Building Resilient Landscapes

8 Sep 2015

The Nature Refuge program is a Queensland government initiative, which enables landholders to be actively involved in protecting biodiversity on their property. Landholders enter into a voluntary agreement with the Queensland government, agreeing on the sustainable use and management for the area gazetted. There are currently approximately 48 Nature Refuges in Cape York and Northern Gulf regions.

Northern Gulf Resource Management Group (NGRMG), in partnership with Cape York Natural Resource Management successfully secured funds from the federal governments ‘Biodiversity Fund’ from 2012 to 2017. The project has devolved two rounds of funds to Nature Refuge landholders to carry out threat abatement projects, and is working to improve our understanding of these areas across the two regions. Thus far, the project has worked with landholders on 19 of these properties. South Endeavour Nature Refuge is located 20 km from Cooktown and is owned and managed by the South Endeavour Trust for conservation. The Nature Refuge covers almost 7000 ha of diverse savannah and rainforest pockets along the Endeavour River. The slopes of the Dickson and Henderson Plateau feature semi-deciduous vine thickets, with altitudinal gradients of almost 500 m.

NGRMG has just returned from conducting a comprehensive fauna survey across 18 sites on South Endeavour Nature Refuge, adding to over 120 sites established by the team in the two NRM regions. The survey identified exceptional diversity of small to medium sized mammals, not identified on many other surveys in similar vegetation communities across the regions. Species detected included: the northern quoll; common rock rat; common planigale; grassland melomys; delicate mouse; white-tailed rat; common brushtail possum; common ringtail possum; sugar glider; brush-tailed phascogale; short-beaked echidna; and northern brown bandicoot. Most notable were the threatened Northern quoll, which were detected across the majority of the 18 survey sites. NGRMG have recently commenced the inclusion of camera trapping alongside traditional survey methods for mammals in the region, and our preliminary results have identified a significant improvement in the detection of these declining mammal species.

Given the decline of small and medium sized mammals across much of the top end we suggest this Nature Refuge has regional significance as important refuge for mammals, particularly when compared to other surveyed sites in the region. Lastly, the inclusion of camera trapping is proving vital on fauna surveys to detect the presence of small and medium sized mammals which appear to occur at low abundance in Cape York and Northern Gulf savannahs.  

 

Carly Starr and Natalie Waller

Amphibian Field Guide

Northern Gulf Resource Management Group has recently published a series of fauna guides for landholders in the Northern Gulf and Cape York regions. Here is the amphibian guide for download.

This work was carried out through our program ‘Building resilient landscapes: maintaining and enhancing biodiversity values in Northern Gulf and Cape York Nature Refuges, funded by the federal government Biodiversity Fund. 

Bird Field Guide

Northern Gulf Resource Management Group has recently published a series of fauna guides for landholders in the Northern Gulf and Cape York regions. Here is the bird guide for download.

This work was carried out through our program ‘Building resilient landscapes: maintaining and enhancing biodiversity values in Northern Gulf and Cape York Nature Refuges, funded by the federal government Biodiversity Fund. 

 

Reptile Field Guide

Northern Gulf Resource Management Group has recently published a series of fauna guides for landholders in the Northern Gulf and Cape York regions. Here is the reptile guide for download.

This work was carried out through our program ‘Building resilient landscapes: maintaining and enhancing biodiversity values in Northern Gulf and Cape York Nature Refuges, funded by the federal government Biodiversity Fund. 

Mammal Field Guide

Northern Gulf Resource Management Group has recently published a series of fauna guides for landholders in the Northern Gulf and Cape York regions. Here is the mammal guide for download.

This work was carried out through our program ‘Building resilient landscapes: maintaining and enhancing biodiversity values in Northern Gulf and Cape York Nature Refuges, funded by the federal government Biodiversity Fund.