The theory and practice of planning for long-term conservation of biodiversity in the wet tropics rainforests of Australia

Stork, Nigel E. (2005) The theory and practice of planning for long-term conservation of biodiversity in the wet tropics rainforests of Australia. In: Bermingham, Eldredge, Dick, Christopher W., and Moritz, Craig, (eds.) Tropical Rainforests: past, present and future. University of Chicago Press, London, UK, pp. 507-526.

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Abstract

The Wet Tropics of Queensland World Heritage Area was established in 1988 to "protect, conserve, present, rehabilitate and transmit to future generations" the natural World Heritage values of the region - the evolutionary history of the rainforests, the superlative natural beauty of the area, and its unique and rich biological diversity. The region also has an important indigenous cultural heritage. The World Heritage Area was created against a preexisting set of land uses. Currently, there are more than 700 separate parcels of land within the World Heritage Area and many thousands of landholders whose land abuts it. Land uses varying from residential to agriculture, tourism, and forestry present many management problems and conflicting demands on the World Heritage Area. Creating short-term and long-term management goals for the conservation of biodiversity of the region is a complex task. Community consultation and support and expert and timely research are essential. Current problems include increasing demands for water from the World Heritage Area and continued forest clearing in adjacent lands. Immediate threats to biodiversity and other World Heritage values include feral animals, exotic weeds and other pests, and roadkills of cassowaries. In addition, globalization of trade is creating new problems with the unintentional transport of "hitchhiker" pest organisms. The consequences of climate change for different environments within the World Heritage Area are unknown. Determining the carrying capacities of particular areas and the limits of acceptable changes is fundamental to managing human uses. Research on the past and present dynamics of the Wet Tropics rainforests, on the current and past distribution of biodiversity, and new modelling of future scenarios should help managers to devise management plans to cope with future changes and threats.

Item ID: 7492
Item Type: Book Chapter (Research - B1)
Keywords: Australia; biodiversity; conservation; north Queensland; tropical forests; wet tropics
ISBN: 978-0-226-04468-2
Date Deposited: 06 Jan 2010 22:15
FoR Codes: 06 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 0602 Ecology > 060208 Terrestrial Ecology @ 100%
SEO Codes: 96 ENVIRONMENT > 9608 Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity > 960806 Forest and Woodlands Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity @ 100%
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