Torres Strait Islands

David has worked extensively in the islands of Torres Strait as a Consultant for the Land and Sea Management Unit of the Torres Strait Regional Authority and Arafura Consulting.

Vegetation Mapping

Masig Isand Masig Island, Torres Strait

In his role as Director and Principal Botanist for 3D Environmental and in association with David Stanton of 3D Environmental and David Gooding of AUSGIS, David conducted flora surveys for a 1: 25 000 scale vegetation mapping survey over all islands of the Torres Strait between 2007-2009.

The project was funded by the Natural Heritage Trust and administered through the Torres Strait Regional Authority Land and Sea Management Unit. The report and accompanying maps represented the first comprehensive assessment of the regions vegetation.

The information has improved the understanding of the terrestrial biodiversity ecology in the region and has been used toward developing island biodiversity and land use planning initiatives.

Island Biodiversity Profiles

Cycas badensis a Torres Strait endemicCycas badensis, a Torres Strait endemic

The development of biodiversity management reports for 12 islands in the Torres Strait draws on the extensive information and vegetation ecology and flora derived from the vegetation mapping surveys of 3D Environmental.

The profiles capture baseline information on the flora and fauna of each island and identify the biodiversity assets and management issues.

Working closely with Land and Sea Rangers and the TSRA Land Team, the information is used to guide the development of Working on Country plans.

 

Indigenous Protected Area Program

Working-with-Torres-Strait-Land--Sea-RangersWorking with Torres Strait Land & Sea Rangers

Between 2008 and 2012 David worked as a sub consultant to Dr Garrick Hitchcock of Arafura Consulting on a number of Indigenous Protected Area Planning projects.


David carried out flora and ethnobotanical surveys and participated in community consultations with the Goemulgal (Mabuyag people) toward the compilation of the Plan of Management and declaration of the Pulu Indigenous Protected Area (IPA) Project Torres Strait.


Similar surveys were undertaken for the remote Waral Kawa Indigenous Protected Area Project a remote coral cay which is located in the far north west of the Torres Strait. The multi-disciplinary survey team worked with the Traditional Owners to document the islands flora and fauna values. The information contributed to the compilation of a Plan of Management for the Waral Kawa IPA.


The Warrabagal Indigenous Protected Area Project focused on rapid biodiversity assessments over a number of remote and uninhabited islands in the central Torres Strait group. The flora of six small islands in the Central Island group was described from a dry season survey carried out in October 2011.  The survey was conducted as part of a multi-disciplinary study of the natural and cultural values of islands being investigated for Indigenous Protected Area (IPA) declaration.