Conservation of Refugia


Gibraltar Rock in the Porongorups, Western Australia. The Porongorups are a likely refugium from changing climates.

A collaboration between the University of South Australia, Curtin University and CSIRO to investigate how refugia can be effectively and efficiently identified and protected under anthropogenic climate change.

Refugia are areas that may facilitate the persistence of species during large-scale and long-term climatic change, and are increasingly important for conservation planning. While there is an increasing number of methods to identify refugia, quantifying the potential of refugia to facilitate persistence of species (i.e., their 'capacity') remains elusive.

The aim of this project are to 1) develop a flexible framework for prioritizing future refugia based on their capacity, and to 2) apply this framework to identify the most important refugia to protect biota under changing climatic conditions. Results will contribute to the conservation of Australia’s biodiversity by identifying places providing the most protection from environmental change.

The project is led by Gunnar Keppel (School of Natural and Built Environments, University of South Australia), Karel Mokany (Land and Water Flagship, CSIRO), and Grant Wardell-Johnson  (Department of Environment and Agriculture, Curtin University).

For further information please contact Gunnar Keppel

Areas of study and research

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