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Biodiversity research

NSW National Parks plays a key role in the protection, conservation and management of our state’s biodiversity and research is a crucial element.

Read more about Biodiversity research

Biodiversity is the variety of all life forms on earth – different plants, animals and microorganisms, and the ecosystems of which they are a part. In NSW, biodiversity is threatened by the impact of issues such as fire, climate change, land clearance, weeds and pest animals. NSW National Parks plays a key role in the protection, conservation and management of our state's biodiversity and research is a crucial element.

There are many interesting and important questions we could research to understand biodiversity in NSW national parks, but the challenge is prioritising the research that which will provide the most useful information for our conservation efforts. Our scientists from the Office of Environment and Heritage (OEH) have developed a strategy which helps set the direction and focus for this research to ensure it adds value for NSW national parks' management, policies, and NSW government objectives.

Within this framework, biodiversity research projects are developed in alignment with NSW National Parks management, policies and legislative objectives.

Various biodiversity-related research projects, each of which targets a specific environmental issue, have already taken place, are currently underway or are in the planning stages. Many of these projects involve surveying and monitoring. Good quality biodiversity data, with a strong science base, contributes to a huge range of important state government conservation measures, from the protection of threatened species to fire control.

DustWatch, for example, helps scientists make future predictions and track continental erosion trends in Australia. The southern DustWatch research region includes NSW and has collected 50 years of relevant project data already.

Water is integral to maintaining biodiversity and NSW National Parks is actively involved in an international program called FreshWater Watch. Scientists agree this study will make a huge contribution to the protection of water quality and supply to various environments and ecosystems worldwide.

A smaller-scale water monitoring project is underway in Kosciuszko National Park where biodiversity of the local river systems is under threat from water contamination through human impact.

Other biodiversity research programs, and projects NSW National Parks are involved in, include vegetation mapping and wetlands monitoring.

Biodiversity research programs

Rainforest setting. Photo:Rob Cleary