Climate Ready Biodiversity Mapping

Background

The Hub is pleased to be collaborating with researchers from JCU and their students to increase our understanding of the impacts of climate change and the conservation implications in a dynamic environment. Research information helps fulfill the Hub’s mission of building the resilience of the Whitsundays, and communities everywhere to climate change. 

What?

This project aims to develop biodiversity mapping for the Whitsunday Region by applying a climate lens. By extending understanding of the region’s biodiversity, and the shifts occurring due to climate change, stakeholders will be better equipped to manage priority species and ensure conservation efforts are directed into the most cost beneficial areas. The data collected during this project will be presented to Whitsunday Regional Council and other stakeholders.

How?

This project will develop novel biodiversity modelling to map current and future biodiversity refugia. This information is crucial for Council and other land managers to guide the prioritisation of conservation efforts. The first stage of the research will see stakeholders engaged in an initial meeting to involve them in the project, educate them on the value of understanding biodiversity and the outputs that the project is looking to design. Stakeholders will be asked to contribute with any data or information and further contacts.   

Workshops will  be held with land managers and may include a session with maps to drill down into perceived priority species, conservation issues, and prioritise objectively based on importance, urgency and cost-benefits. 

Who?

The Hub has been working with Stephen Williams, a Professor in the College of Marine and Environmental Science at James Cook University and an expert member of the Climate Hub Advisory Panel. Professor Williams is joined by Alejandro, a Doctoral Student at JCU and a conservation biologist with a particular interest in spatial ecology and macroecology. 

The project stakeholders engaged include Whitsunday Regional Council, the Healthy Rivers to Reef Partnership, Reef Catchments, the region’s Natural Resource Management Group, Queensland National Parks and Wildlife Services, Fauna Rescue, and Whitsunday Catchment Landcare. 

Aims

This research project aims to:

  • Develop biodiversity mapping for the Whitsunday Region by applying a climate lens
  • Deepen our understanding of the region’s biodiversity and the shifts occurring due to climate change
  • Better prepare our relevant stakeholders to manage priority species and make sure conservation efforts are directed into the right areas. 

Get Involved

Do you have knowledge or data on our region’s plants and animals?  Email the Climate Hub to get involved in the project and share your information  ClimateHub@whitsundayrc.qld.gov.au.