Management of national parks is mainly based on the experience of resource managers and not directly on new scientific knowledge and evidence. And yet there are many advantages to connecting management with research on the ground. David Lindenmayer demonstrates this value by describing the development of a strong and enduring partnership between scientific research and resource management in Booderee National Park (BNP), a coastal reserve next to Jervis Bay on the south coast of NSW. The partnership has focussed on three key issues within Booderee: the impacts of fire on native biota, the response of vertebrates to feral animal control and the control of Bitou bush.
In regards to fire, a new understanding of the relationships between bird persistence and recovery following fire (derived from empirical research) has resulted in a change from uniform prescribed burning of entire compartments of native vegetation to patchy fires across a maximum proportion of a given compartment.
Research has also demonstrated the value of feral animal control showing it substantially increases populations of some animals such as the common brushtail possum, the long-nosed bandicoot and the eastern bristlebird. On this basis, an intensified approach to feral animal control in BNP is now well established as a key and ongoing conservation activity recognised formally within the official management plan for the reserve.
Lindenmayer DB, C MacGregor, N Dexter, M Fortescue & P Cochrane (2013). Booderee National Park Management: Connecting science and management. Ecological Management & Restoration 14: 2–10. doi:10.1111/emr.12027 http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/emr.12027/full