W ith the tree‐clearing debate done and dusted in Queensland, we know the trees are protected from broad‐scale clearing, but what about the long‐term integrity of woodlands? In an era of escalating land prices, water intensification and paddock subdivisions, is there any hope for the conservation of biodiversity values of these grazed woodlands? Having worked in Central Queensland for over 17 years and had dealings with a wide‐cross section of landholders, I feel that one cause for optimism on this front could be the value of native perennial pastures to production. Landholders understand that these pastures serve as their basis for a sustainable grazing system and are constantly trying to maintain this valuable resource. Additionally, these grazed woodlands are resilient to the drought conditions and wildfire to which they are regularly subjected. Current grazing pressure will maintain the existing biodiversity values of the woodlands, but will grazing‐sensitive species persist if grazing enterprises intensify further? ( Landsberg & Crowley 2004 ; Pringle & Landsberg 2004 ). It is argued that persistence of the native understorey flora and the fauna that these woodlands support is more likely if a monetary value can be attached to the conservation of these species.
Ecological Management & Restoration – Wiley
Published: Apr 1, 2008
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