|Title||A tropical protection project|
|Publication Type||Magazine Article|
|Year of Publication||2012|
|Authors||Kennard, MJ, Kimber, A|
|Magazine||RipRap, Australian River Restoration Centre|
|Edition||34, Chapter 22|
Innovative research is underway in northern Australia to assess and better protect the area’s unique and highly valued freshwater ecosystems. Australia’s tropical rivers ﬂ ow through the world’s largest area of good condition savanna, with almost all of its 56 major rivers ﬂowing freely to the sea. The region contains one of the most biologically diverse and healthy freshwater aquatic ecosystems in the world. These rivers sustain more than half of Australia’s freshwater ﬁsh species, three quarters of the freshwater turtles, and they are of great importance for more than 90 species of migratory birds. They not only provide clean water, food and recreational opportunities, but have important cultural and ecological values. The continuing discovery of new ﬁsh species suggests the real amount of unique biodiversity present in northern Australia’s rivers and wetlands is signiﬁ cantly underestimated. The ecological health of these freshwater habitats is, however, declining due to a range of threats including feral animals, weeds, overgrazing, catchment clearing and ﬁ re. Increased development and climate change pose new challenges.
A tropical protection project