Mine site rehabilitation index using the reptile assemblage as a bio-indicator

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Faculty of Computing, Health and Science

First Advisor

Professor Philip Withers

Second Advisor

Professor Harry Recher


Currently in Western Australia there are no mandated standards for assessing rehabilitation success for the mining industry. A decade ago the focus of most mine site rehabilitation programs was to establish good density and cover of vegetation across the disturbed area. While this resulted in rehabilitated sites that were essentially stable and may have looked aesthetically pleasing, it did not necessarily mean that the rehabilitated sites were moving towards the establishment of functional ecosystems. The goal for rehabilitated mined land should be to restore the structure, diversity, function and dynamics, of the undisturbed ecosystem. In many circumstances this will mean the creation of a self-sustaining, functional ecosystem similar to that in the adjacent undisturbed area from which the rehabilitated area will recruit most of its fauna. The need for 'high-quality' rehabilitation has become necessary with the phasing in of performance standards for assessing the development of rehabilitated mine sites. Mine site rehabilitation should be viewed as managing succession processes towards the creation of ecosystems that are functionally compatible with that which existed before the disturbance or in the adjacent undisturbed areas.

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