Date of Award

2000

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts Honours

Faculty

Faculty of Community Services, Education and Social Sciences

First Advisor

Dr Hugo Bekle

Abstract

The resources of Pipidinny Swamp were utilised by the Nyoongar Aboriginal people for possibly 40,000 years. Since the late 1800s, the resources of Pipidinny Swamp were used by non-Indigenous settlers. More recently, the wetland was incorporated in the Yanchep National Park in 1991.This study sought to reconstruct the changes to the natural and cultural environments within the wetland to provide background knowledge for the management board of the Park. Field investigations abo demonstrated the dynamic state of the wetland over a six-month period between low water (Feb-Apr) and high water (Aug-Oct) by monitoring the groundwater system, the vegetation system, and the waterbird system. In addition, historical records relating to Pipidinny Swamp (mainly water level and waterbirds) were analysed to show the dynamic state of the wetland over several decades. This study found that Pipidinny Swamp has been highly modified and severely degraded apparently due to past human activities. In the last decade, there has been a dramatic decrease in both the wetland's water level, as well as waterbird abundance and diversity. Furthermore, there has been an increase in the number of exotic vegetation species since market gardening commenced in the 1950's. Such information will be useful to the Management Board of the Yanchep National Park to establish a database on both the cultural and natural environments of Pipidinny Swamp, and for development of future management plans for the wetland. The techniques adopted in this study also have broader applications for the management of other wetland habitats and areas of remnant bushland.

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