Burnett Mary

Located in SE Queensland, the Burnett Mary region is a place of amazing biodiversity.

With the Great Barrier Reef extending to its northern boundaries, it also includes the World Heritage listed Fraser Island National Park, the Great Sandy Strait Marine Park & RAMSAR wetland, Great Sandy National Park, the Burnett River, Mary River and numerous other river systems. It is home to many rare and endangered species as well as being a significant mangrove habitat.

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Field Data Recording

Field Data Collection: Video Recording

Maps and data are prepared from raw data collected by community volunteers.

Community volunteers videoed the shoreline from a boat running parallel to the coastline approximately 25 m from the shore using a Sony Handycam XDR-200E. A GPS was used to record latitude and longitude every 3 seconds. Both the GPS and Handycam were set to the exact same time.

During videoing, volunteers were required to make voice notes on their personal observations, such as bird life and anecdotal stories relevant to the estuary or coastline. Field notes, including start times, weather conditions and tides were recorded in an observer diary. The digital still camera was used to record action shots and establish photo-point monitoring sites for future reference. Upon completion, the video, GPS track, still photos and observer diaries were sent to the MangroveWatch Hub for analysis.

Video Analysis

At the Hub, videos were analysed by post-graduate student volunteers. Each video was assessed as a continuous point intercept transect of the shoreline. Video of the shoreline was reduced to 1 second frame .jpg image files. The time of the video and GPS was used to match each frame to a specific GPS location. Each frame that matched a GPS position was used as a point along the transect. Specific environmental health features were recorded for each image point. Each 1 hour of video required 4 hours of analysis.

Criteria for Assessment

The SVAM was used to assess the following parameters;

  • Habitat Features
  • Shoreline Habitat Type.
  • Mangrove Vegetation height and density.
  • Mangrove Dominant Species.
  • Mangrove Condition – Dieback extent and frequency.
  • Fallen Tree frequency.
  • Physical Damage (Natural and Human related)
  • Physical Features
  • Bank Substrate
  • Bank Condition
  • Bank Slope
  • Walls and Hardened banks
  • Built Structures.

Report Card

Data collected from the video analysis was used to generate a condition score for each estuary and shoreline. The condition score grades the overall bank habitat condition of the shoreline and relates to vegetation biomass, vegetation condition, bank erosion, slope and bank modification. Bank habitat condition is graded as Excellent, Very Good, Good, Requiring Improvement, Poor and Very Poor. Condition Scores were mapped using ArcGIS 9.3 and will be presented as a publically available estuary report card – See Burnett River exemplar Report Card.

Community Volunteers

A key feature of MangroveWatch is its close partnership between community volunteers and scientists from the James Cook University’s Mangrove Hub. Together they are systematically recording basic data as video and still imagery for assessments of estuarine habitat health.

Armed with expert support, training and advice, MangroveWatch volunteers in key regions are actively contributing to the monitoring of local estuaries and shorelines. An important goal in this phase of the program is to develop a network of like minded groups with the aim of producing public documents that describe important issues affecting local estuaries and mangroves, and their overall health.

Getting Involved

If you would like to find out more about us or if you like to initiate your own MangroveWatch group within your area, please contact someone at the Mangrove Hub. We will be happy to help.

  • Mangrove Hub Facilitator
  • Dr Norm Duke
  • MangroveWatch Ltd
    ABN: 44 153 297 771
  • PO Box 1250,
  • Elanora Q 4221
  • Mangrove Hub Email

Mangrove Watch Brochure

You can download our fact and information sheet (see link below) to get more information about the MangroveWatch programs.

Mangrove Watch Brochure