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Territory NRM Infonet – a great land management tool

— by Chris Watson

Choose your site – choose the information you need – the website does the rest.

This week the Land for Wildlife coordinators were invited to an information session about the Territory NRM’s very useful Infonet website.

This is a tool which has uses for many people, from managers of very large properties, down to interested folks keen to get species information and maps for their favourite camping or birdwatching spots. This is a powerful tool which is sure to save some people a lot of time. I’d urge any interested LfW and GfW members to get on the infonet site and have a poke around. It’s very intuitive and easy to navigate.

It’s another in a growing number of websites which are being set up as accessible databases for our collected information about surveyed areas. The long term goal is for many of these sites to feed off each other and be fully interactive, enabling ecologists and amateurs alike, to upload biological surveys to the database and thus flesh out our picture of the Territory’s ecosystems – this fully networked capability is still a little way off though.

The infonet website currently works in conjunction with the NAFI system, providing up to date fire information for all areas. It is also linked in realtime to the NT Herbarium’s database, so the botanical lists are very extensive and right up to date.

Once you get on the site there are detailed tutorials available to enable you to learn how to get what you need out of the site. You can get detailed flora and fauna maps, lists of threatened species for particular areas and you can isolate your search area according to a number of different parameters. Of particular interest is the “sites of conservation significance” search feature. In this drop-down menu, all of these sites are listed and comprehensive reports have been pre-drafted in PDF format. Otherwise you can select your search area by land parcel number, indigenous protected areas, IBRA bioregions, catchments, and several other options.

Once you generate your report, which includes management guidelines for the included species, the website will collate the information for you in a few seconds and then it is provided as a downloadable and saveable PDF file. This can be stored on your computer or printed out and consulted at your leisure. The information is beautifully presented and a particularly attractive option is the “threatened species booklet”. If you select this option for your area, the website will compile a booklet of all the threatened species listed – again, packaged in an attractive booklet for printing or storing on your computer.

The infonet website can be visited at:
http://www.ntinfonet.org.au/reports/

The designers are interested in your thoughts, so make sure you let them know if you have any suggestions. Some aspects of the site are still in the late stage of design and may be further refined based on user feedback.