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Climate Change

Australia’s Changing Islands

Rising temperatures and increased frequency of extreme weather events is changing the distribution of species on Queensland’s tropical islands. Help researchers understand how a changing climate is impacting the wildlife that inhabit them.


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The facts

Why the research is important

Why the research is important

Increased aridity, droughts and heat waves are expected to result in many species escaping to refugia.

Help researchers document the changing landscape on one of Australia’s biodiversity rich tropical islands.

Contemporary weather records indicate that our climate is changing and that there will be significantly raised temperatures and increased frequency of extreme weather events before the end of this century.

Chimpanzee

Mangrove peanut trees: Volunteers will record vegetation changes within established enclosure plots.

In Australia, increased aridity, droughts and heat waves are expected to result in many species contracting towards the eastern coastline and to suitable refugia.

As climatic conditions change, ecosystem structure and composition will inevitably be impacted. Therefore, land managers are faced with the challenge of recognising what biological changes will require management. Further, they have to decide whether traditional management actions (e.g. strategic use of fire) will adversely affect climate change refugia or interfere with essential biological responses to new climatic regimes. For land managers, these are challenging issues, as the current biota of most conservation lands have not been described in any detail.

As a volunteer, you will be gathering data to help researchers develop conservation management plans to mitigate the impacts of climate change.

About the research area

St Bees Island, Queensland, Australia, Australia & South Pacific

Daily life in the field

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VERY ACTIVE

The Scientists

MEET THE LEAD SCIENTIST

Alistair
Melzer
Central Queensland Environmental Surveys

ABOUT Alistair Melzer

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