State of Conservation (SOC)
Fraser Island (Australia)
Factors affecting the property in 2001*
- Legal framework
- Management systems/ management plan
- Other Threats:
Risk to humans posed by the dingo population
Factors* affecting the property identified in previous reports
- Financial resources
- Impacts of tourism / visitor / recreation
- Management systems/ management plan
International Assistance granted to the property until 2001
Requests Approved: 0
Total Amount Approved: 0USD
Missions to the property until 2001**
Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 2001
In 1999, the Australian Committee for IUCN (ACIUCN) initiated a process for monitoring Australian sites that has now been applied to the Great Barrier Reef, Shark Bay and the Wet Tropics of Queensland. In the case of Great Barrier Reef, Focused Recommendations and a Framework for Management were adopted by the Committee and Australia has committed to submit a progress report on the implementation of priority actions to the twenty-sixth session of the Bureau in 2002. The Australian authorities have also agreed to work with ACIUCN to prepare a Framework for Management, based on Focussed Recommendations already discussed, for Shark Bay and the Wet Tropics of Queensland, as part of Periodic Reporting activities to be undertaken in the Asia Pacific Region during 2002/2003.
On 30 April 2001, a 9-year boy was killed by dingoes on Fraser Island. This was the first recorded death in Australia by dingoes of a human over 1 year of age. This death prompted a re-evaluation of the risk posed to humans by dingoes and a re-assessment of the management strategies outlined in the draft Fraser Island Dingo Management Strategy (March 2001). The revised Strategy is now with the Queensland Government awaiting approval.
Immediately following the incident, the Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service (QPWS) undertook a cull of 31 dingoes to reduce the immediate risk to people from habituated dingoes that were frequenting areas heavily used by people. This cull was a one-time operation. A Risk Assessment Report (Risk Assessment: Risk to humans posed by the dingo population on Fraser Island, EPA, May 2001) was commissioned by the Queensland Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The Risk Assessment provides direction for the immediate management of dingoes on Fraser Island and provides site-specific management recommendations. As such it is complementary to the draft Fraser Island Dingo Management Strategy.The Risk Assessment outlined some previously unused management options at particular sites, including: (a) fencing of campgrounds and recreational areas; (b) active deterrence of animals in the vicinity of popular visitor areas; (c) restriction on taking of food to certain locations; and (d) time restrictions for visitors at some sites. Additional island wide management approaches recommended include: (i) limiting visitor numbers using a variety of approaches; (ii) significantly increasing fines and penalties for feeding dingoes; (iii) enhancing public education and awareness programmes; (iv) increasing enforcement through additional ranger presence; (v) increasing monitoring and research on the dingo
The need for consultation with the Island’s residents, tour operators, the Fraser Island Community Advisory Committee, native title claimants and the Island’s World Heritage Area Management Committee on appropriate limits and mechanisms is emphasised in the Risk Assessment Report. IUCN has received expert advice that the impact of the cull is unlikely to have any adverse impacts on the long-term viability or survival of the dingo population. The Fraser Island dingo population is of great relevance and high importance to the status of Fraser Island as a World Heritage site. Although the Fraser Island dingo population is not 100% pure, Fraser Island represents the best opportunity to establish and maintain a self-sustaining population of wild genetically pure dingoes.
Elsewhere in Australia, and other range countries in Asia and Africa, most populations are, or will soon be, predominantly hybrid. The IUCN Canid Action Plan lists the dingo as a threatened species. With the 2nd edition of the Plan currently in preparation, the conservation status of the dingo is under review and may be upgraded to endangered. Fraser Island may well be the only opportunity for the world to conserve a wild population of genetically pure dingoes.
Fraser Island does not have an exclusive Plan of Management, rather, it is catered for in the Great Sandy Region Management Plan (GSRMP). The GSRMP covers the Great Sandy Region National Park, of which Fraser Island is a part, and also adjacent marine areas and some lands outside the protected area. Released in 1994, it was prepared as a regional conservation plan with input from numerous government departments. It does not have statutory status. The GSRMP is about to undergo a detailed review. The process will involve substantial stakeholder and community input and is scheduled for completion in March 2003. The review is explicitly considering a specific management plan for the Fraser Island World Heritage property, as well as a commitment to new legislative requirements for the World Heritage site.
On the 27 July 2001 the Queensland Government announced the allocation of an extra AU$1.75million towards the management of Fraser Island. AU$1 million has been earmarked this financial year for dingo management on the Island; the other AU$750,000 is to be spent employing eight permanent rangers for the Island.
Decisions adopted by the Committee in 2001
Reports on SOC of natural properties inscribed noted by the Committee
Reports on the state of conservation of natural properties inscribed on the World Heritage List noted by the Committee
Great Barrier Reef (Australia)
Fraser Island (Australia)
The Sundarbans (Bangladesh)
Belovezhskaya Pushcha/Bialowieza Forest (Belarus/Poland)
Gros Morne National Park (Canada)
Nahanni National Park (Canada)
Los Katios National Park (Colombia)
Caves of the Aggtelek Karst and Slovak Karst (Hungary/Slovakia)
The Committee noted that the issues raised concern only the Slovak part of this transboundary site.
Sundarbans National Park (India)
The Delegate of India informed the Committee that there is no National Waterways Project that is planned or likely to impact this site.
Kaziranga National Park (India)
Komodo National Park (Indonesia)
Lorentz National Park (Indonesia)
The Observer of Indonesia thanked the Australian authorities for their financial assistance. He informed the Committee that it would be difficult to comply with the deadline of 1 February and that a report could be provided by the end of March 2002.
Aeolian Islands (Italy)
The Observer of Italy confirmed that there was a court decision on 4 December 2001, which is not yet public, but that it is hoped to be available soon. She informed the Committee that the collaboration between the autonomous regional Government and the central Government has commenced and that a meeting will take place to find a solution.
Banc d'Arguin National Park (Mauritania)
The Delegate of Egypt brought to the attention of the Committee the importance of protecting the wetlands, which are known to be important rest places for the migratory birds along their routes. He suggested that the World Heritage Centre should have a plan defining the wetlands, which are important for the birds and to use this information for establishing "satellite" World Heritage sites. IUCN informed of the co-operation between the World Heritage Centre and the Ramsar Convention as well as with Bird Life International for the protection of the wetlands. He also highlighted the importance of the surrounding areas to the World Heritage sites and the links with the Man and Biosphere programme for the protection of the sites. The Secretariat informed of the on-going discussions with the Secretariat of the Convention of Migratory Species to establish a Memorandum of Understanding between these two Conventions.
Gunung Mulu National Park (Malaysia)
Sian Ka'an (Mexico)
The Delegate of Mexico informed that the confirmation of the Ecological Land-Use Plan is in its final phase and consequently she asked that the deadline for the report requested by the Bureau be set for 15 May 2002 for examination at the twenty-sixth session of the Committee in June.
Royal Chitwan National Park (Nepal)
Western Caucasus (Russian Federation)
Golden Mountains of Altai (Russian Federation)
Doñana National Park (Spain)
Sinharaja Forest Reserve (Sri Lanka)
Ha Long Bay (Vietnam)
Giant's Causeway and Causeway Coast (United Kingdom)
St Kilda (United Kingdom)
Serengeti National Park (United Republic of Tanzania)
Great Smoky Mountains National Park (United States of America)
Canaima National Park (Venezuela)
The Bureau may wish to adopt the following:
“The Bureau commends the State Party/QPWS on the Risk Assessment and the draft Dingo Management Strategy and welcomes the State Party’s consideration of a variety of options including the imposition of visitor limits. The Bureau invites the State Party to provide further information on the visitor management strategy as it is developed. The Bureau welcomes the review of the GSRMP and its explicit recognition of Fraser Island as a World Heritage area requiring special management plans and legislative frameworks to protect the World Heritage site for perpetuity”
The threats indicated are listed in alphabetical order; their order does not constitute a classification according to the importance of their impact on the property.
Furthermore, they are presented irrespective of the type of threat faced by the property, i.e. with specific and proven imminent danger (“ascertained danger”) or with threats which could have deleterious effects on the property’s Outstanding Universal Value (“potential danger”).