefits for cattle enterprises. In areas dominated by annual sorghum which has escaped dry season fire, burning during the wet season should be effective in reducing subsequent fuel loads (Craig, 1997)

Current Status

Fire Control

There are a number of different organisations that are responsible for fire control. Their roles are summarized herewith.

Volunteer Fire & Rescue Service – Located in the town-sites of Halls Creek, Kununurra and Wyndham. These brigades are responsible for fire related issues within the town boundaries. In addition they have the responsibility for hazardous materials related incidents and Road Accident Rescue. They will provide support to Bush Fires Brigades outside their gazetted district if requested and deemed necessary by the brigade Captain.

Volunteer Bush Fire Brigades – Are registered with their respective Local Government but are currently under the jurisdiction of the Department of Fire and Emergency Services and will provide support to the Volunteer Fire & Rescue Service if required. These brigades also conduct hazardous reduction burning in their respective areas and are responsible for general fire management and suppression. There are Volunteer Bushfire Brigades located around the town sites of Halls Creek, Kununurra and Wyndham.

The Department of Parks and Wildlife – Has responsibility for fire on their estates (for example, Purnululu National Park), and provide a support role if requested to other fire agencies. They have mitigation responsibilities on Unallocated Crown Land but control of wildfires is the responsibility of the Department of Fire and Emergency Services.

Bush Fire Service WA – Provides an advisory and training role to Local Government and the Bush Fire Brigades throughout the Kimberley region. In addition, during large-scale wild fires they can source plant, equipment and personnel when Local Government’s resources are totally committed. They provide coordination functions during major fire emergencies.

Local Government – Local Government was the lead agency for fires outside the Fire and Rescue Service Gazetted Area. However, during a three year trial (2013-15), The Department of Fire and Emergency Services formally assumed the role over Local Government for responses to wildfires and coordinated both the Volunteer Fire and Rescue Service Volunteer and Bush Fire Brigades. This includes all tenures of land including Unallocated Crown Land. Local Governments have statutory powers under the Bush Fires Act 1954 to require landowners to remove fire hazards and create firebreaks and may carry out works if owners default and charge the owners the costs involved.

Local Government appoints Fire Control officers under the Bush Fires Act 1954. These officers issue Burn Permits and carry out inspections of property to determine fire risks. Local Government also contributes to the establishment of volunteer brigades and is a source of funding for equipment.

Strategies

Strategy 1

Reduce the risk of and damage caused by unplanned fires that:

1. Encourages pro-active fire management that includes -

  • breaking up the landscape into a manageable mosaic of burnt and unburnt areas by carrying out control burns early in the year;

  • installing and maintaining fire breaks;

  • encouraging cool burns; and

  • burning at different times of the year.

2. Developes an education and awareness program, which incorporatesthe provision of information through mail drops, radio, newspaper and school programs.

Strategy 2

Encourage local Shires, the Volunteer Brigades and the Department of Fire and Emergency Services to work together to develop a detailed response plan for fire events in the region.

Strategy 3

Encourage local Shires to develop guidelines for pro-active fire management in the area by:

1. Enforcement and surveillance of council By Laws.

2. Encouraging pro-active management on vacant town areas.

3. Compiling a database of fire “hotspots” from around the area.

Responsibilities

RResponsibility for fire control and management lies with a number of organisations including the Department of Fire and Emergency Services and the Department of Parks and Wildlife in their respective areas of responsibility. Local Government may take more of a lead role once the trial of the Department of Fire and Emergency Services in taking on the Local Government responses to wildfires has been completed in 2015.

Landholders have a responsibility to ensure property protection through the removal of fire hazards and maintenance of fire breaks.

References

1. Gardiner, H.G. (2000) Ord Land and Water Management Plan 2000. National Heritage Trust: AGWEST.

2. Environmental Protection Authority to the Minister for the Environment under Section 16(e) of the Environmental Protection Act 1986. Fire Management in the Kimberley and other Rangeland Regions of Western Australia.

3. Craig, A.B. (1997) A review of information on the effects of fire in relation to the management of rangelands in the Kimberley high rainfall zone: Tropical Grasslands, Vol 31, pp. 161-187.,

4. Tropical Savannahs CRC. (1999), Link fire management to rainfall patterns: Savanna Links, Issue 9, March-April 1999.

5. Watkins, D., Brennan, K., Lange, C., Jaensch, R., Finlayson, M., (1997) Planning for Ramsar Sites in the Kimberley Region of Western Australia, Wetlands International – Oceania, Environmental Research Institute of the Supervising Scientist Consultant.

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Clearing native vegetation

Clearing of Native Vegetation

Goals

  • To ensure there is no illegal clearing of native vegetation.

  • To ensure that all clearing conforms to appropriate legislative processes and best practices.

Current Status

The Department of Environment Regulation is the lead agency in Western Australia for those seeking to clear native vegetation. The latest clearing regulations under the provisions of the Environmental Protection Act 1986 commenced in 2004 with amendments to the Environmental Protection Regulations 2004 gazetted in 2013.

Clearing native vegetation is prohibited, unless progressed under a clearing permit, or if the clearing is for an exempt purpose. There are two types of exemptions; a) for clearing that is required under law, or b) where clearing is authorised under certain statutory processes. Examples include clearing under the Bush Fires Act 1954 and the Land Administration Act 1997. Exemptions for prescribed low impact day to day activities are prescribed in the Environmental Protection Regulations 2004, but do not apply in environmentally sensitive areas declared by the Minister for Environment.

People who wish to clear land of native vegetation are required to submit an application unless an exemption applies.

The Department of Parks and Wildlife is responsible for the management of Unallocated Crown Land. No clearing can be undertaken on these areas without due assessment by the Department in consultation with a number of other agencies, including the Department of Environment Regulation.

All areas of land are vested with an individual or entity, whether it is the Crown or a specific Minister. For example the area of land directly downstream of the Ord and Kununurra Diversion Dam is vested with the Minister for Water for protection of the Dam. Areas earmarked as quarry sites are vested with the Minister for Mines and Petroleum.

Road side clearing

The Shires of Halls Creek and Wyndham East Kimberley currently allows landholders to utilise land as close as practical to roads on the proviso that it may be reclaimed at any time. However for any proposed works aside from the planting and maintaining grass, small gardens or crushed rock in residential areas a permit to Undertake Works on Public Land must be applied for.

Knowledge Gaps

  • The Shires of Wyndham East Kimberley and Halls Creek positions on the clearing of native vegetation.

  • Can roadsides be used effectively as wildlife corridors?

  • Does clearing of areas along road verges and adjacent to the river have an impact on the species using these areas?

  • Future planning issues?

  • Is there soil erosion/movement from areas that are cleared? What is the impact from this?

Strategies

Strategy 1

Reduce off property clearing, by:

1. Ensuring guidelines for clearing and development are unambiguous.

2. Ensuring that landholders are aware of and adhere to these guidelines by:

  • Ensuring the agencies involved take responsibility to provide the relevant information to landholders;

  • developing guidelines for management of riparian areas and including them in a waterways management strategy.

Strategy 2

Improve the management of roadside verges, by:

1. Managing weed species in these areas.

2. Encouraging the inclusion of these areas in an “Environmental Management Plan” for the area.

3. Clarifying the purpose and use of these areas (including native species, access, etc).

Responsibilities

The Halls Creek and Wyndham East Kimberley Shires, The Department of Parks and Wildlife, Landcorp, the Department of Water and the Water Corporation have a responsibility to clarify how areas within their sphere of interest are to be managed. The Department of Environment Regulation has a responsibility to clarify clearing guidelines for land inside and outside of property boundaries. These organisations also have a responsibility to ensure that guidelines for the management of their respective areas of responsibility are developed and adhered to.

Shire and property owners alongside roads have a responsibility to improve the management of roadside verges to ensure they are not acting as a source for weeds, or a habitat for feral animals.

References

1. Gardiner, H.G. (2000) Ord Land and Water Management Plan 2000. National Heritage Trust: AGWEST.

2. Department of Environment Regulation. (2014) A guide to the assessment of applications to clear native vegetation Under Part V Division 2 of the Environmental Protection Act 1986: www.der.wa.gov.au/

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Bush corridor Goomig
Buffer signage

Bush Corridors

Goals

  • To preserve the remaining areas of native vegetation that have the potential to act as wildlife corridors or buffer zones.

  • To identify where buffer zones and/or corridors are required for the conservation of biodiversity in and around new land or infrastructure developments.

Background

Australia’s landscapes are not homogeneous, instead they comprise patches of various land use and different ecosystems. The response of wildlife to these landscape attributes depends on the ability and willingness of each species to move across different types of land cover, the usefulness of resources found in different habitat patches, and the dangers to which a species is exposed to on the way.

Landscape permeability is a term used to describe how hospitable land might be for a particular species. For example, many rainforest birds will cross only short gaps between dense patches of vegetation. For these birds, a permeable landscape might contain wide belts of tall, dense and structurally diverse vegetation in which they can find suitable places to perch and shelter. In contrast, a bare landscape is likely to be hostile because it lacks the shelter and food the birds need.

There is growing recognition that in order to rebuild connected, functioning landscapes and maximise the benefits provided by the system of protected areas it is necessary to strategically link protected areas with areas of remnant habitat and ecological value.

Current Knowledge

Wildlife corridors are one of the most effective tools available for conserving biodiversity and preparing landscapes for climate change. They can assist insure against climatic uncertainty through the conservation of a diversity of species and provision of alternative pathways for species’ movement and adaptation.

Naturally connected landscapes and ecosystems are generally healthier and can store carbon more effectively than degraded landscapes. Establishing a network of wildlife corridors can help create and protect natural stores of carbon in the environment and contribute to mitigating the effects of climate change.

Corridors can also have negative impacts. They may channel species into areas where they face increased risk of mortality from human pressures or other predators. If corridors are open disturbed areas they can be ideal for weed establishment (Hussey et.al, 1989) and can be used by feral animals.

The “edge effect” a term used to describe the impact on vegetation and wildlife when one type of vegetation shares a border with another, occurs naturally, for example, where riparian vegetation transitions to adjacent drier slopes or artificially where, for example, pasture abuts a forest. Some “edge effects” can be positive in terms of native flora and fauna, but most tend to have negative effects. “Edge effects” are most likely to have an influence on narrow strips or small remnant areas. In terms of corridor plantings the wider the corridor the less the impact of "edge effects".

There are no designated wildlife corridors in the Ord River Irrigation Area Stage 1. However, the Goomig Farm Area (Ord River Irrigation Area Stage 2) design includes a number of corridors connecting pockets of vegetation that would have otherwise been isolated by the clearing of farm lands.

Knowledge Gaps
  • The existing and proposed cleared areas that are large enough to warrant wildlife corridors.

  • The extent of habitat fragmentation as a result of no corridors in Ord River Irrigation Area Stage 1.

Strategies

Strategy 1

Encourage the preservation of existing remnant vegetation areas by:

1. Identifying the location of areas of remnant vegetation.

2. Working with the landholders to help manage these areas.

Strategy 2

Conduct research on the geography and scale of Stage 1 and its possible requirements for wildlife corridors.

Responsibilities

State planning strategy partners that include, but are not limited to, the Department of Environment Regulation, Department of Lands, Department of Local Government and Communities, Department of Parks and Wildlife, Department of Regional Development, Landcorp and Landgate have the responsibility to ensure the biodiversity outcomes of the Western Australian Planning Commission’s State Planning Strategy 2050 are met, particularly with regard to biodiversity.

References

1. Gardiner, H.G. (2000) Ord Land and Water Management Plan 2000. National Heritage Trust: AGWEST.

2. Australian Government Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities. (2012) National Wildlife Corridors Plan: www.environment.gov.au/

3. Western Australian Planning Commission. (2014) State Planning Strategy 2050: www.planning.wa.gov.au/

4. Johnston, P. & Don, A. (1990) Grow Your Own Wildlife: Greening Australia Ltd.

5. Hussey, B.M.J., Hobbs, R.J. & Saunders, D.A. (1989), Guidelines for Bush Corridors: From workshop/conference on “Nature Conservation: the Role of Corridors” held in Western Australia.

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Mirima National Park

National Parks and Conservation Reserves

Goals

  • To increase the area in the reserve system identified as being of high biodiversity or special significance.

  • To develop plans to manage the impact of visitors on popular recreational areas outside of national parks.

  • To improve community awareness of current and proposed National Parks and Conservation Reserves.

Background

Mirima and Purnululu National Parks are located in the East Kimberley. Both parks have facilities including walk trails and information boards and are enjoyed by local residents and visitors to the area.

There are two Nature Reserves located along the Lower Ord River, Parry Lagoons Nature Reserve and the Ord River Nature Reserve. These areas are managed primarily for nature conservation. In 1990 both the reserves and adjacent land were designated as the Ord River Floodplain Ramsar site. Lakes Argyle and Kununurra were also designated as a Ramsar site in the same year.

Government proposes to establish the North Kimberley Marine Park in the Joseph Bonaparte Gulf; the size and location have yet to be determined. There is also a proposal for a Conservation Park in the Carr Boyd ranges on the western side of Lake Argyle.

Six jointly owned and managed conservation areas were established as part of the Ord Final Agreement between the Mirriuwung Gajerrong Traditional Owners and the State Government in 2005; Goomig, Barrbem, Darrmalanka, Ngamoowalem, Mijing and Darram Conservation Areas. These reserves and the Point Spring Nature Reserve that adjoins Darrmalanka are within 100 kilometres from Kununurra.

The Purnululu Conservation Reserve is adjacent to the Purnululu National Park and the Ord River Regeneration Reserve situated on the upper Ord River.

Strategies

Strategy 1

Encourage appropriate management of fire, weeds and feral animals on National Parks, Conservation and Regeneration reserves by The Department of Parks and Wildlife and the relevant joint management Indigenous organisation.

Strategy 2

Reduce the impacts of visitors on popular recreation areas (outside the National Parks and conservation reserves) by:

1. Education and awareness.

2. Appropriate signage.

3. Provision of facilities.

4. Involving the landholder (station management, Traditional Owners, The Department of Parks and Wildlife (for areas of Unallocated Crown Land for example) and Shire Councils in the management of the area.

Responsibilities

The Department of Parks and Wildlife has the principal responsibility for managing areas that are within their estate. Landholders whose land is adjacent to national parks and conservation reserves have a responsibility for reducing their impacts on those areas by working with the Department of Parks and Wildlife on joint initiatives.

The community (including tourists and local residents) has a responsibility to minimise their impacts on national parks and other popular recreational areas. Shire Councils have a responsibility to assist in maintaining popular visitation areas.

References

1. Gardiner, H.G. (2000) Ord Land and Water Management Plan 2000. National Heritage Trust: AGWEST.

2. Burbidge, A.A., McKenzie, N.L. & Kenneally, K.F. (1991) Nature Conservation Reserves in the Kimberley Western Australia: Department of Conservation and Land Management, WA.

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Night Heron

Native Plants and Animals

Goals

  • Maintain and protect biodiversity within the Ord River Catchment.

  • Increase ecological knowledge of native plant and animal species found within the Catchment.

  • Improve community awareness of the benefits of biodiversity.

Background

Native plants and animals have been exposed to numerous threats over the past century in the East Kimberley. These threats include significant changes in land use; fire regimes, stocking numbers, large scale irrigated agriculture, mineral exploration, mining and the introduction of non native plants and animals including, most recently, the cane toad.

Current Status

The defining landscape features of the East Kimberley ranges from ancient Devonian limestone reefs and sandstone ranges in the northern and central areas to the basalt features of the Antrim plateau in the south. The topography is punctuated by gorges, creeks, permanent freshwater pools and seasonal waterfalls. The latter is found particularly in the headwaters of the creeks and rivers of the region. The watercourses and their capacity to hold water for extended periods strongly influences the type of flora and fauna in the sub catchments.

In the northern part of the region the vegetation is characterised by sparse, open woodlands dominated by savannah eucalypts over spinifex hummock grasses on the ranges, thickets and cycads (Cycas pruinosa) on the scree slopes, palm groves (Livistona spp) perched on cliff lines, pockets of Arnhem cypress pine (Callitris columellaris) on the surrounding alluvial plains and low deciduous rainforest thickets where they are protected from fire.

This vegetation provides habitat to the agile wallaby (Macropus agilis), northern nailtail wallaby (Onychogalea unguifera) and common wallaroo (Macropus robustus), short beaked echidna (Tachyglossus aculeatus), black flying fox, (Pteropus alecto), and the little red flying fox (Pteropus scapulatus).

The vine thicket assemblages of the Ningbing Range are uniquely diverse and include rich species in comparison to similar occurrences in the North and East Kimberley (Graham and White 1999). The area has unique fauna and its topography provides important habitat and refuge from fire. Studies of land snail populations and distributions in the range have identified the significance of the Devonian limestone outcrops in providing critical habitat for the greatest concentration of short-range restricted endemic species found anywhere in the world (Graham and White 1999).

Permanent freshwater of the region supports species that include; the Nankeen night heron (Nycticorax caledonicus), brush cuckoo (Cacomantis variolosus) banded honeyeater (Certhionyx pectoralis) the endangered Gouldian finch (Erythrura gouldiae) green tree frog (Litoria caerulea), Mitchell’s water monitor (Varanus mitchelli) and black whip snake (Demansia vestiata).

Ramsar Sites, such as the Ord River Floodplain and Lakes Argyle and Kununurra are homes for large amounts of birdlife, for example, approximately four thousand Brolgas (Grus rubicunda) and approximately five hundred Purple Swamp Hens (Porphyrio porphyrio) have been recorded at Lake Argyle (Steve Sharpe, Lake Argyle Cruises, pers comm). There are birds found in the area that have restricted distributions in other areas of the state, such as the Burdekin Duck (Tadorna radjah) and the Green Pigmy Goose (Nettapus pulchellus). There are also a number of species whose populations have increased since the establishment of a permanent water supply in Lake Argyle and Lake Kununurra with the damming of the Ord River. These include the Magpie Goose (Anseranas semipalmata), Plumed Whistling Duck (Dendrocygna eytoni) (Jaensch, 1989).

Both Lake Argyle and Lake Kununurra are significant breeding areas for freshwater crocodiles (Crocodylus johnstoni) and the Ord River Floodplain is habitat for saltwater (estuarine) crocodiles (Crocodylus porosus).

In the central section of the region Purnululu National Park marks the transition between the northern tropical savannah (Torresian) and inland arid desert (Eyrean) biogeographical regions. Some seventeen vegetation communities are recognised, ranging from closed forests in the gorges and valleys, through open forests in riparian areas and open woodlands of drier areas, to stunted shrub lands and grasses in the driest uplands and surrounding plains.

The dominant vegetation is open woodland with many eucalypts, acacias and grevilleas and spinifex grassland. The area is a centre of endemism for spinifex (Triodia spp.) resulting in the highest density of species anywhere in Australia including (Triodia bunglensis), which is endemic to the Purnululu National Park and Conservation Reserve.

The recorded fauna of the area comprises forty one mammals, one hundred and forty-nine birds, eighty-one reptiles, twelve amphibians and fifteen fish species (Woinarski et al.,1992). It is composed of animals from both desert and savannah ecosystems and includes species, such as skinks (Scincidiae spp) and the short eared wallaby (Petrogale brachyotis). These are all arid land animals found on the mountain plateau tops, while in the sheltered valleys below are varieties of frogs and the pale field rat (Rattus tunneyi) which are damp environment species. Birds pass through on migration from the north in the wet season and from the south in the dry season. One rare grassland species, in this area, is the grey falcon (Falco hypoleucas).

In the southern section of the region, grasses start to dominate the landscape including soft spinifex (Triodia pungens) and feather-top spinifex (Triodia. schinzii) along with acacia shrubs, grevillea stands, River gums (Eucalyptus camaldulensis) and the bat-wing coral tree (Erythrina vespertilio) along seasonal waterways.

Animals found in this area include dingo (Canis lupus dingo), the lesser long-eared bat (Nyctophilus geoffroyi), flying fox (Pteropus scapulatus), the lesser hairy-footed dunnart (Sminthopsis youngsoni), the spinifex hopping mouse (Notomys alexis) and kangaroos such as the red kangaroo (Macropus rufus).

Birds include the striated grass-wren (Stipiturus ruficeps), rufous-crowned emu-wren (Amytornis striatus), scarlet-chested parrot (Neophema splendids) and grey honeyeater (Conopophila whitei). Reptiles are numerous and include the thorny devil dragon (Moloch horridus), the smooth knob-tailed gecko (Nephrurus levis) and the desert death adder (Acanthopis pyrrhus). Frogs have also adapted to life in this arid area. Eight species of burrowing frog are also found in this region of the East Kimberley.

Threatened species

The Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act) enables threatened fauna and flora to be listed in any one of the following categories:

  • Extinct - no reasonable doubt that the last member of the species has died.

  • Extinct in the wild – the species is known only to survive in cultivation, captivity or as a naturalised population well outside its past range or it has not been recorded in its known and/or expected habitat despite exhaustive surveys over a time frame appropriate to its life cycle.

  • Critically endangered – the species is facing an extremely high risk of extinction in the wild in the immediate future.

  • Endangered category – the species is not critically endangered but is facing a very high risk of extinction in the wild in the near future.

  • Vulnerable category – the species is not critically endangered or endangered but is facing a high risk of extinction in the wild in the medium term future.

  • Conservation dependent - the species is the focus of a specific conservation program the cessation of which would result in the species becoming vulnerable, endangered or critically endangered.

In the Ord Catchment/East Kimberley region the following animals have been categorised under the EPBC Act:

Species and StatusCommon Name
Critically Endangered
Aipysurus apraefrontalisShort-nosed Seasnake
Saccolaimus saccolaimus nudicluniatus Bare-rumped Sheathtail Bat
Endangered
Caretta carettaLoggerhead Turtle
Dermochelys coriaceaLeatherback Turtle
Glyphis garrickiNorthern River Shark
Erythrura gouldiaeGouldian Finch
Rostratula australisAustralian Painted Snipe
Dasyurus hallucatus Northern Quoll
Vunerable
Pristis clavataDwarf Sawfish
Pristis pristisLargetooth Sawfish
Pristis zijsronGreen Sawfish
Acanthophis hawkeiPlains Death Adder
Chelonia mydasGreen Turtle
Eretmochelys imbricataHawksbill Turtle
Natator depressusFlatback Turtle
Erythrotriorchis radiatus Red Goshawk
Malurus coronatus coronatusPurple-crowned Fairy-wren
Tyto novaehollandiae kimberliMasked Owl
Macrotis lagotisGreater Bilby

Strategies

Strategy 1

Maintain and develop further a regional database for recording native plants and animals:

Strategy 2

Establish a corridor to allow the migration of aquatic fauna along the Ord River by:

1. Encouraging the construction of migratory fish ladders on the Kununurra Diversion Dam and Spillway.

2. Taking into account the safety concerns of river users on Lake Kununurra when developing options for a corridor.

Strategy 3

Direct research that reduces the negative impact on native species within the Ord River catchment by:

1. Ensuring Government Agencies prioritise the Kimberley for research that offers desired outcomes.

2. Encouraging research organisations to collaborate with regional stakeholders.

3. Ensuring that research organisations are aware of research priorities identified in local environmental plans.

Responsibilities

The Department of Parks and Wildlife has the principal responsibility for managing areas that are within their estate. Landholders surrounding national parks and conservation reserves have a responsibility for reducing their impacts on national parks by working with The Department of Parks and Wildlife on joint initiatives.

The community (including tourists and local residents) has a responsibility to minimise their impacts on national parks and other popular recreational areas. Shire councils have a responsibility to assist in maintain popular visitation areas.

References

1. Gardiner, H.G. (2000) Ord Land and Water Management Plan 2000. National Heritage Trust: AGWEST.

2. Department Parks and Wildlife. (2016) Threatened species and communities: www.dpaw.wa.gov.au/

3. Australian Government Department of the Environment. (2016) Threatened species & ecological communities: www.environment.gov.au

4. Australian Nature Conservation Agency. (1996) A Directory of important Wetlands in Australia Second Edition: Australian Nature Conservation Agency.

5. Burbidge, A., McKenzie, N.L. & Kenneally K.F. (1991) Nature Conservation Reserves in the Kimberley, Western Australia: Department of Conservation and Land Management, Western Australia.

6. Graham, G. (1994) A Biological Survey of Mirima National Park, December 1993 – January 1994, Department of Conservation and Land Management – Western Australia.

7. Jaensch, R. P. (1998) Birds of Wetlands and Grasslands in the Kimberley Division, Western Australia: Some Records of Interest, 1981 – 1988, Royal Australasian Ornithologists Union, RAOU Report No. 61, 1989.

8. Kitchener, D.J. (1978) Mammals of the Ord River Area, Kimberley, Western Australia: Rec.West.Aust. Mus., 6 (2).

9. Watkins, D., Brennan, K., Lange, C., Jaensch, R. P. @ Finlayson, M. (1997), Planning for Ramsar Sites in the Kimberley Region of Western Australia: Wetlands International – Oceania, Environmental Research Institute of the Supervising Scientist Consultant.

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