The role of riverine predators in the top-end.

The role of riverine predators in the top-end.

Tracking saltwater crocodiles and sharks in the top-end

The rivers and estuaries of Northern Australia are highly productive environments, containing an exceptional diversity and abundance of large predatory aquatic species. At the Steve Irwin Wildlife Reserve in Far North Queensland, researchers from Australia Zoo, CSIRO and The University of Queensland are tracking large aquatic predators. This project monitors the movements, habitat preferences and diet in crocodiles, sharks, sawfish and barramundi help determine what makes Northern Australia’s rivers such productive ecosystems. The movement data is combined with isotopic analysis to reveal how environmental and biological factors drive animal movements and impact habitat connectivity. Study findings will help predict the impact of environmental change, reduce human-wildlife conflict, and assist in the formulation of management initiatives to mitigate future threats. In a world of vanishing top predators, it is imperative to understand system dynamics before we can evaluate the impact of species removal on ecosystem function.

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Dr Hamish Campbell
Senior Research Fellow/Senior Lecturer

Primary research group

Savanna Wildlife Research and Conservation Management

Qualifications

Ph.D. Zoology, University of Plymouth (UK)