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Mapping the Ningaloo world heritage area to monitor impacts of tourism

Kobryn, H.ORCID: 0000-0003-1004-7593 and Beckley, L.E. (2015) Mapping the Ningaloo world heritage area to monitor impacts of tourism. In: AMSA2015, 5 - 9 July, Geelong, Vic, Australia.


Monitoring and management of popular coastal destinations requires accurate benchmark data on access nodes, travel networks as well as detailed information on landscapes and seascapes. We investigated the 300 km long coastal strip along Ningaloo Reef using hyperspectral remote sensing techniques combined with extensive fieldwork. We mapped bathymetry and marine habitats at high resolution to a depth Of 20 In covering 762 km2 of the reef. We mapped land cover including vegetation along the coast for an area of 988 krn2. We also compiled a database of the track and road network up to 2 km inland from the coast and characterised the dominant sediment and vegetation cover along track buffers. Many of the areas with the highest density of tracks were adjacent to sanctuary areas in the marine pork with easy access to the reef from the beach. Land tenure is important in managing the coastal area and the highest track densities have been found in areas managed as pastoral stations while the lowest are in areas managed as national park. Track buffers contained a lot of vegetation and with track expansion this may be destroyed. With the proposed changes to the pastoral leases expected to result in changes in tenure, and it is vital that comprehensive and cost-effective monitoring is developed and implemented to protect the coastal area and adjacent reef. Remote sensing offers a range of quantitative, repetitive and operational methods suitable for creating benchmark data sets and follow up studies for monitoring. It is also effective for large areas where access and logistics for management are very challenging.

Item Type: Conference Item
Murdoch Affiliation(s): School of Veterinary and Life Sciences
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