Savanna Biodiversity



Leaders: Drs John Woinarski and Alaric Fisher, NT Dept. Natural Resources, Environment and the Arts, Darwin

Dr Alex Kutt, Queensland Environmental Protection Agency, Townsville

Full title: Savanna Biodiversity—building and sharing knowledge for biodiversity conservation and sustainable land management in the tropical savannas
Project 2.4.2

Summary | Objectives | Outcomes |

  Squatter pigeons

This project forms the major way for the substantial portfolio of research projects undertaken by the CRC and its core partners on biodiversity over the last decade.

We explicitly aim to first canvass the information needs and presentation preferences of our stakeholders; we place our major new resourcing into a communications officer to tailor the delivery of this product and to undertake (with our research personnel) the task of translating research results to informed management conclusions. Our adoption strategy also aims to be sufficiently flexible that we can add research and communication modules likely to be rated as priorities by stakeholder groups, and likely to attract additional external funding.


The project will develop a 'one-stop shop' that collates all available information on biodiversity in the tropical savannas of northern Australia, and how these savannas can best be managed to maintain biodiversity values.

The project will deliver this information in easily accessible forms, including a Savanna Biodiversity Website, a Biodiversity Management Manual and a range of pamphlets, guides and information sheets.

The information is targeted to a range of savanna land users, including management agencies, regional Natural Resource Management (NRM) groups and individual land managers.

Representatives of these groups were interviewed to determine the most appropriate products and projects that will assist the application of biodiversity information to land management, in order to result in positive biodiversity outcomes.

The project identified currently available information sources and proposed information products, along with impediments to the sharing and application of biodiversity information.

The project aims to make existing information more accessible, to facilitate projects aimed at improving application of biodiversity information, and develop new products and projects to fill identified needs not currently being met.

A new Tropical Savannas website focused on land management will act as a portal to both existing information sources and a storage area for new products produced by the project.

The project also aims to build additional knowledge of biodiversity across the tropical savannas through support for carefully targeted research—including basic biodiversity inventory, improved understanding of the impacts of management regimes on biodiversity, modelling economic and ecological implications of land management, and enhanced capacity to monitor biodiversity.

In the research component, the core CRC funds are primarily directed toward maintaining biodiversity research capacity in the Northern Territory and Queensland through employing key staff, with basic operational support.


  1. Collate all available information about biodiversity, and the relationship between land management and biodiversity, for the tropical savannas.
  2. Develop and maintain a database for biodiversity information that can be interrogated at a variety of scales and levels of complexity.
  3. Synthesise biodiversity and land management information to produce diverse communication material appropriate to the variety of savanna stakeholders.
  4. Contribute to a the TS-CRC web portal in order to provide ready access to biodiversity information for the variety of savanna stakeholders.
  5. Undertake targeted research to address major gaps in knowledge of biodiversity, and the relationship between land management and biodiversity, in selected savanna regions.


The project will contribute to improved management of the tropical savannas through:

  • Greatly improving ease of access to information about biodiversity and sustainable land management for a diversity of land managers. Information products produced by the project will be designed to address the needs of government agencies, regional NRM groups and individual land managers;
  • Generally improving the quality and geographic spread of information relevant to biodiversity and sustainable land management;
  • Collecting and disseminating new information about biodiversity in very poorly known regions in the savanna;
  • Investigating and clarifying the effects of various land management regimes on biodiversity, where there is currently insufficient data for good management planning;
  • Providing information, methodologies and guidelines that will assist land managers, regional groups and agencies in monitoring the biodiversity health of country;
  • Generally raising the profile of biodiversity as an important issue that must be adequately considered in regional and land management decision;
  • Developing an improved understanding of the requirements of stakeholders for biodiversity information, and the formats in which it may be most effectively communicated.


Dr Gabriel Crowley
Biodiversity Information Officer
Tropical Savannas CRC
Tel: 08 8995 5005

Fax: 08 8995 5099

Biodiversity Conservation Division, Department of Natural Resources, Environment and the Arts
Palmerston, NT 0831

Dr Alaric Fisher
Senior Scientist
NT Dept Natural Resources, Environment, the Arts & Sport
Tel: 08 8995 5000

Fax: 08 8995 5099

PO Box 496

Dr Alex Kutt
CSIRO Sustainable Ecosystems
Tel: 07 4753 8547

Fax: 07 4753 8600

Davies Laboratory, Private Mail Bag PO

Dr John Woinarski
NT Dept Natural Resourcs, Environment, the Arts and Sport
Tel: 08 8995 5000

Fax: 08 8995 5099

PO Box 496