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Booderee National Park: The Jewel of Jervis Bay

Booderee National Park: The Jewel of Jervis Bay

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Booderee National Park: The Jewel of Jervis Bay

290 página
2 horas
Mar 3, 2014


Booderee National Park at Jervis Bay, 200km south of Sydney, attracts over 450,000 visitors each year. The park has many special features, including dramatic wave cut platforms and sea caves, some of the whitest beach sands in Australia, and very high densities of native predators such as the Powerful Owl and the Diamond Python. This book outlines the biology and ecology of Booderee National Park.

Booderee packs an extraordinary level of biodiversity into a small area (roughly 6500 hectares), with more than 260 species of terrestrial vertebrates and over 625 species of plants. It is home to species of significant conservation concern, such as the globally endangered Eastern Bristlebird for which the park is one of its last and most important strongholds. The diversity of vegetation is also astounding: in some parts of the park, it is possible to walk from ankle-high sedgelands, through woodlands and forest and into subtropical rainforest in less than 150 metres.

The book highlights how Booderee National Park is a functional natural ecosystem and, in turn, how management practices aim to improve environmental conditions and promote biodiversity conservation. Richly illustrated with colour images from award-winning photographer Esther Beaton, it will delight visitors to the park as well as anyone with an interest in natural history.

Mar 3, 2014

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Booderee National Park - David Lindenmayer




David Lindenmayer, Christopher MacGregor, Nick Dexter and Martin Fortescue

Photographs by Esther Beaton

With contributions from Mason Crane, Ross Cunningham, Geoff Kay, Damian Michael,

Rebecca Montague-Drake, Sachiko Okada and Jeff Wood

© David Lindenmayer, Christopher MacGregor, Nick Dexter and Martin Fortescue 2014

All rights reserved. Except under the conditions described in the Australian Copyright Act 1968 and subsequent amendments, no part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, duplicating or otherwise, without the prior permission of the copyright owner. Contact CSIRO PUBLISHING for all permission requests.

National Library of Australia Cataloguing-in-Publication entry

Lindenmayer, David, author.

Booderee National Park: the jewel of Jervis Bay/David

Lindenmayer, Christopher MacGregor, Nick Dexter and

Martin Fortescue; photographs by Esther Beaton.

9781486300426 (hardback)

9781486300433 (epdf)

9781486300440 (epub)

Includes bibliographical references and index.

Biodiversity – Australian Capital Territory – Jervis Bay


Biology – Australian Capital Territory – Jervis Bay Region.

Ecology – Australian Capital Territory – Jervis Bay Region.

Marine parks and reserves – Australian Capital

Territory – Jervis Bay Region.

National parks and reserves – Australian Capital

Territory – Jervis Bay Region.

Booderee National Park (A.C.T.)

Booderee National Park (A.C.T.) – Environmental conditions.

MacGregor, Christopher, author.

Dexter, Nick, author.

Fortescue, Martin, author.

Beaton, Esther, photographer.


Published by


150 Oxford Street (PO Box 1139)

Collingwood VIC 3066


Telephone: +61 3 9662 7666

Local call: 1300 788 000 (Australia only)

Fax: +61 3 9662 7555

Email: publishing.sales@csiro.au

Website: www.publish.csiro.au

Images are by Esther Beaton unless otherwise noted.

Set in 11/14.8 Adobe Garamond

Edited by Adrienne de Kretser, Righting Writing

Cover design by Andrew Weatherill

Text design by James Kelly

Typeset by James Kelly

Index by Indexicana

Printed in China by 1010 Printing International Ltd

CSIRO PUBLISHING publishes and distributes scientific, technical and health science books, magazines and journals from Australia to a worldwide audience and conducts these activities autonomously from the research activities of the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO). The views expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent those of, and should not be attributed to, the publisher or CSIRO. The copyright owner shall not be liable for technical or other errors or omissions contained herein. The reader/user accepts all risks and responsibility for losses, damages, costs and other consequences resulting directly or indirectly from using this information.

Original print edition:

The paper this book is printed on is in accordance with the rules of the Forest Stewardship Council®. The FSC® promotes environmentally responsible, socially beneficial and economically viable management of the world’s forests.


Pied Oystercatcher nest.



Chapter 1 Introduction

Chapter 2 Fire

Chapter 3 Predators and predation

Chapter 4 Herbivores and herbivory

Chapter 5 Weeds and invasive plants

Chapter 6 The future

Appendix: Common and scientific names

Sources and further reading

About the authors


At the mouth of Jervis Bay. Bowen Island lies at the mouth of Jervis Bay and, like much of the coastline of Booderee National Park, features spectacular cliffs and wave-cut rock platforms. Bowen Island was the site of a naval gun battery during World War II and has a number of places of historical importance. The island also supports a highly significant population of the Little Penguin which has been carefully monitored for more than three decades. There have been some highly successful management programs on the island to alleviate the effects of invasive species. For example, Bowen Island formerly supported large populations of the introduced European Rabbit and Black Rat – animals which have had enormous negative impacts on native plants and animals on many islands around the world. Rabbits were eradicated in the 1970s and rats more than a decade ago through a carefully planned and executed eradication program. Recently, efforts to control introduced Kikuyu Grass, in which penguins become entangled, have intensified and had considerable success. Bowen Island was once widely denuded of vegetation, partly as a consequence of frequent fire during and after World War II. However, there has been considerable natural regeneration. Indeed, the island now supports what are thought to be the oldest known areas of unburned heathland in Australia as a consequence of fire having been banned on the island for the last 60 years.


Australia supports environments and species found nowhere else and they set our nation apart from others around the world. A truly special part of Australia’s natural environment is Booderee National Park in the Jervis Bay Territory of southern New South Wales. This beautiful reserve is the focus of this short book.

Many Australians have not heard of Booderee National Park, despite the fact it has more than 450 000 visitors a year – roughly the visitor numbers of Kakadu, Uluru, Norfolk Island and Christmas Island national parks combined. If they do know of Booderee, they probably don’t realise its many natural assets. Given this, we strongly believe that it is time to tell a wider audience why Booderee is such a special place.

In this book, we describe many of the plants and animals that inhabit the park. Our focus is on the terrestrial environments where we have concentrated detailed research and management effort over the past decade. The work at Booderee is a partnership between researchers and park managers, so we also wanted to show how new scientific insights are continually improving the park management. The science–management partnership at Booderee has led to the area being regarded as one of the best-managed reserves in Australia. This science–management partnership is a model for others involved in policy and/or management of natural resources, including parks and reserves.

In many books, the typical way to describe the natural environment of a location is to write chapters on the different groups of animals; for example a section on the mammals, another on birds, another on reptiles etc. We have elected not to use this usual ‘formula’. Rather, we explore the broad ecological processes that influence populations of plants and animals in Booderee. Our chapters look at such topics as predators and predation, herbivores and herbivory, fire, and invasive plants and animals. We have chosen this path for three important reasons.

First, it highlights the intimate connections between animals, plants and the environment.

Second, much of the research in the park over the past decade has examined key ecological processes rather than particular groups of plants or animals in isolation.

Third, on-the-ground management within the park works on modifying the impacts of key ecological processes, such as changing the abundance of predators by baiting for feral animals like the Red Fox, or altering fire regimes through prescribed burning.

Although much of our book is based on detailed and often quite complex long-term ecological science, we have tried to communicate new findings and their implications for managing populations of plants and animals in a straightforward way so that we can reach as broad an audience as possible. Each chapter comprises a short section of text outlining a particular ecological process and some of the research and management associated with it. The majority of each chapter is taken up with spectacular images of Booderee National Park. These photographs are often accompanied by a lengthy caption which describes an important aspect of ecology, research or management.

Massive cliffs. Booderee National Park boasts the highest clifflines in New South Wales and some of the highest along the eastern seaboard of the Australian continent. The highest cliffs in the park are at Steamers Beach and the surrounding coastal area supports a thriving seal colony, large schools of fish, and large sharks. The cliffs themselves support a tough prickly plant, the Jervis Bay Dracophyllum, that is unique to Jervis Bay.

We believe it is critical to tell as many Australians as possible how national parks and reserves can (and should) be managed and what conservation returns can be realised on taxpayer investments in environmental management. Our hope is that the work at Booderee will continue and that perhaps in the future there might be new editions of this book, telling important new stories about a small but nonetheless spectacular and very important part of Australia’s natural environment.

The authors

April 2013


The Southern Boobook Owl.

There is a strong and ongoing science–management partnership at Booderee National Park which has thrived because of financial and logistical support from Parks Australia. Peter Cochrane and Scott Surridge from that organisation have been particularly encouraging over the past decade. We also thank the many very supportive staff from Booderee who have assisted in making the science–management partnership a success over the years, including Matt Hudson, Tony Carter, Stuart James, Shane Sturgeon, Gavin McLeod and Arthur McLeod.

Additional funding to maintain the science–management partnership at Booderee has come from the Australian Research Council, the National Environmental Research Program (NERP), the Terrestrial Ecosystem Research Network (TERN), the Department of Defence and The Thomas Foundation. We are most grateful to all these organisations for their generous support.

We are indebted to the Wreck Bay Aboriginal Community for allowing us access to their land and maintaining support and interest in the science–management partnership at Booderee National Park.

Some of the research in the Jervis Bay region has taken place on land managed by the Department of Defence and we thank Fred Ford and David Carter for supporting the work at HMAS Creswell and at Beecroft Peninsula over several years.

Writing is a difficult task at the best of times, and many people have made major contributions to the completion of this book. Claire Shepherd helped with innumerable fiddly things, especially editing. Clive Hilliker proved to be a genius with constructing images.

Research Officers from The Australian National University have worked tirelessly in the field over the years and special mention must be made of the efforts of Mason Crane, Geoff Kay, Lachlan McBurney, Damian Michael, Rebecca Montague-Drake, Sachiko Okada, David Blair, Dan Florance and Darren Brown.

Many post-graduate researchers at The Australian National University have made substantial contributions to the body of scientific knowledge at Booderee National Park, some of which feature in this book. They include Philip Barton, Martin Westgate, Ingrid Stirnemann, Claire Foster, Nelida Villasenor and Felicia Pereoglou. We are also indebted to earlier researchers upon whose work we have built. In particular we would like to thank Frank Ingwersen and Nicky Taws for sharing early plant data which now forms the basis of current botanical research.

Many scientific colleagues from The Australian National University and other institutions have contributed significantly to the research efforts at Booderee. They include Ross Cunningham, Jeff Wood, Alan Welsh, Christine Donnelly, John Stein, Don Driscoll, Malcolm Gill, Sam Banks, Maxine Piggott, David Keith, Annabel Smith, Karen Ikin, Malcolm Gill, Jane Catford and Phil Gibbons.

Birdseed. Seed consumption is an important form of herbivory in many kinds of animals. For example, the seeds produced by the Gahnia plants are eaten by a range of bird species, including the Crimson Rosella.

Finally, every year from 2002, dedicated volunteers from the Canberra Ornithologists Group have provided expert ornithological assistance that allowed us to complete detailed surveys of the bird fauna at Booderee National Park. Several of these wonderful contributors deserve special mention for their willingness to brave leeches, ticks and bad jokes year after year – Bruce Lindenmayer, Jenny Bounds, Martyn Moffat, Terry Munro, Mike Doyle, Noel Luff and Peter Roberts.

The authors

December 2013

Palms in the rainforest. The majority of rainforest in Booderee National Park is known as ‘littoral rainforest’, i.e. rainforest that is close to the sea. It has a dense closed canopy, shrubs and vines with moist, leathery type leaves. In this photo, young Cabbage-tree Palms dominate the understorey and compete for light. The successful plants may attain a height of 30

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