Fire Management in the Rangelands

Fire Management in the Rangelands Report

  • Author(s): Myers, B., Allan, G., Bradstock, R., Dias, L., Duff, G., Jacklyn, P., Landsberg, J., Morrison, J., Russell-Smith, J., Williams, R.
  • Published: 2004
  • Publisher: Tropical Savannas CRC and Desert Knowledge CRC

Abstract: Why fire management is important for natural resource management in the rangelands The rangelands of Australia have a high biodiversity value: high species diversity, significant numbers of endemic species, areas of ecological and geo-morphological integrity, unique ecosystems and habitat for rare and endangered species. The rangelands are relatively intact with little clearing compared with the areas of intensive agriculture in eastern, southern and south-western Australia. Australia’s rangelands are an important refuge for Australia’s biodiversity. Despite the relatively low level of disturbance in the rangelands, the abundance and richness of rangeland biodiversity is declining and there is evidence that inappropriate fire regimes are partly responsible. Fire is an integral part of the ecosystems of Australia’s rangelands. Fire management is one of few management tools available to land managers in this zone. Sustainable pasture production is dependent on the maintenance of the resource base (soils and pastures) through sound fire management practices in the short and long term. These fire management practices will have significant impacts on biodiversity conservation. Therefore “understanding how fire affects biodiversity has national significance”. (Dyer et al. 2001). Impacts of various fire management practices on the environment—at regional and local/property scales Fire management practices are a major factor affecting the ecological function and biodiversity of all ecosystems in the rangelands. For any region or sub-region, desirable fire management practices will vary with the desired management outcomes, and the climate, terrain and flora and fauna assemblages present, as well as the scale of the ecosystem mosaic. Some elements of rangeland ecosystems are resilient to variations in fire regime, others are sensitive to fire intensity and/or sensitive to fire interval. Therefore, no single fire regime applied at landscape scales can meet the needs of any one major land management objective (e.g. biodiversity conservation), let alone multiple land management objectives. Key sources of information for natural resource management planners This report contains a checklist for fire management plans in the rangelands (Section 2), with links to a range of information: • definitions of terms and concepts • descriptions of the major vegetation types within the rangelands followed by a list of key references • communication principles and planning priorities • a list of sources of information, i.e. fire species attributes, and fire and land use mapping resources • Links to other resources.

Notes: A report to the Australian Government Department of Environment and Heritage prepared by the Tropical Savannas and Desert Knowledge Cooperative Research Centres

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Myers, B., Allan, G., Bradstock, R., Dias, L., Duff, G., Jacklyn, P., Landsberg, J., Morrison, J., Russell-Smith, J., Williams, R., 2004, Fire Management in the Rangelands, Report, viewed 18 August 2022,

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