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Understanding the impacts of recreation in Australian protected areas: quantifying damage caused by horse riding in D’Entrecasteaux National Park, Western Australia

Phillips, N. and Newsome, D. (2002) Understanding the impacts of recreation in Australian protected areas: quantifying damage caused by horse riding in D’Entrecasteaux National Park, Western Australia. Pacific Conservation Biology, 7 (4). pp. 256-273.

Abstract

There is presently very little published quantitative information on the environmental impacts of recreational horse riding. Particularly in Western Australia the lack of "hard evidence" concerning the environmental impacts of horse riding hinders objective judgement of damage caused by horse riding in national parks. This paper presents data on horse riding impacts in a Western Australian (D'Entrecasteaux) national park. The research measured vegetation and soil impacts caused by horse use in un-tracked areas with the specific aim of relating the amount of horse use to degree of environmental impact. Horse riding altered plant species composition, increased the area of bare ground and decreased height and cover of vegetation. Significant impacts occurred after only low levels of horse use. The findings indicate the need for a database on horse riding impact in Australia so that, where horse riding is allowed, impacts can be properly assessed and effectively managed.

Publication Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation: School of Environmental Science
Publisher: Surey Beatty & Sons
Copyright: (c) Surey Beatty & Sons
Publishers Website: http://pcb.murdoch.edu.au/
URI: http://researchrepository.murdoch.edu.au/id/eprint/2621
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