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An assessment of coastal land cover and off-road vehicle tracks adjacent to Ningaloo Marine Park, north-western Australia

Kobryn, H.T., Beckley, L.E., Cramer, V.A. and Newsome, D. (2017) An assessment of coastal land cover and off-road vehicle tracks adjacent to Ningaloo Marine Park, north-western Australia. Ocean & Coastal Management, 145 . pp. 94-105.

Link to Published Version: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ocecoaman.2017.05.009
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Abstract

This paper examines environmental characteristics of a remote coastline adjacent to an extensive fringing coral reef in a World Heritage Area impacted by tourism and extensive use of off-road vehicles. Hyperspectral remote sensing imagery combined with field validation were used to map and characterise the 300-km coast including shore type, land cover and vehicle track footprint. Adjacent to Ningaloo Marine Park, only sparse coastal vegetation cover was present. However, there exists an extensive (1256 km) vehicle track network with the highest densities near accommodation nodes and sandy beaches (over 65% of tracks). Areas managed for conservation had fewer tracks and the lowest track density (0.3 km/km2) compared to pastoral stations (∼1.9 km/km2). The cumulative lengths of tracks were highest on pastoral stations used for livestock grazing, coastal access and camping (945 km out of the total of 1256 km of tracks). The fragility of the arid landscape and this assessment of off-road vehicle impact obtained through detailed mapping of tracks indicate the need for management measures to mitigate the damage and cope with the increasing numbers of visitors.

Publication Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation: School of Veterinary and Life Sciences
Publisher: Elsevier BV
Copyright: © 2017 Elsevier B.V.
URI: http://researchrepository.murdoch.edu.au/id/eprint/37124
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