Following the January bushfire in the Victorian alps, Parks Victoria commissioned a Scientific Advisory Panel to make recommendations as to the decision making process on any return of cattle to fire-affected areas in the Victorian alps. The panel was asked to look at recommendations in relation to the remaining two seasons of the current grazing licence period. In relation to grazing in fire-affected alpine and sub-alpine areas of the park, the report says:.
The practice of controlled burning — whether to protect property fuel reduction burns or biodiversity ecological burns — continues to divide public opinion. However, scientists remind us that controlled burns can only achieve so much, and that the risk of fire will never be completely removed from the Australian landscape. While all components of a fire regime can potentially affect biodiversity, fire frequency has received the most attention.
The vast majority of bushfires in Australia occur in the savanna landscapes of the tropical north, where bushfire issues relate primarily to landscape management rather than protection of life and property. Bushfire is an especially dominant factor in the Top End, where up to 50 per cent of the landscape is burnt each year. Most of the fires are lit by people, including conservation managers, pastoralists and traditional Aboriginal land owners.
They cover just 0. The Australian Alps are critical for their support of unique and threatened plants and animals and for their provision of life-sustaining resources, including water for food production and energy generation. They hold immensely important cultural and historic significance and are prized tourism and recreation areas. However, the immense importance of our alpine ecosystems is threatened by their unproportioned vulnerability to changing patterns of climate, fire and land-use pressure in the coming century.
There are about 4. These are the sodden areas of the high country that represent the source of high-quality water in the alps. Peat bogs are spread across just 10 per cent of the surface area of the alpine estate.
By Huw Morgan. A new book which aims to explain the interaction between bushfires, climate change, biodiversity and ecosystems in Australia has been released by CSIRO Publishing. Flammable Australia — Fire Regimes, Biodiversity and Ecosystems in a Changing World is a collaborative work featuring contributions from over 40 researchers in fire ecology and management.
His interests were in botany and genetics and after his honours year, he won a CSIRO scholarship for further studies. He was awarded a PhD from the University of Sydney in Later that year he moved to the University of Oregon, where he worked as a post-doctoral fellow —64 and visiting associate professor —
Documenting environmental change, and deciding how best to manage the land for sustainable use, requires detailed knowledge of the fundamentals of ecosystem structure and function — insights that we now possess thanks to decades of persistent ecological monitoring effort in the Australian Alps. Data from these sites underpin our understanding of the dynamics of Australian alpine ecosystems, and have enabled researchers to identify combinations of factors that put these systems at risk. So what have we learned from the long-term monitoring data, and how is this knowledge helping us more sustainably manage land use in the Australian Alps? Documentation of the unique character of alpine vegetation from six decades of research has had a major influence on the establishment of conservation reserves, such as Kosciuszko National Park in NSW, and Alpine National Park in Victoria.
CSIRO's ten-year research program featuring the landscape-scale Kapalga fire experiment in Australia has provided a wealth of knowledge about savanna ecosystems and the critical but poorly understood role of fire. The frequent low-intensity fires examined in this volume characterize fire in the tropics and are a dominant force in shaping the structure and function of tropical ecosystems. Contributors discuss fire in relation to catchment dynamics, landscape ecology, biodiversity, and ecosystem management.
Dr Dick Williams told ABC Gippsland's Mornings Progam he was not aware of evidence supporting the notion that cattle grazing helped reduce the severity of bushfires in alpine areas. His comments came as the State Government opened up pockets of Alpine areas for a cattle grazing trial aimed at reducing fire fuel loads. Four hundred cattle returned to six sites in the Alpine National Park last week for the trial which runs until the end of the grazing season on 30 April. Dr Williams said he investigated the likely impact of cattle grazing after the Bogong High Plains fires in