How can we manage sea level rise and weeds on Kakadu floodplains?

13 March 2014

A team of researchers from the Northern Australia hub is looking at which areas of Kakadu’s floodplains are at most risk from sea level rise and aquatic grassy weeds, and how this might affect the habitats of important wildlife such of the iconic magpie goose.

Previous estimates have shown that increases in sea level rise due to climate change could result in up to 70% of Kakadu’s freshwater wetlands being affected by saltwater inundation.

The research team has been working with Parks Australia staff and Bininj Traditional Owners to identify important areas for bush tucker harvest and ecological values, which will be overlaid on maps of projected saltwater inundation and weed spread. Knowing which areas are most at risk from either of these two key threats to floodplain values will help Traditional Owners and park managers respond to these changes.

In December last year CSIRO’s Peter Bayliss, Leo Dutra and Kelly Scheepers, and Charles Darwin University’s Jaana Dielenberg presented preliminary maps of saltwater inundation at workshops at Parks Head Quarters and the Kakadu Youth Centre in Jabiru, and began discussions on potential management options.

The work in this project involves high resolution mapping of the terrain to develop more accurate predictions about which areas will be affected by saltwater inundation by 2030, 2070 and 2100.

 

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