AUSTRALIA’s national parks need more grassland species to keep up with the changing climate, according to a new report.
Key points:The report found the Australian grassland is under threat from drought, warming temperatures and climate changeAustralia has over 200 national parks, but only three are grassland national parksAustralia is the world’s largest grassland exporter and grassland biodiversity has increased by more than 50 per cent in the past 40 yearsNational parks are protected from development, so there are no plans to develop themThe report, produced by the Australian National Parks and Wildlife Service, looked at the threat of drought and climate disruption to Australia’s national grassland ecosystems.
“We know that grasslands are vital for biodiversity,” study co-author Dr John Withers said.
“This is particularly true for Australia’s large boreal rainforest, which has an area of more than three million hectares and the country’s most productive grassland, the Great Barrier Reef.”‘
There is no evidence for drought and warming’Dr Witherers said there was no evidence that drought or warming were impacting grassland in Australia.
“In the past, we’ve known that climate change and drought impacts have increased,” Dr Wither’s report said.”[But] this was the first time that we have analysed climate change impacts and identified a clear trend in the impacts of climate change.”
That trend was quite dramatic, and the rate of change is not seen anywhere else.
“Dr Wethers said there had been a shift in thinking on the impact of climate disruption, which had led to a “new understanding of the importance of grasslands”.”
For the first half of the last century, grasslands have been considered to be of little or no value,” Dr Denny, the report’s author, said.
The study looked at a range of factors, including climate change, drought, fire and other threats to grasslands.
Dr Withering said there were several key areas of the report that could potentially change how Australia views grasslands, such as the loss of habitat and other environmental threats.”
Dr Denny said grasslands were already being damaged by human activity, and more research was needed to understand how they were affected by climate change or drought.””
There is some evidence for the impact on the grasslands of climate changes, but in the absence of data on the other impacts, we are left with no information as to how to mitigate these impacts.”
Dr Denny said grasslands were already being damaged by human activity, and more research was needed to understand how they were affected by climate change or drought.
“It’s a challenge that is going to get worse, not better,” he warned.
“The amount of degradation is huge and increasing, which is bad for grasslands because it means they’re less productive.”
Topics:environment,climate-change,environmental-policy,government-and-politics,climate,science-and the-press,environment,parks-and_areas,environment-management,environmentaustralia,austria,burdick-7140,lifestyle-and/or-leisure,biodiversity,environment—other,parish-and%E2%80%93-30,birmingham-james-belt-6285,france,wollongong-2500,tas,nsw,south-africaMore stories from Tasmania