Great Barrier Reef

Program 6 will have three projects designed to monitor the movements of apex predators in the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park using widespread arrays of acoustic receivers installed and maintained by other funding programs (e.g. IMOS, ARC). One project will focus on the movement and habitat use of large predatory fishes (e.g. sharks and coral trout) in reef environments. New knowledge about the scale of daily and seasonal movements will establish a minimum viable size for no-take areas to offer effective protection to these mobile animals.

Program 5 will have three projects designed to assess the impacts of cumulative pressures on coastal biodiversity in the GBR. One will be a synthesis and analysis of spatial and temporal patterns of inshore biodiversity seeking to partition the influence of different environmental drivers (water quality, crown of thorns starfish, cyclones, and connectivity) and identify synergistic interactions between stressors.

Program 4 will have three projects assessing risks to biodiversity from current water quality in the inshore Great Barrier Reef and a desktop hazard study for water quality outlook in the Torres Strait.

Coral reefs are showing evidence of decline on local, regional and global scales. Historical overfishing, nutrient loading and terrestrial discharge, combined with more recent threats of global warming, coral bleaching, ocean acidification and disease have resulted in long-term losses of abundance, diversity and habitat structure. Since European settlement of the Queensland coastline in the mid-19th century, extensive land use changes in the GBR catchment region have occurred resulting from grazing, agriculture and land clearance.

Marine wildlife are significant components of the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area’s biodiversity and are threatened by a variety of anthropogenic pressures. In particular, populations of inshore dolphins are very small and at risk, there are serious concerns for dugong populations along the urban coast (south of Cooktown) and marine turtles are listed as threatened species and are at risk along the Queensland coast due to coastal change.

Program 1 has three projects which will assess the condition and trend of Great Barrier Reef assets. Two of these concern temporal changes in coral communities: one over timescales of the last 100-200 years, and one based on current monitoring of approximately 100 coral reefs that are representative of the whole system. The latter provides a synoptic view of coral cover and continues a time series commenced in 1986.

Funding for this project supports the AIMS Long Term Monitoring Program (LTMP), which provides the GBRMPA with current information to support the delivery of its Outlook Report for the Great Barrier Reef.  In 2012/2013 and 2014/2015 the LTMP will resurvey ‘core’ reefs that have been surveyed since 1992; data from the 2012/2013 monitoring season will provide a critical source of u


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