Kangaroo Island: world's largest research project

Kangaroo Island's Remarkable Rocks
Photo courtesy of Dr John Jennings

Kangaroo Island's Remarkable Rocks
Photo courtesy of Dr John Jennings

Full Image (1.24M)

The Flinders-Baudin Research Centre on Kangaroo Island
Photo courtesy of Dr John Jennings

The Flinders-Baudin Research Centre on Kangaroo Island
Photo courtesy of Dr John Jennings

Full Image (1.12M)

Friday, 12 November 2004

A new research project encompassing the whole of Kangaroo Island and led by the University of Adelaide is believed to be the biggest of its type in the world.

The Kangaroo Island Long-Term Ecological Research Site (or KI LTER) is a joint project between the University of Adelaide and other key institutional and Government partners.

The fifth Long-Term Ecological Research Site in Australia, it encompasses all of Kangaroo Island's 440,000 hectares, as well as nearby islands and seaways. By comparison, probably Australia's best-known LTER - the Warra LTER in Tasmania - is about 15,000ha, and no other LTER worldwide is believed to cover anywhere near the same amount area.

State Minister for Environment and Conservation Mr John Hill will officially launch the KI LTER as part of the Greening Australian AGM being held in the Adelaide CBD from 6pm tonight (Friday).

Coordinator of the KI LTER and University of Adelaide lecturer Dr John Jennings says Kangaroo Island was chosen because of its relative isolation and unique environment.

"What we are trying to do with the Kangaroo Island LTER is understand what has happened ecologically across the island over time, which helps us to better plan for the future," Dr Jennings says.

"KI is a unique location and importantly for us, it is unique even in the context of the Australian environment. It has been isolated from the mainland for some 10,000 years and has not suffered vegetation clearance to same extent. It has not had the same association with Aboriginals and fire that the mainland has, and it has avoided some of the major environmental pests on the mainland like the rabbit and the fox.

"The island represents a fantastic opportunity for the LTER partners to learn more about the Australian environment, focusing on such areas as dryland salinity, biodiversity, the impact of tourism, fire management, and looking after threatened species like the Sooty Dunnart and the Glossy Black Cockatoo.

"With its links to a network of national and international LTER sites, the KI LTER will be a vehicle to promote and coordinate ecological research on the island.

"We will also have a strong focus on education, with a focal point being the new Flinders-Baudin Research Centre set up by David Paton from the University of Adelaide."

The LTER partners are: the University of Adelaide; Department for Environment and Heritage; the South Australian Museum, the Royal Society of South Australia; South Australian Research and Development Corporation, Department of Water, Land and Biodiversity Conservation; and the Kangaroo Island Natural Resources Board.

 

Contact Details

Dr John Jennings
Email: john.jennings@adelaide.edu.au
Senior Lecturer
School of Earth & Environmental Sciences
The University of Adelaide
Business: +61 8 8313 7277
Mobile: 0439 340 486


Ms Robyn Mills
Email: robyn.mills@adelaide.edu.au
Media and Communications Officer
The University of Adelaide
Business: +61 8 8313 6341
Mobile: +61 410 689 084


Mr David Ellis
Email: david.ellis@adelaide.edu.au
Website: http://www.adelaide.edu.au/news/
Deputy Director, Media and Corporate Relations
External Relations
The University of Adelaide
Business: +61 8 8313 5414
Mobile: +61 (0)421 612 762