Project 4.13 – Assessing the Gulf of Carpentaria mangrove dieback

In early 2016, extensive dieback of mangrove forests was recorded along the southern and western Gulf of Carpentaria coastline. Landsat analysis suggests that 7,400 hectares of mangrove forest suffered dieback over a relatively short and synchronous time period around November 2015, along a >1,000km wide front from Karumba in the east to Limmen River in the west. Recent field visits to a limited range of affected sites suggest that a relatively low percentage of trees have recovered and most are dying/dead. This is the largest event of natural dieback of mangroves ever recorded in the world. This project will provide a survey, description and analysis of the extent of the dieback across its range, as well as examining patterns of dieback. The assessment will include training and participation of local Indigenous ranger groups in mangrove assessment and monitoring methods, as well as providing recommendations for recovery, potential intervention, future monitoring and further studies. A synthesis workshop will also be held to present the findings of the assessment to a wide audience.