Abstract:

In order to maintain ecosystems and biodiversity, Australia has long invested in the development of marine and terrestrial protected area networks. Within this land- and sea-scape, northern Australia represents a global population stronghold for four species of the world’s most threatened marine fish family, the sawfishes (family Pristidae). The distribution of sawfishes across northern Australia has previously only been coarsely estimated, and the adequacy of their representation in protected areas has not been evaluated. The calculated range of each species was intersected with Australia’s marine and terrestrial protected area datasets, and targets of 10% marine and 17% inland range protection were used to determine adequacy of sawfish range protection. Marine targets have been achieved for all species, but the inland range protection targets have not been met for any species. Results indicate that further protection of inland habitats is required in order to improve sawfish protection and habitat connectivity.
 

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