Literature review of the potential impacts of grazing on aquatic and riparian ecosystems in the Australian dry tropical rangelands

Burrows, Damien (2000) Literature review of the potential impacts of grazing on aquatic and riparian ecosystems in the Australian dry tropical rangelands. Report. James Cook University, Townsville, QLD, Australia.

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Abstract

[Extract] Grazing of cattle and sheep is the most widespread land-use or land management practice in Australia, occupying about 60% of the land surface (Wilson 1990). This includes approximately 50 million sheep and 15 million cattle (Wilson 1990) and represents a major increase in the number and biomass of herbivorous animals compared to pre-European times. Such an increase places tremendous pressure on graziers to ensure ecologically sustainable use of the land. Grazing occurs in a wide variety of landscapes and habitats, from sub-alpine areas to arid grasslands. Within most landscapes, but particularly within the dry tropics, riparian zones are of particular environmental importance as well as being important forage and watering sites for cattle.

As environmental awareness increases in our society, the need to protect our natural environments against further deterioration, and in some instances to undertake habitat restoration, is increasing. A major tool for effecting improved environmental condition of riparian zones in grazing areas is to exclude cattle. The provision of fencing is the most common means of achieving this result. The construction of fencing to protect riparian zones is a major initiative of the Natural Heritage Trust program and has widespread support among the grazing and scientific communities. It must be recognised that for most landholders, fencing is a stock management tool, and is not intended to be used for permanent exclusion of cattle from the riparian zone.

Item ID: 36966
Item Type: Report (Report)
Additional Information:

Report No. 00/01

Date Deposited: 14 Dec 2016 00:00
FoR Codes: 05 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 0502 Environmental Science and Management > 050205 Environmental Management @ 100%
SEO Codes: 96 ENVIRONMENT > 9606 Environmental and Natural Resource Evaluation > 960604 Environmental Management Systems @ 100%
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