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Biodiversity condition assessment for grazing landholders

Project start date: 01 September 2006
Project end date: 16 June 2010
Publication date: 01 October 2011
Project status: Completed
Livestock species: Sheep, Goat, Lamb, Grassfed cattle, Grainfed cattle
Relevant regions: Queensland
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There was a strong demand for robust and practical approaches to assess resource condition, particularly in extensive grazing landscapes. A simple, rapid assessment approach was highly desirable as compared with a time-consuming and complicated, if thorough, approach, as it facilitated uptake of use by managers. 
The grazing land condition ABCD framework of the EDGEnetwork Grazing Land Management education package was an example of an assessment approach that had widespread uptake by grazing land managers and is now a well established procedure in northern Australia. It used a simple ABCD rating, which is consistent with grazing land ecology concepts and sustainable livestock production. 
However, the framework did not address the assessment of condition relevant for biodiversity values. The primary purpose of the Biodiversity Condition for Grazing Lands project was to develop and test a prototype procedure for the assessment of biodiversity condition that was complimentary to the ABCD grazing land condition assessment framework.  To achieve this, a set of surrogate indicators of condition for biodiversity were selected and tested for three extensive, but ecologically different, land types in the Southern Brigalow Bioregion and Mulga Lands bioregion of southern Queensland.  Testing involved the comprehensive sampling of fauna, flora, habitat features and grazing land condition indicators at 171 sample sites.  The sample sites were stratified across three different land types of southern Queensland (soft mulga, poplar box on alluvial and brigalow belah scrub), and broad condition states.

More information

Project manager: Rodd Dyer
Primary researcher: Department of Environment & Resourc