TRaCK: Tropical Rivers and Coastal Knowledge

Science and knowledge that governments, communities, industries for sustainable use of Australia's tropical rivers and estuaries

Mark Kennard

Mark Kennard

Mark Kennard
Project Leader
Griffith University

Mark is a Senior Research Fellow at the Australian Rivers Institute. His research expertise includes:

  • the ecology and biogeography of freshwater fish;
  • freshwater biodiversity and conservation planning in northern Australia;
  • hydro-ecology and environmental flow management; and
  • freshwater bio-monitoring and bio-assessment.

During the first phase of TRaCK research, Mark worked on the Eco-hydrological regionalisation of Australia: a tool for management and science; and the Northern Australian Aquatic Ecological Assets project.

Phase 1 Projects

Outcomes This project: (i) determined the impact of development alternatives on the status of the northern Australian aquatic ecosystems and aquatic biodiversity, (ii) mapped aquatic ecosystems (assets), (iii) evaluated the Drainage Division scale of these assets against the draft criteria developed by the Commonwealth, States and Territories for identifying High Conservation Value Aquatic Ecosystems, and  (iv) identified knowledge gaps and priorities for regional aquatic ecosystem assets and scoped further work under the NAWFA Ecological Program. The lessons from this trial, along with feedback and stakeholder consultation, contributed to the development of the national High Conservation Value Aquatic Ecosystems (HCVAE) framework. In trialling the draft HCVAE criteria the project identified key aquatic ecological assets in northern Australia, made recommendations for the improvement of the HCVAE criteria, identified knowledge gaps and priorities in terms of ecological thresholds in relation to flow regimes and maintenance of aquatic ecosystem assets, key ecological values of assets, connectivity between assets, ecosystem services, and vulnerability/resilience to risks/threats from hydrological disturbance, climate change, water resource development or other factors.