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Inventory

Wetland inventories are used to record standardised data about wetlands. Inventory data may be generated from available data sources (e.g. tenure, climate, population, land use) or collected through surveys (e.g. flora, fauna, water quality) involving the use of equipment and specialised field techniques. Wetland mapping is a key element used to populate wetland inventories.

Wetland assessments use data from wetland inventories - and analyse this data again criteria using specialised methodologies. Wetland monitoring involves measuring wetland indicators over time that are known to indicate change in extent, condition, features or values.

'Tropidonophis mairii', Lakefield NP, Photo by Colin Dollery

Quick facts

Data collected from standardised methods
are available for viewing on Atlas of Living Australia and the Queensland Government datasets website.

Inventories are developed through the use of standardised methods, collection tools and databases. This inventory data forms a critical evidence based foundation for effective decision-making informing legislation, monitoring, on-ground activities and research.

Standardised methods for sampling and data collection are necessary to ensure consistency, integrity and reliability.

The standardised methods suggested for inventory collection may have been developed as part of a monitoring and or assessment program, but are still suitable for pure inventory collection as the data collection procedures are consistent and repeatable.

Standards applicable for Queensland include:

Water

Water monitoring and sampling manual

The manual includes standardised procedures and methods for collecting water quality data (physical and chemical) via a broad range of instruments. Site selection may vary, however, the data collection procedures and methods are consistent.

Fauna

Vertebrate

The guidelines outline the Queensland Government's minimum requirements, standards, and appropriate practice for the survey of terrestrial vertebrate fauna in Queensland.

This provides a practical guide for the preparation, implementation and reporting of terrestrial fauna surveys and facilitates consistency and comparability of data.

Stygofauna

This manual provides standardised methods (referenced in “Guideline for the Environmental Assessment of Subterranean Aquatic Fauna”) for sampling stygofauna.

Invertebrate

This manual provides standardised methods for both field picking and laboratory picking methods (in Queensland, field picking is accepted as the preferred standardised method).

Fish biopassage

Inventory methods and results for instream structures to fish passage can be found in the Assessment Toolbox.

Flora

Methodology for Survey and Mapping of Regional Ecosystems and Vegetation Communities

This methodology document contains the “CORVEG site data collection method” (Appendix 2 – page 53), which is a standardised procedure for vegetation sampling in Queensland that feeds into the CORVEG database.

The aim of this document is to provide a practical guide for ecologists to ensure that compatible methodologies are used.

Data collection protocol for mapping and monitoring mangrove communities in Queensland

For use as a Statewide standard of data points for future survey, monitoring and mapping works. The Protocol is applicable Queensland wide for determining the distribution and monitoring the health of mangrove communities.

Collecting and Preserving Plant Specimens, a Manual

This manual has been written to standardise the collection of quality plant specimens for identification, research and inventory purposes.

Soil and geomorphology

Soil

This guide was developed to assist in the field identification of wetland soil indicators in Queensland.

An understanding of The Australian Soil and Land Survey Field Handbook is necessary.

Bathymetry

Bathymetry

Bathymetric (or sea floor) data are collected in multiple ways (AusSeabed):

  1. Satellite data can be used to produce maps showing general features over a large area at low resolution.
  2. Single beam echo sounders produce a single line of depth points directly under the equipment. These measurements are usually made while a vessel is moving to identify general sea floor patterns and/or schools of fish.
  3. Equipment that captures data by acquiring multiple depth points in each area, such as multibeam echo sounders (or swath echo sounders) and airborne laser measurements (LADS). These datasets are very high resolution, with data down to better than one metre accuracy.

Geoscience Australia provides more information.

Habitat and ecology

River Habitat Survey (RHS)

The RHS database allows sites of a similar nature to be grouped together for comparative purposes and investigation of the relationships between physical variables (e.g. gradient, geology), channel modifications and habitat features at spot-check and 500m site level. These investigations can make use of available water chemistry and hydrological data, plus survey results of benthic macroinvertebrates, aquatic macrophytes, fish and breeding water birds where biological sampling has been done in or near RHS sites.

Guidelines for the rapid ecological assessment of biodiversity in inland water, coastal and marine areas

The guidance provided refers to “biological” assessments of biodiversity largely at the species and community level. However, some reference is also made to tools which will assist in the assessment of wetland ecosystems. Decision VII/4 (paragraph 21) of the CBD notes this focus and the need for additional guidance for the further assessment of ecosystem level aspects and economic, social and cultural aspects of such biodiversity.

Reef Check Australia - Reef check methods

Reef Check scientific methods have been specifically developed to create a consistent global protocol for community-based reef health monitoring. 

The goal of Reef Check monitoring is to determine broad-scale trends of how our reefs are changing over time on both local and global scales. Long-term reef monitoring is important to help understand the impacts of management practices, the disturbance-recovery regime of reefs, changes taking place over time in response to localised and global pressures (i.e. local factors such as sediment runoff or global pressures such as climate change).

Seagrass-Watch - Field manuals repository

Reef Check scientific methods have been specifically developed to create a consistent global protocol for community-based reef health monitoring. 

The goal of Reef Check monitoring is to determine broad-scale trends of how our reefs are changing over time on both local and global scales. Long-term reef monitoring is important to help understand the impacts of management practices, the disturbance-recovery regime of reefs, changes taking place over time in response to localised and global pressures (i.e. local factors such as sediment runoff or global pressures such as climate change).

Collection tools

Inventory collection tools are required for the collection of data and can vary from paper based to digital and online applications.

Examples of digital applications include:

Data storage (databases)

Databases store standardised information, and various processes exist to deliver this information to stakeholders.

Examples include:

WildNet

AEKOS

Ambient estuarine water quality monitoring data

Coastal Data System - Near real time storm tide data

Coastal Data System – Near real time wave data

Coastal Data System – Near real time tide data

Groundwater Database - Queensland

Soils series

Regional Ecosystem Description Database (REDD)

Queensland fish habitat area - instream structure inventory data

Land Systems Series

Additional Queensland Government Datasets

Queensland Wetland Mapping Data

Potential Groundwater Dependent Ecosystem Aquifer Mapping Data

Atlas of Living Australia

Tools to help with identification

There are a number of tools that help with identification of inventory information.

Examples include:

There are many others. Some flora and fauna related ones are listed on the Atlas of Living Australia ‘How do I identify a species’ page.


Last updated: 28 February 2021

This page should be cited as:

Department of Environment and Science, Queensland (2021) Inventory, WetlandInfo website, accessed 13 May 2021. Available at: https://wetlandinfo.des.qld.gov.au/wetlands/assessment/inventory.html

Queensland Government
WetlandInfo   —   Department of Environment and Science