Hotspots, biogeography, complementarity and pragmatism: Priority areas for conservation of Western Australian coastal ﬁshes
Fox, N.J. and Beckley, L.E. (2004) Hotspots, biogeography, complementarity and pragmatism: Priority areas for conservation of Western Australian coastal ﬁshes. In: Australian Marine Science Association Conference, 6 - 9 July, Hobart, Tasmania.
Western Australia has an extensive coastline ranging from the tropical north to the temperate south but, along its length, there are only seven multiple use marine parks and one marine reserve (no take). With the global trend towards the establishment of marine reserves and development in the science of their selection, the opportunity was taken to compare a range of reserve selection methods for Western Australia. Species richness and endemism richness hotspots, biogeographic regions and complementarity analysis were used to determine priority areas for conservation of Western Australian neritic ﬁshes (n= 1 855). There was found to be a general decline in species richness from north to south, with all the species richness hotspots located on the Northwest Shelf. There was no overlap with the species richness and endemism hotspots as the latter all occurred on the south and southwest coasts. The regions highlighted by the biogeographic and complementarity analyses occurred around the entire coastline. However, the complementarity analysis proved to be the most efﬁcient method, as >95% of all ﬁsh species could be protected in six, appropriately located, 100 km long sections of coastline. As Western Australia currently has a system of existing and proposed marine protected areas, it was considered pragmatic to include these in the complementarity analysis. This reduced the efﬁciency and indicated that some of the protected areas may not be well situated for the conservation of neritic ﬁshes. The analysis also highlighted gaps in conservation effort on the Kimberley and south coasts of Western Australia.
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|Murdoch Affiliation:||School of Environmental Science|
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