Environmental research, maps and data for tropical Australia

Recent articles

  • Published on
    23 April 2021
    This site provides an introduction to cumulative impacts on coral reefs and outlines some of the latest research into understanding the interactive effects of these impacts and which affect different coral types the most.   
  • Published on
    17 March 2021
    The information in this eco-narrative forms an initial characterisation of the physical, oceanographic and biological character of Arafura Marine Park, with a focus on results from a biodiversity and mapping survey undertaken by the NESP Marine Biodiversity Hub in 2020. This survey targeted two areas (see map below): Money Shoal as an example of shallow coral reef habitat, and Pillar Bank as an example of a deeper water mixed seabed environments. This excerpt focuses mainly on Money Shoal.
  • Published on
    11 June 2020
    Global populations of green (IUCN listing endangered) and hawksbill (IUCN listing critically endangered) turtles are declining due to a range of threats. Australia supports some of the largest rookeries (nesting sites) for these turtles in the Indo-Pacific. Even though they've been much studied, most data that shows where these turtles spend their time around Australia remains unpublished. Here, we set out to quantify and map the important areas that turtles use to help refine these protected areas and assist with turtle conservation management.
  • Published on
    9 June 2020
    The Silver Lipped Oyster, Pinctada maxima, forms the basis of a historical fishery in tropical Western Australia, estimated to be worth $A61 million in 2013. This fishery supplies pearl and mother of pearl markets through wild harvest of P. maxima stock, augmented more recently with aquaculture. Studies have shown that populations of P. maxima within the region are highly connected to one another. This raises the question of whether oysters located deeper than those safely visited by divers (beyond 30-40 metres) may help replenish stocks in shallower areas. At present, the extent to which P. maxima occurs at these depths (>40 metres) within the region near Eighty Mile Beach is poorly known.
  • Published on
    9 June 2020
    The North West Shoals to Shore Research Program investigated seabed habitats and their biodiversity to inform management and sustainable development of the region. Little is known about the fish found on and around the AC125. Part of the reason is that the AC125 is very deep, and thus difficult to observe. One question to ask about a habitat is how many different species of fish are found there - this is called fish species 'richness'. We explored this question for 5 study areas spread along the vast AC125 (see map below, read the full paper here).

Recent datasets

Published on 23 March 2022

This dataset consists of one spreadsheet, which shows the survival, number of polyps, size, Symbiodinium quantity and photosynthetic efficiency (Fv/Fm) of up to four-month-old Acropora millepora coral recruits while being exposed to three different climate scenarios resembling current climate conditions and conditions expected by mid and end of the century. Coral recruit resilience towards one-month-long light attenuation with five intensities was tested by exposing the recruits either one (experiment 1) or two months (experiment 2) following settlement.

Published on 10 March 2022

This dataset details the Declared Indigenous Protected Areas (IPA) across Australia through the implementation of the Indigenous Protected Areas Programme. These boundaries are not legally binding.

An Indigenous Protected Area (IPA) is an area of Indigenous-owned land or sea where traditional Indigenous owners have entered into an agreement with the Australian Government to promote biodiversity and cultural resource conservation.

Published on 19 January 2022

An approved determination of native title is made by way of an order of the court pursuant to ss 86, 87 or 87A of the NTA or s 23 of the Federal Court of Australia Act 1976 (Cth).

Published on 3 December 2021

This dataset consists of three data files (spreadsheets) from a two month aquarium experiment manipulating pCO2 and light, and measuring the physiological response (photosynthesis, growth, protein and pigment content) of the adult and juvenile stages of two species of tropical corals (Acropora tenuis and A. hyacinthus).

Published on 2 December 2021

This dataset describes the predicted probability of seagrass presence across the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area and adjacent estuaries, based on six Random Forest models. The models have been mosaicked together into one raster dataset with 30m resolution.