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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 quality

The guideline 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.



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.



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



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


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.


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.



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.



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

  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.

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:



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:

Queensland Herbarium specimen collection

Bird guides

Weed Spotter Application

Frog ID tool

Australian Bird sounds

Queensland Museum Network Field Guide to Queensland Fauna App

Birds in backyards

Find a bird – Birdlife


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: 8 February 2019

This page should be cited as:

Inventory, WetlandInfo, Department of Environment and Science, Queensland, viewed 11 February 2019, <>.

Queensland Government
WetlandInfo   —   Department of Environment and Science