Introduction R esearch over the last decade in Kakadu National Park has shed light on the habitat associations of a declining savanna bird, the Partridge Pigeon ( Geophaps smithii ), and has lent general support to the idea that a change in fire regime and grazing by introduced herbivores may have played a role in the decline of this species ( Franklin 1999 ; Fraser 2000 ). Although many aspects of the ecology of this bird remain uncertain and the specific causes of decline unclear, we asked ourselves ‘can we afford to wait until more research provides definitive answers before attempting to address the plight of this bird?’. An alternative is to use presently available, although incomplete, data to begin actively managing parts of the savanna for the Partridge Pigeon; and to design those management actions in a way they can be used to learn more about its habitat relationships. Such an approach is known as ‘adaptive management’ and is a process which specifically acknowledges uncertainty and promotes learning as an integral objective of the management process. Although first formally proposed in the 1970s ( Holling 1978 ), there has been relatively little practical application of the theory
Ecological Management & Restoration – Wiley
Published: Aug 1, 2003
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