Our contribution to the Methods to Market project (biodiversity component)

Methods to Market biodiversity component - sunny landscape picture of a Brigalow (Acacia harpophylla) survey site

Whilst we have a deep knowledge and passion for the Brigalow Belt, our love of natural history is not limited to geographical boundaries. We embrace any challenge, including opportunities to study different and remote regions.

For the Methods to Market project, completed in 2022, we were asked to measure the co-benefit of biodiversity enhancement on livestock production properties near Morven in Western Queensland. This involved:

  • Applying the BioCondition methodology to assess over 40 field sites
    • Sites were in various condition states, from remnant to cleared (converted to pasture)
  • Capturing additional floristic data across two productive land types: soft mulga (Acacia aneura) and brigalow (A. harpophylla)
  • Conducting bird surveys at each field site to record the diversity of bird species in each land type

Whilst the La Niña weather event of 2021-22 caused some rainy interruptions in the field, it was the ideal season to study western Queensland’s biodiversity, as ground layer vegetation had grown vigorously.

During the survey, we recorded one species of threatened plant – the shrub Rhaphidospora bonneyana – and two threatened fauna species – Yakka skink and Major Mitchell cockatoo.

As a result of this project, new scientific methods are being developed to enable livestock producers to earn money from providing ecosystem services alongside livestock production.

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