David Fell has worked with mining companies and traditional owners in conservation, rehabilitation and land management projects in the Cape York region.
In 2010, David was awarded a Caring for our Country funding grant.
The ‘Greater Lockerbie Scrub Cultural and Biodiversity Values Project’ focussed on the Lockerbie Scrub, an iconic rainforest area located near the tip of Australia in far northern Cape York Peninsula.
David led a multidisciplinary team of ecologists, archeologists and planners and worked closely with Gudang Traditional Owners to document the natural and cultural values of the area.
Aspects of traditional knowledge, land use and management issues were captured in report and multimedia formats.
The project provided valuable information which contributed toward improved management outcomes for the areas Traditional Owners and the unique terrestrial ecosystems of the Lockerbie Scrub.
Weipa, Western Cape York
A project to document the significance of plants to the Traditional Owners within the RioTinto Alcan lease, Weipa district, western Cape York Peninsula was carried out during 2012.
As a consultant to RioTinto Alcan Weipa, David worked closely with five traditional owner groups whose land has been impacted by bauxite mining to document important plants, their traditional and contemporary values, and the aspirations of traditional owners in regard to all aspects of their lands covered by mining lease.
The process involved the facilitation of workshops, field visits to mining areas where rehabilitation has occurred, and to undisturbed lands within the mining lease.
Traditional owner aspirations for rehabilitated areas, land use, and management issues were documented in multimedia format. Additionally works in the Weipa area have been carried out for Ecotone Environmental Services and include installation of biocondition sites and targeted threatened flora surveys in environmental buffer zones within the mining lease.
Steve Irwin Reserve
The Steve Irwin Reserve (otherwise known as Bertiehaugh Holding) is a 135,000 hectare property located approximately 50 km north-east of Weipa on Cape York Peninsula, Queensland.
The holding was acquired through the Australian Governments National Reserves Program in August 2007. The Reserve is owned and managed by Australia Zoo under protocols set by the National Reserve Program and is in the process of being gazetted a Nature Refuge under the provisions of Queensland's Nature Conservation Act 1992.
In 2008/2009 David investigated the flora and vegetation of a number of freshwater spring complexes. The study identified vegetation structure and floral assemblages and assessed conservation significance and management requirements.
The springs were found to support a complex of vegetation types that offer regionally disjunct refugial wetland habitats for a suite of fire sensitive species adapted to saturated acidic soils.
The information has increased the knowledge of these unique ecosystems and the numerous threatened flora species which occur within them.