Townsville coastal plain

Frilled-neck lizard ( Chlamydosaurus kingii)

Conservation Action Planning to support communities to manage country

The 146,000 square kilometre Burdekin Dry Tropics region features tropical savanna, woodlands and grasslands, mountainous rainforests, major river systems and coral reefs. 

These spectacular ecosystems face many threats, and keeping them healthy will take a major collective effort, according to NQ Dry Tropics’ Protecting Biodiversity Manager Brett King. 

Mr King said harnessing the passion and local knowledge of regional communities would help effectively manage and protect the region’s flora, fauna and landscapes – with careful planning central to the effort.

“Behind every successful outcome there’s a good plan,” Mr King said.

“At NQ Dry Tropics we have adopted the Conservation Action Planning (CAP) process because it is a world-leading framework for identifying and managing priority sites and species,” Mr King said.

“CAP brings together a broad range of knowledge – indigenous, farming, science, landcare – to  determine the most effective ways to tackle threats posed by pest plants and animals, vegetation clearing, overgrazing, inappropriate fire regimes, changes to hydrology, and climate change.

“The process encourages different local groups to work together towards a common goal – supported by a range of external experts – leading to a greater collective impact and more efficient use of available resources,” Mr King said.

NQ Dry Tropics staff recently attended a workshop run by Paul Koch of environmental group Future Ecosystems, during which they focused on refining the content of the draft plan.

Mr King said that he was looking forward to releasing the draft later in the year for consultation with stakeholders such as community groups, councils, and infrastructure managers.  

The CAP planning process is supported through funding from the Australian Government’s National Landcare Program.

NQ Dry Tropics staff at a recent workshop with (on-screen) Paul Koch (Future Ecosystems) Protecting Biodiversity Manager Brett King (front) with (left to right): JJ Walker, Rachael Payne, Jaymie Rains, Thijs Krugers, Scott Fry, Brad Holt, Olivia Penman.

Rufous owl (Ninox rufa)