Climate change research and monitoring needs for the Australian Alps National Parks

Prepared for the Australian Alps Liaison Committee
Catherine Pickering, Daniela Guitart, Mark Ballantyne and Clare Morrison: Environment Futures Centre, Griffith University, 2013

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Introduction

Worldwide anthropogenic climate change threatens natural ecosystems including those in the Australian Alps. The Australian Alps National Parks currently conserve nearly all of mainland Australia’s snow country and are important nationally and internationally due to their conservation values, ecosystem services and economic benefits. Climate change predictions for the Australian Alps include higher temperatures, reduced snow cover, increased risk of fires and increased abundance and diversity of weeds and feral animals. In addition to these impacts, there will be changes in winter and summer tourism. Research for the National Climate Change Adaption Research Facility surveyed protected area managers, researchers, local government and resorts to identify the strategies they plan to use to adapt to climate change, and the limits to those strategies. Research, or rather not enough research on climate change and its impacts was seen as a major limit for adaptation.

Griffith University was commissioned by the Australian Alps Liaison Committee to extend that study by undertaking a more detailed survey of park managers and researchers to identify specific research and monitoring requirements for managing climate change and its impacts in the Australian Alps. This report presents the survey, results, implications and recommendations for research priorities for the Australian Alps National Parks.

More information about climate change in the Australian Alps can be found on our climate change page.