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Australians unlock their gates to ecosystem surveys

With almost 600 ecosystem observing sites nation-wide it's inevitable that some TERN infrastructure is hosted on private or community property. To thank Australia's participating landholders for unlocking their gates, TERN has delivered summary reports for over 150 private and pastoral properties, conservation reserves, and NRM regions. The reports provide key data for each property or region and represent an invaluable resource to private landholders and land management authorities alike.


Click here to view and download summary reports
for more than 150 properties & regions

As Australia’s land ecosystem observatory, TERN has almost 600 ecosystem surveillance sites spread nationwide. Our sites are located on a range of land tenures, including conservation and national parks, pastoral leases and indigenous pastoral properties, so collaboration with a diverse set of landholders is integral to successful and harmonious data collection.

Maintaining strong working relationships with landholders helps our survey teams buck the ‘lock the gate trend’ and visit sites multiple times to collect vital data on environmental change.


150+ property reports delivered nationwide

Recognising the importance of these collaborations, TERN distributes property summaries to all the landholders we work with in site establishment and data collection.

It is a very important part of keeping the landholders engaged with our activities. It is a really useful way of letting them see how the work we have done on their property fits into the bigger picture of the plots across the network” says  Emrys Leitch of TERN’s Ecosystem Surveillance capability based at the University of Adelaide.

“More importantly, our summaries document the soil and vegetation at each site, contain maps and photos and often include some interesting facts that the landholders may not have known before our surveys.”

Since 2010 TERN has delivered reports to over 150 landholders throughout Australia, including properties owned by S. Kidman & Co, Hancock Prospecting, Consolidated Pastoral Company; North Australian Pastoral Company, Australian Agricultural Company, Morr Morr Pastoral Company, Australian Wildlife Conservancy, and Australian Landscape Trust.

NRM regional reports for key environmental measures and data

TERN has also produced regional summary reports for a number of Natural Resource Management (NRM) regions. The reports document all the TERN ecosystem surveillance sites in each NRM region and the environmental data that are openly available via TERN’s data infrastructure.

Pete Lyon from the Australian Government Department of Environment and Energy (DoEE) says that the TERN reports represent a really useful source of site-specific insight for natural resource managers.

“With the rich documentation, and 360-degree panoramas, and links to the detailed data on Soils-to-Satellites, I feel like I hardly need to leave Canberra now to go bush!” says Pete.

“But more than this, these reports send a strong signal about what’s needed to gather together a reliable, enduring knowledge base on Australia’s terrestrial systems that’s comparable across space and time.

“We [DoEE], like other agencies, are working to encourage wider involvement in the generation, use and reuse of this kind of information and to make it a standard part of our planning, communications and decision-making processes.”


In addition to information on monitoring locations, data and samples, TERN's landholder reports also include 360-degree panorama images like the Eucalyptus leucophloia woodland on North Australian Pastoral Company's Alexandria Station (above) and the Mallee woodland on Australian Wildlife Conservancy's Scotia Sanctuary (below) 


Reports are available for the following NRM regions and catchments:

  • To see the full list of TERN property reports click here.
  • FAIR data collected by from TERN’s network of over 580 ecosystem surveillance plots are recorded and made publically available through TERN’s Data Discovery Portal. Soil and plant samples are made available in the TERN Ecosystem Sample Library. For more information on TERN’s Ecosystem Surveillance capability click here or contact Associate Professor Ben Sparrow.


Looking North from the Northern Territory's Bacon Range TERN's Ecosystem Surveillance field team can just be seen monitoring the soils and vegetation of Henbury Station




Published in TERN newsletter March 2018

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