Marine and Freshwater Research Marine and Freshwater Research Society
Advances in the aquatic sciences
RESEARCH ARTICLE

A systematic evaluation of the incremental protection of broad-scale habitats at Ningaloo Reef, Western Australia

Lynnath E. Beckley A C and Amanda T. Lombard B
+ Author Affiliations
- Author Affiliations

A School of Environmental Science, Murdoch University, 90 South Street, Murdoch, WA 6150, Australia.

B Conservation Ecology Research Unit, Department of Zoology and Entomology, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, South Africa 0002.

C Corresponding author. Email: L.Beckley@murdoch.edu.au

Marine and Freshwater Research 63(1) 17-22 https://doi.org/10.1071/MF11074
Submitted: 29 March 2011  Accepted: 3 September 2011   Published: 8 November 2011

Abstract

Incremental increases to marine conservation areas in response to changing goals, policy, threats or new information are common practice worldwide. Ningaloo Reef, in north-western Australia, is protected by the Ningaloo Marine Park (state waters), which was expanded incrementally in 2004 so that 34% of the park now comprises ‘no-take’ sanctuary zones. To test the hypothesis that all habitats (benthic cover types) at Ningaloo are actually protected at this 34% level, a systematic conservation planning exercise was conducted using existing broad-scale habitat data (as a surrogate for marine biodiversity) and C-Plan decision-support software. Although subtidal and intertidal coral communities were found to be adequately protected, other habitats, particularly those in deeper waters seaward of the reef, did not attain the 34% target. Efficient incremental additions to the sanctuary zones to allow increased representation of these under-represented habitats were explored with C-Plan. It is recommended that systematic conservation planning incorporating new biodiversity and social information (now becoming available) be undertaken for the next iteration of the Ningaloo Marine Park management plan. This analysis at Ningaloo Reef serves as a useful example of a post hoc systematic approach to guide incremental expansion of existing marine protected areas in other parts of the world.

Additional keywords: conservation planning, management, marine park, sanctuaries, targets.


References

Agardy, T., Bridgewater, P., Crosby, M. P., Day, J., Dayton, P. K., Kenchington, R., Laffoley, D., McConney, P., Murray, P. A., Parks, J. E., and Peau, L. (2003). Dangerous targets? Unresolved issues and ideological clashes around marine protected areas. Aquatic Conservation: Marine and Freshwater Ecosystems 13, 353–367.
Dangerous targets? Unresolved issues and ideological clashes around marine protected areas.CrossRef | open url image1

Ban, N. C. (2009). Minimum data requirements for designing a set of marine protected areas, using commonly available abiotic and biotic datasets. Biodiversity and Conservation 18, 1829–1845.
Minimum data requirements for designing a set of marine protected areas, using commonly available abiotic and biotic datasets.CrossRef | open url image1

Ban, N. C., Hansen, G. J. A., Jones, M., and Vincent, A. C. J. (2009). Systematic marine conservation planning in data-poor regions: socioeconomic data is essential. Marine Policy 33, 794–800.
Systematic marine conservation planning in data-poor regions: socioeconomic data is essential.CrossRef | open url image1

Bancroft, K. P. (2003). A standardised classification scheme for the mapping of shallow-water marine habitats in Western Australia. Marine Conservation Branch, Department of Conservation and Land Management, Report MCB-05/2003. Fremantle, WA, Australia.

Bohnsack, J. A., Causey, B., Crosby, M. P., Griffis, R. B., Hixon, M. A., Hourigan, T. F., Koltes, K. H., Maragos, J. E., Simons, A., and Tilmant, J. T. (2002). A rationale for minimum 20–30% no-take protection. In ‘Proceedings of the Ninth International Coral Reef Symposium, Bali, 23–27 October 2000. Vol. 2’. (Eds M. K. Moosa, S. Soemodihardjo, A. Soegiarto, K. Romimohtarto, A. Nontji, Soekarno and Suharsono.) pp. 615–619. (International Society for Reef Studies: Bali, Indonesia.) Available at http://coremap.or.id/downloads/ICRS9th-Bohnsack.pdf [Accessed 15 September 2011].

Commonwealth of Australia (2006). A guide to the integrated marine and coastal regionalisation of Australia (IMCRA v4.0). Available at http://www.environment.gov.au/coasts/mbp/publications/imcra/imcra-4.html [Accessed 24 March 2011].

Commonwealth of Australia (2010). National representative system of marine protected areas. Available at http://www.environment.gov.au/coasts/mpa/nrsmpa/index.html [Accessed 24 March 2011].

Dalleau, M., Andréfouët, S., Wabnitz, C. C. C., Payri, C., Wantiez, L., Pichon, M., Friedman, K. I. M., Vigliola, L., and Benzoni, F. (2010). Use of habitats as surrogates of biodiversity for efficient coral reef conservation planning in Pacific Ocean islands. Conservation Biology 24, 541–552.
Use of habitats as surrogates of biodiversity for efficient coral reef conservation planning in Pacific Ocean islands.CrossRef | open url image1

Denny, C. M., and Babcock, R. C. (2004). Do partial marine reserves protect reef fish assemblages? Biological Conservation 116, 119–129.
Do partial marine reserves protect reef fish assemblages?CrossRef | open url image1

Department of Conservation and Land Management and Marine Parks and Reserves Authority (2005). Management Plan for the Ningaloo Marine Park and Muiron Islands Marine Management Area, 2005–2015. Management Paper 52. Government of Western Australia, Perth, WA.

Fernandes, L., Day, J., Lewis, A., Slegers, S., Kerrigan, B., Breen, D., Cameron, D., Jago, B., Hall, J., Lowe, D., Innes, J., Tanzer, J., Chadwick, V., Thompson, L., Gorman, K., Simmons, M., Barnett, B., Sampson, K., De’ath, G., Mapstone, B., Marsh, H., Possingham, H., Ball, I., Ward, T., Dobbs, K., Aumend, J., Slater, D., and Stapleton, K. (2005). Establishing representative no-take areas in the Great Barrier Reef: Large-scale implementation of theory on marine protected areas. Conservation Biology 19, 1733–1744.
Establishing representative no-take areas in the Great Barrier Reef: Large-scale implementation of theory on marine protected areas.CrossRef | open url image1

Ferrier, S., Pressey, R. L., and Barrett, T. W. (2000). A new predictor of the irreplaceability of areas for achieving a conservation goal, its application to real-world planning, and a research agenda for further refinement. Biological Conservation 93, 303–325.
A new predictor of the irreplaceability of areas for achieving a conservation goal, its application to real-world planning, and a research agenda for further refinement.CrossRef | open url image1

Fox, N. J., and Beckley, L. E. (2005). Priority areas for conservation of Western Australian coastal fishes: a comparison of hotspot, biogeographical and complementarity approaches. Biological Conservation 125, 399–410.
Priority areas for conservation of Western Australian coastal fishes: a comparison of hotspot, biogeographical and complementarity approaches.CrossRef | open url image1

Gell, F. R., and Roberts, C. M. (2003). Benefits beyond boundaries: the fishery effects of marine reserves and fishery closures. Trends in Ecology & Evolution 18, 448–455.
Benefits beyond boundaries: the fishery effects of marine reserves and fishery closures.CrossRef | open url image1

Knight, A. T., Cowling, R. M., and Campbell, B. M. (2006). An operational model for implementing conservation action. Conservation Biology 20, 408–419.
An operational model for implementing conservation action.CrossRef | open url image1

Lombard, A. T., Reyers, B., Schonegevel, L. Y., Cooper, J., Smith-Adao, L. B., Nel, D. C., Froneman, P. W., Ansorge, I. J., Bester, M. N., Tosh, C. A., Strauss, T., Akkers, T., Gon, O., Leslie, R. W., and Chown, S. L. (2007). Conserving pattern and process in the Southern Ocean: designing a marine protected area in the Prince Edward Islands. Antarctic Science 19, 39–54.
Conserving pattern and process in the Southern Ocean: designing a marine protected area in the Prince Edward Islands.CrossRef | open url image1

Margules, C. R., and Pressey, R. L. (2000). Systematic conservation planning. Nature 405, 243–253.
Systematic conservation planning.CrossRef | 1:CAS:528:DC%2BD3cXjsFyjsLg%3D&md5=29d750b3640db974f16502fb92293342CAS | open url image1

Possingham, H. P., Wilson, K. A., Andelman, S. J., and Vynne, C. H. (2006). Protected areas: goals, limitations, and design. In ‘Principles of Conservation Biology’. (Eds M. J. Groom, G. K. Meefe and C. R. Carroll.) pp. 509–533. (Sinauer Associates: Sunderland, MA.)

Pressey, R. L. (1999). Applications of irreplaceability analysis to planning and management problems. Parks 9, 42–51. open url image1

Pressey, R. L., Cowling, R. M., and Rouget, M. (2003). Formulating conservation targets for biodiversity pattern and process in the Cape Floristic Region, South Africa. Biological Conservation 112, 99–127.
Formulating conservation targets for biodiversity pattern and process in the Cape Floristic Region, South Africa.CrossRef | open url image1

Roff, J. C. (2009). Conservation of marine biodiversity – how much is enough? Aquatic Conservation: Marine and Freshwater Ecosystems 19, 249–251.
Conservation of marine biodiversity – how much is enough?CrossRef | open url image1

Rondinini, C., and Chiozza, F. (2010). Quantitative methods for defining percentage area targets for habitat types in conservation planning. Biological Conservation 143, 1646–1653.
Quantitative methods for defining percentage area targets for habitat types in conservation planning.CrossRef | open url image1

Selkoe, K. A., Halpern, B. S., Ebert, C. M., Franklin, E. C., Selig, E. R., Casey, K. S., Bruno, J., and Toonen, R. J. (2009). A map of human impacts to a “pristine” coral reef ecosystem, the Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument. Coral Reefs 28, 635–650.
A map of human impacts to a “pristine” coral reef ecosystem, the Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument.CrossRef | open url image1

Sleeman, J. C., Meekan, M. G., Wilson, S. G., Jenner, C. K. S., Jenner, M. N., Boggs, G. S., Steinberg, C. C., and Bradshaw, C. J. A. (2007). Biophysical correlates of relative abundances of marine megafauna at Ningaloo Reef, Western Australia. Marine and Freshwater Research 58, 608–623.
Biophysical correlates of relative abundances of marine megafauna at Ningaloo Reef, Western Australia.CrossRef | open url image1

Smallwood, C. B., Beckley, L. E., Moore, S. A., and Kobryn, H. T. (2011). Assessing patterns of recreational use in large marine parks: A case study from Ningaloo Marine Park, Australia. Ocean and Coastal Management 54, 330–340.
Assessing patterns of recreational use in large marine parks: A case study from Ningaloo Marine Park, Australia.CrossRef | open url image1

Stewart, R. R., and Possingham, H. P. (2005). Efficiency, costs and trade-offs in marine reserve system design. Environmental Modelling and Assessment 10, 203–213.
Efficiency, costs and trade-offs in marine reserve system design.CrossRef | open url image1

Stewart, R. R., Noyce, T., and Possingham, H. P. (2003). Opportunity cost of ad hoc marine reserve design decisions: an example from South Australia. Marine Ecology Progress Series 253, 25–38.
Opportunity cost of ad hoc marine reserve design decisions: an example from South Australia.CrossRef | open url image1

Stewart, R. R., Ball, I. R., and Possingham, H. P. (2007). The effect of incremental reserve design and changing reservation goals on the long-term efficiency of reserve systems. Conservation Biology 21, 346–354.
The effect of incremental reserve design and changing reservation goals on the long-term efficiency of reserve systems.CrossRef | open url image1

Sumner, N. R., Williamson, P. C., and Malseed, B. E. (2002). A 12-month survey of recreational fishing in the Gascoyne bioregion of Western Australia during 1998–1999. Fisheries Research Report 139, Government of Western Australia, Perth, WA.

Svancara, L., Brannon, R., Scott, M., Groves, C., Noss, R., and Pressey, R. (2005). Policy-driven versus evidence- based conservation: a review of political targets and biological needs. Bioscience 55, 989–995.
Policy-driven versus evidence- based conservation: a review of political targets and biological needs.CrossRef | open url image1

Trebilco, R., Halpern, B. S., Mills Flemming, J., Field, C., Blanchard, W., and Worm, B. (2011). Mapping species richness and human impact drivers to inform global pelagic conservation prioritization. Biological Conservation 144, 1758–1766.
Mapping species richness and human impact drivers to inform global pelagic conservation prioritization.CrossRef | open url image1

Veron, J. E. N., and Marsh, L. M. (1988). Hermatypic corals of Western Australia: records and annotated species list. Records of the Western Australian Museum 29, 1–136. open url image1



Rent Article (via Deepdyve) Export Citation Cited By (4)