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Biological records for National Park islands in the Southern Great Barrier Reef (NERP TE 9.3, JCU)

The database contains native and alien species records for National Park islands in the southern Great Barrier Reef. Attributes for each record include information on abundance, life history traits, habitat requirements, limitations of source, and relevant species information from government bodies including EPBC and NCA listings. Basic interaction information among species (alien vs. native) is also recorded. This dataset also has basic information about the islands such as area, location, and regional ecosystem types present on the island.

One shapefile, Island Threats, contains information on the presence and absence of a number of animals and plant threats on islands in the Southern Great Barrier Reef as elicited from experts. Each spatially explicit point represents data for a given species on a specific island.

Another shapefile, Regional Ecosystems, contains information on the various Queensland Herbarium regional ecosystem (RE) types extracted for National Park Islands in the Southern Great Barrier Reef. Individual polygons represent an area of a specific RE type.

The last shapefile, Features on Islands, contains information on the abundance of a number of native animals on islands in the Southern Great Barrier Reef as elicited from experts. Each spatially explicit point represents data for a given species on a specific island.

This database was created as a basis for the decision support tool being developed for NERP 9.3. The database is the most complete dataset for the islands in the Southern Great Barrier Reef at the time of release.

Method:

Database: A comprehensive literature review was conducted for all published and ¿grey¿ source material containing biological records for National Park islands in the southern Great Barrier Reef (GBR). Unpublished species records were also compiled from sources such as WildNet, the Queensland Herbarium, and personal communications. For a given source, each species on each island received a unique record. Records were structured within the database so that each record remained associated with its source, allowing revisitation in order to review records within their original context. Attributes relevant to each record were extracted from source, including information on habitat requirements, life history traits, abundance, and source limitations e.g. incomplete sampling of island area. Additional attributes for each record were extracted from the Australian and Queensland government websites, including information on EBPC and CNA listings, and endemicity.

Island Threats: Experts who frequent the islands were consulted as to whether they believed a given threat was present or absent on the islands. These data were input into the associated access database Island_database.accbd, and then transformed into the point based shapefile.

The following is the list of threats considered in this dataset. African Big Headed Ant Black Rat Brushtail Possum Cane toad Climbing Asparagus Cobblers Peg Red Junglefowl Dwarf Poinsettia Eastern Grey Kangaroo Feral Cat Feral Cattle Feral Goat Feral Horse Feral Pig Fox Green Panic Groundsel Guinea Grass Hog Deer House Mouse House Sparrow Lantana Morning Glory Mother of Millions Nightshade Noogoora Burr Periwinkle Rubbervine Singapore Daisy Sisal Hemp Soft Scale Yellow Guava Molasses Grass Mossman River Grass Mother-in-Law Tongue Pink Periwinkle * Prickly Pear

Regional Ecosystems: Shape files of regional ecosystem (RE) types and National Park Islands in the Southern GBR were obtained from Queensland Herbarium (in 2014). These data were rearranged and merged to create a single shape file.

eAtlas editor note: It was noticed when mapping this shapefile that many of the polygon regions had multiple overlapping features, sometimes consisting of duplicates, and sometimes containing multiple RE codes. The cause of this in the dataset is unknown. A map of these overlaps was made by rendering them as black transparent polygons. This map is available in the download section of this metadata record.

Features on Islands: Experts who frequent the islands were consulted as to the maximum and minimum number of individuals/pairs of native species on the islands. On each island there are multiple estimates for each species, one from each expert.

The following is the set of species that are included in this dataset. Anous minutus (Black noddy) Anous stolidus (Brown noddy) Burhinus grallarius (Bush stone-curlew) Calyptorhynchus lathami (Glossy black cockatoo) Caretta caretta (Loggerhead sea turtle) Charadrius ruficapillus (Red-capped plover) Chelonia mydas (Green sea turtle) Chroicocephalus novaehollandiae (Silver gull) Egretta sacra (Pacific reef heron) Epthianura crocea (Yellow chat) Esacus magnirostris (Beach stone-curlew) Falco peregrinus (Peregrine falcon) Fregata ariel (Lesser frigatebird) Fregata minor (Great frigatebird) Gallirallus philippensis (Buff-banded rail) Haematopus fuliginosus (Sooty oystercatcher) Haematopus longirostris (Pied oystercatcher) Haliaeetus leucogaster (White-bellied sea eagle) Haliastur indus (Brahminy kite) Hydroprogne caspia (Caspian tern) Megapodius reinwardt (Orange-footed scrubfowl) Natator depressus (Flatback sea turtle) Onychoprion anaethetus (Bridled tern) Onychoprion fuscata (Sooty tern) Pandion cristatus (Osprey) Phaethon rubricauda (Red-tailed tropicbird) Phalacrocorax varius (Australian pied cormorant) Phascolarctos cinereus (Koala) Pluvialis squatarola (Grey plover) Ptilinopus regina (Rose-crowned fruit dove) Sterna dougallii (Roseate tern) Sterna sumatrana (Black-naped tern) Sternula albifrons (Little tern) Sula dactylatra (Masked booby) Sula leucogaster (Brown booby) Thalasseus bengalensis (Lesser crested tern) Thalasseus bergii (Greater crested tern) Tringa brevipes (Grey-tailed tattler) Xeromys myoides (False Water Rat) Zosterops lateralis (Silvereye)

Further information on the methodology can be found in the final report for this project: Pressey, R., Wenger, A. (2015) Prioritising Management Actions for Great Barrier Reef Islands. http://www.nerptropical.edu.au/sites/default/files/publications/files/NERP9.3_final_report-FINAL-Complete.pdf

Limitations of the data:

Database: Abundance data varies over different units of time. For example in the ¿Total¿ column, 100 might indicate 100 individuals observed in a single survey, or over repeated visits to an island. The units of observation are maintained in the ¿Abundance¿ column, e.g. 100/birds January 2000. Values in the ¿Total¿ column should be interpreted in conjunction with the ¿Abundance¿ column. We have removed any data for which we have data sharing agreements. Therefore, the database used for this project is much more comprehensive than we are able to submit.

Island Threats: The shapefile is limited to presence or absences only for a focal number of threats on targeted islands in the Southern Great Barrier Reef. There is no data on the number of individuals or the extent of the species on the islands. The presence or absence of a species is based on general consensus by experts. If there is no point for a given island/threat pair then the presence of absence of the species on that island is unknown.

Regional Ecosystems: The shapefile is limited to National Park Islands in the Southern Great Barrier Reef. Information on RE types on other islands exists but was not the focus of this work. In some cases multiple polygons of the same shape and size exist for the same region of an island. Here a number of RE types were recorded within the polygon/area but the exact spatial extent of the RE is unknown, only the percentage of the polygon/area that the RE covers.

Features on Islands: The shapefile is limited to best guess estimates of the maximum and minimum number of individuals/pairs of a select number of native species on an island. The extent of the species on the island and how the population has changed over time are not known.

Format:

Island_database.accbd Format: Access database. This database contains a number of tables which are categorised according to their name: 1 "Records:¿" are record tables where each row is a specific record relating to the focus of the table. 2 "Attributes:¿" are attribute tables which have information specific to each category (e.g. islands, native animals, regional ecosystems. Attribute tables typically list the primary keys for each category which link to the records tables. 3 "Stats:¿" are tables that contain basic statistics on records tables. These have been created using queries and will have queries with associated query names. 4 "Queries:¿" are tables that have been created from queries (other than specific statistics queries) run on records/attributes tables and will have queries with associated query names.

This database also contains a number of queries which are based on the records/attributes tables, a most of which are linked to stats or queries tables of an associated name. See the ¿Design View¿ of any of the tables for more information, in particular for column/field descriptions.

Island Threats: Threats_on_Islands.*, GIS shape file Projected Coordinate System: GDA_1994_MGA_Zone_55 Projection: Transverse_Mercator

Data dictionary:

  • Isl_name: name of the island where the record occurs
  • LONG: x co-ordinate location of the island (descimal degrees)
  • LAT: y co-ordinate location of the island (descimal degrees)
  • Threat: Common name of the threat
  • Interactio: Whether the threat species is present (1) or absent (0) on the island

Regional Ecosystems:

RE_on_NP_Islands.*, GIS shape file Projected Coordinate System: GDA_1994_MGA_Zone_55 Projection: Transverse_Mercator

Data dictionary:

  • RE_type: Code for the regional ecosystem type, see associated access database Island_database.accbd for RE type descriptions
  • PC_of_Poly: percentage of the polygon that the RE covers. When <100% there are multiple polygons for the specific location, each with different RE types
  • X_COORD: x co-ordinate of the centroid of the polygon (decimal degrees)
  • Y_COORD: y co-ordinate of the centroid of the polygon (decimal degrees)
  • IslAreaHA: Area (hectares) of the island on which the RE polygon occurs
  • Is_X_Coord: x co-ordinate of the centroid of the island (decimal degrees)
  • Is_Y_Coord: y co-ordinate of the centroid of the island (decimal degrees)
  • Islandname: Name of the island where the RE occurs
  • REAreaHA: Size of the polygon (hectares)

Features on Islands: Features_on_Islands_EE.*, GIS shape file Projected Coordinate System: GDA_1994_MGA_Zone_55 Projection: Transverse_Mercator

Data dictionary:

  • Isl_name: name of the island where the record occurs
  • LONGITUTDE: x co-ordinate location of the island (descimal degrees)
  • LATITUTDE: y co-ordinate location of the island (descimal degrees)
  • Species_na: accepted scientific name of the native (feature) species
  • Upper_boun: Maximum population size as estimated by experts
  • Lower_boun: Minimum population size as estimated by experts

Note: for birds population estimates are of the number of breeding pairs, for all other species estimates are of the number of individuals on the island.

Data and Resources

Additional Info

Field Value
Title Biological records for National Park islands in the Southern Great Barrier Reef (NERP TE 9.3, JCU)
Type Dataset
Language English
Licence Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Australia
Data Status inactive
Landing Page https://data.gov.au/dataset/b18dba85-8e9d-4280-9e78-ddd0a14d65c5
Date Published 2017-06-24
Date Updated 2017-06-24
Contact Point
ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies, James Cook University
Amelia.wenger@my.jcu.edu.au
Geospatial Coverage {"type": "Polygon", "coordinates": [[[154.001, -24.498], [148.707, -24.498], [148.707, -19.659], [154.001, -19.659], [154.001, -24.498]]]}
Jurisdiction Commonwealth of Australia
Data Portal Australian Institute of Marine Science CSW Harvester
Publisher/Agency ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies, James Cook University
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