You are here: Home / Flagships / Australia’s Northern Development and Imperilled Biodiversity

Australia's Northern Development and Imperiled Biodiversity

Background: Northern Australia is experiencing apparently widespread and severe declines of many small to medium-sized mammal species as well as some other terrestrial vertebrates.  The reasons for these declines are uncertain but might well include factors such as altered fire and grazing regimes, an array of introduced species (e.g. cane toads, feral cats, elephant grass) that can have transformative impacts on fauna and ecosystems, and possible exotic pathogens and climatic changes.  On top of this, the region is also being subjected to ambitious plans for agricultural expansion and intensification and a large expansion of transportation and energy infrastructure.

Goals: We are using a variety of methods to study the magnitude, geographic extent and potential drivers of faunal declines in northern Australia.  These include faunal surveys, genetic analyses of rare species and critical analyses of potential drivers of population declines.  We presently are focusing most intensively on the Cape York Peninsula and Wet Tropics biogeographic regions.  A further goal is outreach and education efforts in order to better inform the general public and decision makers about the dire challenges facing the fauna and biodiversity of northern Australia.

Flagship coordinator: Dr Sandra Abell

TESS team members:

Dr Noel Preece
Dr Mark Ziembicki
Dr Miriam Goosem
Dr Tasmin Rymer
Dr Tobin Northfield
Dr Nathan Brooks-English
Dr April Reside
Professor Paul Gadek
Dr Brad Congdon
Pam Schultz

Centre for Tropical Environmental & Sustainability Sciences

Twitter (@TESSJCU)