Kenneally , Kevin Francis .
Kimberley Rainforests of Western Australia: A Focus Of Biological Diversity.
Many rainforests and their associated faunal assemblages across northern Australia face environmental threats from intense wildfires, feral animals, introduced ants, weed invasion, disturbance to rainforest aquifers, climate change and the invasion by cane toads. Management and conservation of these remote and naturally fragmented patches of monsoon rainforest in the Kimberley is not an easy task. Just recognising their value in the landscape is not sufficient. They need legislative protection to ensure their conservation and survival. Using the ‘precautionary principle’ we need to balance rainforest conservation with present and emerging uses in the Kimberley. Many fruit-eating birds and mammals are responsible for the movement of seeds between patches and they require many patches to maintain their populations. Consequently, every patch has value and we cannot afford to lose these ‘Jewels in the Crown’ scattered throughout the savanna woodlands of the Kimberley. Significantly, many plant species found in the Kimberley monsoon rainforests have been traditionally utilised by Aboriginal people in the Kimberley and by other cultures in south-east Asia for their food potential as well as the multiple pharmaceutical and medicinal compounds they contain. We have not yet investigated the potential that these plants may hold. In this paper I will review what we know of Kimberley monsoon rainforests and why we need to appreciate their value, not only to the biodiversity of northern Australia but also in terms of their traditional use by Aboriginal people.
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1 - University of Western Australia, School of Agriculture & Environment, M004, 35 Stirling Highway, Crawley, W. Australia, 6019, Australia
Aboriginal culture and traditions.
Presentation Type: Oral Paper
Candidate for Awards:None