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Ningaloo Collaboration Cluster: Human use of Ningaloo Marine Park.

Beckley, L.E., Smallwood, C.B., Moore, S.A. and Kobryn, H.T. (2010) Ningaloo Collaboration Cluster: Human use of Ningaloo Marine Park. Ningaloo Collaboration Cluster Final Report No. 2

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This project has provided a robust benchmark on the extent of human use of Ningaloo Marine Park during 2007. The data have high spatial and temporal resolution and are in a geo-referenced format which has allowed both assessment of spatio-temporal patterns as well as detailed understanding of recreational activities conducted in various areas of the park. The use of Ningaloo Marine Park is markedly seasonal with a clear increase in the number of users, and expansion of their spatial extent to cover most of the park, during the period April to October. In the off-season (November to March), people conducting activities in the park are fewer and largely concentrated in Coral Bay and around North West Cape. A wide range of extractive activities, such as recreational fishing, and non-extractive activities including snorkelling, surfing, sailing sports, relaxing on the beach and walking are conducted in the park. The demographic characteristics of people engaged in activities differed significantly between various areas and were related to road/track access, accommodation opportunities and tenure of the land adjacent to the park. Travel network analysis on how coastal roads, tracks and boat launching areas are utilised highlighted node-based patterns of use as well as rapid decay in use with distance from access points. The multivariate multiple regression model of environmental variables plus auto-correlative components explained about 54 % of the observed variation in recreational use with the major explanatory variables being sealed roads accessible by tourist buses and camping opportunities adjacent to the park. The results of the project provide a basis for enhanced management, readily measurable indicators for monitoring and are well-suited to systematic conservation planning for the next iteration of the Ningaloo Marine Park Management Plan.

Publication Type: Report
Murdoch Affiliation: School of Environmental Science
Publisher: Ningaloo Collaboration Cluster Final Report No. 2
Copyright: © 2010 CSIRO
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