MTSRF North Queensland Factsheets
Single-topic factsheets highlighting key outputs from MTSRF-funded research relevant to North Queensland, including the tourism industry.
This factsheet summarises the results of a study on environmental research needs in a number of Torres Strait communities, which also involved staff of the Torres Strait Regional Authority (TSRA) Land and Sea Management Unit (LSMU). The core aim of this project was to attempt to ensure that knowledge generated from future applied research arrangements is appropriate and useful for end-users throughout the Torres Strait. These end-users for future research include government agencies such as the TSRA, leaders and representatives (such as island councillors, island managers and Prescribed Body Corporate members), elders, and locals living in the communities where research is being conducted.
Produced by researchers funded through MTSRF Project 4.9.5, this factsheet discusses key issues relating to the restoration of rainforest fragments. Rainforests have a complex structure and support a diverse suite of plants and animals, attributes that are lost on conversion to pasture. Rainforest restoration includes activities such as the rehabilitation of degraded remnants, the reforestation of cleared land, and the management of weedy regrowth. All of these activities aim to assist the recovery of rainforest biodiversity. The last few decades have seen considerable investment in rainforest restoration in tropical and subtropical Australia. In recent years, research has helped us understand the value of restoration projects for biodiversity. Issues discussed include approaches that have been used to achieve rainforest restoration, the costs of these approaches, outcomes for biodiversity, and how 'biodiversity-friendly' rainforest plantings might be designed and maintained.
Planet Safe Research: Research information that improves decision making
A key deliverable of MTSRF Project 5.10.2, planetsaferesearch.com.au is a website designed to easily integrate with the MTSRF website but with the tourism industry and wider community in mind. It targets these particular 'research users' with easy to understand, comprehensive summaries, factsheets and news updates that highlight the outputs of MTSRF-funded research. Some of the latest updates to the website include several new topical factsheets that explain carbon offsetting, water quality, the new e-Atlas, climate and dung beetles, ciguatera and northern bettongs. Visit the Planet Safe Research website homepage to access these and more resources.
This factsheet summarises the results of a study of the seasons experienced at Erub Island in the eastern group of islands in Torres Strait. Funded by the MTSRF, researchers from James Cook University interviewed island Elders to collect traditional knowledge on seasons, wind patterns, bird migration, plant and sea life, and TAGAI. This information was used to develop a seasonal calendar and mural that are specific to the island, with the mural installed at the local primary school.
This factsheet summarises the results of a study on the overall representation and visibility of the Torres Strait region through policy, media coverage and public opinion, particularly in relation to climate change impacts and processes. The aim of the study was not to deny the role and effects of climate change, but to interrogate how the Torres Strait has been constructed in certain ways - such as being represented as being particularly vulnerable to climate processes such as tidal inundation through rising sea levels.
Torres Strait sandfish has been subject of extensive fishing effort, according to the Torres Strait Protected Zone Joint Authority. It is a high value species that occurs in relatively shallow waters and as a result is vulnerable to over-harvesting.
Kaiar (also commonly known as the tropical rock lobster) is considered the second most valuable commercial species in the Torres Strait, according to the Australian Bureau of Rural Sciences. Torres Strait kaiar stock is found from the tip of Cape York to the northern border of the Torres Strait Protected Zone although most catch comes from the western and south-eastern regions of Torres Strait where kaiar densities are highest. The majority of commercial Torres Strait kaiar is exported overseas with live product supplying Asian markets and frozen kaiar tails generally sold to the USA market. Surveys are carried out to measure the abundance of recruiting and fished lobsters at 82 sites in Torres Strait.
An estimated 500,000 divers a year find, photograph and swim with sharks, contributing millions of dollars to local and regional economies around the world.
On the Great Barrier Reef, MTSRF-funded researchers from James Cook University have estimated the average live-aboard dive passenger spent at least $5,000 while in the Cairns/Port Douglas area, with many attracted to the region by the opportunity to view sharks in the wild.
James Cook University researchers surveyed 1,400 domestic and international visitors between January and December 2007 at a number of key rainforest visitor sites within the Wet Tropics of Queensland World Heritage Area (WTQWHA). This factsheet explores visitors' level of interest in various rainforest walking and hiking activities as well as self-drives along rainforest roads in the WTQWHA during their stay.
The Torres Strait Trochus Fishery is a small, single species commercial and subsistence fishery, according to the Torres Strait Protected Zone Joint Authority, however is an important source of income for some islanders.
A community survey carried out in the North Queensland region in 2007 provides detailed knowledge of the community's use and perceptions of the Wet Tropics of Queensland World Heritage Area (WTQWHA). Data from a similar survey undertaken in 2002, combined with the results of the 2007 survey, has provided the Wet Tropics Management Authority with an understanding of changes in community attitude that may have occurred over the five-year period. This factsheet highlights the community's knowledge of and support for the WTQWHA, its opinions about the advantages and disadvantages to living adjacent to a World Heritage Area, and opinions regarding the protection, management and use of the Area.
Marine tourism is one of the most valuable industries operating within the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park. MTSRF funded researchers from James Cook University are conducting a series of visitor surveys to monitor changes and trends in reef tourism in the region. They have a number of years' worth of data and are able to examine changes over both the long and short term.
Weather has a huge impact on outdoor tourism operations, particularly those operating in marine environments. MTSRF funded researchers from James Cook University are conducting a series of visitor surveys to monitor changes and trends in reef tourism in the region.
A severe coral bleaching risk alert for the far northern Great Barrier Reef (GBR) has been issued (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and Australian Bureau of Meteorology). The warning, which is based on forecast modelled sea surface temperatures, is current for the period from November 2008 to February 2009. The models predict that the risk of bleaching this summer will be severe from Papua New Guinea south to the approximate vicinity of Cairns, with potential for widespread bleaching as far south as the Whitsunday Islands. Reefs further south could also potentially experience some bleaching.
Tourism in North Queensland Factsheets