Delivering effective savanna fire management for defined biodiversity conservation outcomes: An Arnhem Land case study

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    Abstract

    Given the recent history of frequent and extensive late dry season wildfire in Australia's fire-prone northern savannas, regional conservation-based fire management programs typically aim to mitigate wildfire through the use of strategic prescribed burning during the cooler early dry season. However, it remains unclear as to the extent such environmental management concerns are being addressed by these renewed fire management efforts. This study documents changes in fire regime in the western Arnhem Land region of northern Australia associated with the implementation of active fire management since 2006. Over a 12-year period, the regional fire regime has transitioned from late dry season, wildfire-dominated to being characterised by a majority of fires occurring as small early dry season prescribed burns. Although overall area burnt has not significantly decreased, most ecological threshold metrics have improved, with the exception of those describing the maintenance of longer-unburnt habitat. Challenges involved with defining, delivering, monitoring and evaluating heterogeneity targets are discussed.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)386-400
    Number of pages15
    JournalInternational Journal of Wildland Fire
    Volume29
    Issue number5
    Early online date26 Feb 2019
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2020

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