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Safeguarding Free-Flowing Rivers: The Global Extent of Free-Flowing Rivers in Protected Areas
Article

Adaptive Management of Malkumba-Coongie Lakes Ramsar Site in Arid Australia—A Free Flowing River and Wetland System

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Centre for Ecosystem Science, School of Biological, Earth and Environmental Sciences, UNSW, Sydney, NSW 2052, Australia
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South Australia Arid Landscape Board, P.O. Box 78, Port Augusta, SA 5700, Australia
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Queensland Department of Natural Resources, Mines and Energy, Level 1, 44 Nelson Street, Mackay, QLD 4740, Australia
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South Australian Research and Development Institute (SARDI), Primary Industries and Regions—Government of South Australia (PIRSA), P.O. Box 120, Henley Beach, SA 5022, Australia
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South Australian Department of Environment, Water and Natural Resources, Innamincka, SA 5731, Australia
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Independent Researcher, 110 Cassowary St, Longreach, QLD 4730, Australia
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Bush Heritage, PO Box 329, Flinders Lane, Melbourne, VIC 8009, Australia
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Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Denielle M. Perry
Sustainability 2021, 13(6), 3043; https://doi.org/10.3390/su13063043
Received: 3 February 2021 / Revised: 26 February 2021 / Accepted: 28 February 2021 / Published: 10 March 2021
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Durable Protections for Free-Flowing Rivers)
The Malkumba-Coongie Lakes Ramsar Site has extensive terrestrial and freshwater ecosystems (largest Ramsar Site in Oceania, 2,178,952 ha, designated in 1987), including freshwater and salt lakes, lignum swamps and river channels in central Australia. It is supplied by Cooper Creek, a free-flowing Lake Eyre Basin river system. The area includes pastoral leases (97% of site grazed, including a regional conservation reserve (35%)) and a National Park (3%), with the largest oil and gas production field in Australia. We developed a Strategic Adaptive Management (SAM) Plan, linking science, monitoring and management of this social-ecological system, involving stakeholders and workshops. This involved developing a shared vision and hierarchy of objectives linked to management actions and identified outputs and outcomes. We exemplify this approach with explicit and measurable end-points (thresholds of potential concern) culminating from low level objectives for fish communities, particularly the alien sleepy cod Oxyeleotris lineolata. We describe this framework, highlighting the benefits in prioritizing management actions and monitoring in collaboration with a diverse range of stakeholders, driving adaptive feedback for learning. The whole approach is aimed at successfully achieving mutually agreed management objectives and the vision to maintain the ecological character of the Malkumba-Coongie Lakes Ramsar Site. View Full-Text
Keywords: Strategic Adaptive Management; freshwater fish; sleepy cod; thresholds of potential concern; freshwater management; social-ecological system Strategic Adaptive Management; freshwater fish; sleepy cod; thresholds of potential concern; freshwater management; social-ecological system
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MDPI and ACS Style

Kingsford, R.T.; McLoughlin, C.A.; Brandle, R.; Bino, G.; Cockayne, B.; Schmarr, D.; Gotch, T.; Norris, V.; McCann, J. Adaptive Management of Malkumba-Coongie Lakes Ramsar Site in Arid Australia—A Free Flowing River and Wetland System. Sustainability 2021, 13, 3043. https://doi.org/10.3390/su13063043

AMA Style

Kingsford RT, McLoughlin CA, Brandle R, Bino G, Cockayne B, Schmarr D, Gotch T, Norris V, McCann J. Adaptive Management of Malkumba-Coongie Lakes Ramsar Site in Arid Australia—A Free Flowing River and Wetland System. Sustainability. 2021; 13(6):3043. https://doi.org/10.3390/su13063043

Chicago/Turabian Style

Kingsford, Richard T., Craig A. McLoughlin, Robert Brandle, Gilad Bino, Bernie Cockayne, David Schmarr, Travis Gotch, Vol Norris, and Justin McCann. 2021. "Adaptive Management of Malkumba-Coongie Lakes Ramsar Site in Arid Australia—A Free Flowing River and Wetland System" Sustainability 13, no. 6: 3043. https://doi.org/10.3390/su13063043

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