Categorized | Agriculture, Environment, Research

Australia’s Tropical Wetlands

Northern Australia has a large area of bio diverse tropical wetlands which are important for the ecological health of the region. As pressures for development increase, however, the precious ecosystems of the wetlands are threatened. Human encroachment as well as the inadvertent introduction of invasive plants and animals have caused adverse changes in the delicate balance required for healthy wetlands. Native plants and indigenous peoples are in danger of being overrun, and the ecologically important functions of the wetlands as a filter for waters in the area are threatened.

Over lapping jurisdictions and areas of political control make systematic planning nearly impossible. Population pressures are in conflict with the needs of the ecology making it very difficult for the people in charge to see the larger picture as far as the region’s growth is concerned. There are gaps in the information that has been gathered about the ecological character of the wetlands that make it hard to know the overall condition of this vast resource. The wetlands are accepted as valuable both for the biodiversity they contain as well as for the ecologically sensitive functions of the biosphere, but the lack of a comprehensive plan for usage is crippling for its management.

The issues that affect wetland policy are complex and will require a great deal of study in order to effectively manage the area in such a way as to both preserve the wetlands and allow for human development. The maintenance of this vital area is a task for the users, managers, and owners to undertake with scientists from many different disciplines.


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