Research note: riparian threats in the Kimberley, a focus on the Fitzroy river catchment
Fieldwork along the Fitzroy river
The contribution of riparian or riverine habitats to biodiversity conservation and the economy is disproportionate to the small area they occupy in the landscape. However, these unique habitats are facing numerous threats, including invasion by weeds.
A new 3 year project funded by the Northern NESP Hub aims to generate insight on direct and indirect impacts of one of the most significant problem weeds in North West Australia, stinking passionflower (Passiflora foetida), broadly on riparian communities and more specifically on the endemic Australian Freshwater Crocodiles (Crocodylus johnstoni). The project will focus on the largest river catchment of the Kimberley region – the Fitzroy and will ultimately generate critical information on how to more effectively manage biodiversity threats.
A recent scouting trip to the catchment took the Ecosystem Change Ecology team from the headwaters of the Fitzroy through Mornington station to the lower reaches around Udialla, identifying study sites for long-term monitoring programs.