18th Biennial Conference 2015

18th Biennial Conference, “Innovation in the Rangelands”

Alice Springs NT, April 12-16th 2015

How do we live sustainably in the rangelands – now and into the future? How can we nurture, then develop and share, innovative solutions to the challenges of living successfully in our rangelands environments, where climate extremes, remote urban decision making and small, isolated communities are common? What advances can we build on to ensure the social, cultural, economic and environmental wellbeing of people, businesses and communities who depend on our natural landscapes? Both the nature of the land and the people who live here have generated many imaginative and practical solutions to living in the rangelands – let’s hear about them!

The 18th Biennial Conference of the Australian Rangeland Society was held in Alice Springs from 12th – 16th April 2015, with the theme of ‘Innovation in the Rangelands’.

Selected video footage of conference presentations may be accessed here.

Other links:

Facebook: Australian Rangeland Society Conference

Twitter: @ARSConf2015

Instagram: ARSCONF2015

The 2015 handbook may be accessed here

18th ARS Biennial Conference Papers 2015

Papers can be viewed by clicking the title.

Authors A-J

Authors K-Z

Disclaimer: These papers have not been refereed by the Conference Program Committee. The content of each paper is the responsibility of its authors. The committee has formatted all abstracts and papers to a common style.




Title of Paper



Alemseged, Y., Hacker, R.B., Melville, G., Mitchell, A., Toole, I. and Smith, W. Dorper sheep in southern Australian rangelands: production success or environmental concern? diet selection, grazing behaviour, digestive efficiency
Anderson, L. Mining partnerships – we can dig it! weed management, partnerships, natural resource management, rangelands
Bastin, G., Sparrow, A., Scarth, P., Gill, T., Barnetson, J. and Staben, G. Are we there yet? Tracking state and change in Australia’s rangelands change, cover deficit, ground cover, Landsat, persistence, state
Beutel, T., Karfs, R., Wallace, J., Scarth, P., Trevithick, R. and Tindall, D. VegMachine® in Queensland VegMachine, ground cover, monitoring, remote sensing
Broad, K., Emery, T., Sneath, R., McLean, I. and Bray, S. Using business analysis to inform management decisions in beef businesses business analysis, benchmarking, profitability, productivity, climate change
Campbell, M., Race, D., Hampton, K., Foster, D., Fejo, C. and Robertson, D. Climate change perceptions and adaptive strategies: reflections from two remote Aboriginal communities climate change, central Australia, adaptive capacity, liveability
Campbell, R. Adventures with video – practical tips and tricks on sharing your story video, communications, engagement, best practices, marketing
Carmichael, B. A predictive model of Indigenous Ranger Groups’ capacity for the adaptation of heritage sites to the impacts of climate change climate change, adaptation, Indigenous, cultural heritage, ranger group, framework
Chaney, The Hon. Fred Plenary address
Chipfupa, L., Nherera, F.V. and Fourie, P. Overview of rangeland degradation caused by Opuntia-invasion in semi-arid zones of South Africa, implications on grazing strategies, carbon sequestration and agricultural land values rangeland degradation, grassland, Opuntia humifusa, SNAP model, carbon sequestration, invasive species
Coventry, J., Jobson, P. and Allan, C. Abnormal reproductive observations for beef cows on arid rangelands, associated with suspected increase in dietary phytoestrogens arid rangelands, phytoestrogens, extensive-grazing, cattle, calving
Cowley, R.A. and Jenner, D. Is more or less fire needed in northern savannas? Fire history (and optimal management) varies with land use and land type fire frequency, fire management, savanna burning
Cowley, R.A., Jenner, D and Walsh, D. What distance from water should we use to estimate paddock carrying capacity? grazing radius, watered area
Crossing, K., Paltridge, R. and Napangarti, N. Traditional hunting of feral cats to help protect key threatened species at Kiwirrkurra feral cat, bilby, great desert skink, hunting, biodiversity protection, Kiwirrkurra
Crowden, C. Collaborative Area Management collaboration, fencing, wild-dog, biodiversity, grazing-pressure, agriculture
Crowley, G.M., Dale, A., Banks, R., Barclay, S., Birch, P., Buchan, A., Cocco, R., Crase, J., Crawford, S., Dielenberg, J., Donohoe, P., Edgar, B., Franklin, J., Frazer, R., Harper, P., Hinchley, D., Hoogwerf, T., Ikin, N., Johnson, S., Mackay, G., Maher, E., May, K., Miley, D., Mitchell, C., Moller, M., Morris, S., Musgrove, R., Peake, K., Pearson, D., Pentz, D., Schuntner, G., Sinclair, I., Standley, P.-M., Sweatman, C., Tambling, L., Wessels, A. and Wilson, B. Preparation of a research plan for Natural Resource Management in northern Australia co-research, environmental management, research delivery, uptake and adoption
Davies, J., Watson, I., Sow, F., Hall, A., Mbengue, A., Ouedraogo, S. and Dorai, K. Innovation systems for food security in rangeland margins, sub-Saharan Africa innovation platform, institutional change, collaboration, dairy
Donald, G., Stovold, R., Santich, N., Lamb, D. and Mundava, C. ‘RANGEWATCH’: An NDVI based method of estimating forage biomass in northern Australia. A case study in the western Kimberly region of Western Australia rangeland management, pasture utilisation, remote sensing, biomass assessment, pasture growth, stocking numbers
Douglas, J., Walsh, D., Christianson, K. and Armstrong, J. Improving performance through adaptive grazing: Beetaloo Station rotational grazing, pasture utilisation, sustainability, intensification
Duguid, A., Schmarr, D., Mathwin, R., Hodgens, P., Cheshire, D., McNeil, D., Macdonald, J., Hammer, M. and Townsend, S. One river – many Journeys: fish and drought refuges in the Finke water, river, arid-zone, ecosystem, fish, refuge
Edwards, G., Digby, D., Bryan, R., Schwartzkopff, K, Hart, Q. and Bubb, A. The Australian Feral Camel Management Project – a model for managing the impacts of large feral herbivores at the landscape scale landscape scale, feral herbivore, partnerships
Edwards, W.W. Manta Palyakutu: Ngura kantilya kanyini!  Land use and management led by Anangu on Anangu land near Indulkana, APY Lands of South Australia
Eldridge, S., Miller, H., Read, J., Bird, P., Campbell, G., Van de Ven, R. and Allen, B. Understanding wild dog predation dynamics in an Australian arid zone pastoral region wild dog, dingo, 1080, cattle, mesopredator, predation
Forrest, K. and Drysdale, A. Investigating options for innovation in investment and policy models for rangelands rangeland, collaboration, policy, investment
Gerritsen, R. Semi-continental scale rangeland conservation: developing an agenda
Gill, T., Horn, G., Collerton, H., Grant, R. and Flood, N. Identification of refugia in western NSW refugia, landscape, climate, remote sensing, time-series, Landsat
Graham, D. Ngadju fire and conservation land management
Harris, C., Jones, P. and Bray, S. Wet season spelling: a producer demonstration site wet season spelling, land condition, pasture yield, vegetation
Healy, M-A., Forrest, K. and Bastin, G. Working together to improve knowledge and understanding of climate change in the Australian rangelands climate change, NRM planning, collaboration, research, knowledge broker, adaptation
Hoggett, A. Australian Outback – Heart of a Continent documentary, outback, future, rangeland, film, geography
Holmes, P.R. Rangeland pastoralism: change and sustainability pastoralism, rangelands, efficiency, change, sustainability, productivity, financial literacy, debt
Holzwart, M., Nelson, B., Moravek, T. and Robertson, J. Burdekin rangelands Grazing BMP and Extension support project – practice change project, rangelands, practice change, extension, water quality
Humphrys, M., Campbell, S. and Steel, D. Expanding the range of control options for Calotropis procera (rubber bush) in the Barkly Tablelands Calotrope, chemical, rangelands, threat, weed
James, J. Using eExtension to enable change in the rangelands eExtension, change, adoption, flipped classroom, learning journey, webinar, social media
Jones, P., Harris, C. and Silcock, R. Spelling strategies for recovery of pasture condition pasture yield, basal area
Jupp, T., See, P. and Martu rangers Martu Living Deserts Project – partnering for conservation led by Indigenous people Martu, conservation, partnership, country, culture, threatened




Kennedy, E., Brocklebank, C. and Inkamala, M. Western Arrarnta Seasonal Chart Western Arrarnta, seasonal chart, digital media
Kimber, R.G. and Friedel, M.H. Challenging the concept of Aboriginal mosaic fire practices in the Lake Eyre Basin, with particular focus on Cooper Creek country and the adjoining Simpson Desert, 1845-2015 mosaic burning, Channel country, spinifex, settlement, fire management
Kohen, A. and Featherstone, D. Developing an appropriate telecommunications strategy for remote Australia
Kuden, J., Pfander, J. and Hutchinson, B. The Rangelands Partnership: information to spur innovation in rangeland research, education and practice web portals, information systems, knowledge sharing, rangeland management, international collaboration, resources and videos
Leigo, S., Phelps, D., Brennan, G., Driver, T. and McLean, I. From concept to reality – developing new technology in remote Australia technology, decision support systems, technology development and precision agriculture
Marshall, N.A. and Curnock, M. Adaptive capacity on the rangelands social science, resilience, adoption of new practices, climate adaptation, vulnerability to change, resource dependency
Maru, Y.T., Race, D., Sparrow, C. and Mathew, S. Adaptation as a trigger for transformation pathways in remote Indigenous communities remote vulnerability, remote resilience, transformation, Indigenous, disadvantage
Masters, K. Stacks of fire – proving the theory fire, method, engagement, stakeholder, biodiversity, management
Mathew, S., Gerritsen, R., Race, D. and Maru, Y.T. A framework for climate adaptation decision-making by local government in central Australia
McMillan, H., Walsh, D., and Collier, C. A diary of a new bore stocking rate, pasture spelling, Mitchell grass, yield, cover
MLA and AWI; Keynes, P. Achieving greater pastoral profit
Mooney, M. Building on the knowledge of the Aboriginal land managers of tomorrow two-way science education, Indigenous ecological knowledge, two-way communication
Moravek, T. and Hall, T.J. Economic impacts of rehabilitating degraded lands in the Burdekin catchment
Moravek, T. and Nelson, B. Burdekin Grazing BMP and extension support project – a cost benefit analysis project evaluation, economics, extension and education, grazing bmp
Nursey-Bray, M. Reading the signs: Arabana, water and country cultural indicators, Australia, water, Arabana, Indigenous
Pahl, L.I., Scanlan, J.C., Whish, G.L., Cowley, R.A. and MacLeod, N.D. Extensive beef stocking rate strategies for coping with rainfall variability stocking rate management, rainfall, pasture condition, cattle productivity
Phelps, D.G., Houston, I.W. and Counsell, D. How well does NDVI correlate with green biomass, cover and diet quality? NDVI, Mitchell grass, biomass, diet quality, livestock productivity
Priest, J. and M. MTP Contracting: running a remote NRM business on the Barkly Tablelands indigenous, Barkly, NRM, weeds, fee-for-service, innovation
Rebecca Gibson, R., Horn, G., Gill, T., Denham, R., Watson, F. and Grant, R. Validating satellite imagery products of woody thickening using aerial photograph interpretation: methods and preliminary results Landsat, aerial photograph interpretation (API), woody thickening, western NSW
Revell, D.K., Maynard, B., Erkelenz, P.A. and Thomas, D.T. ‘Rangeland Self Herding’ – positively influencing grazing distribution to benefit livestock, landscapes and people animal behaviour, grazing distribution, adaptive management, landscape function
Robertson, S. How do mining towns contribute community value?: Roxby Downs and Leigh Creek mine lifecycle, planning, mine closure, enduring value, community, social responsibility
Ronan, G., Dowd, A-M. and Cosgrove, K. No room for wild dogs, white ants or elephants: the imperative of leading practice as multi-dimensional adaptation strategy in Australian rangeland business and public policy leading practice, transformational adaptation, business strategy
Safstrom, R. and Novelly, P. Potential for innovations in pastoral management, ecological recovery and governance in the Nullarbor region of Western Australia ecosystem, transition, sustainability, innovation, production, ecology
Sahragard, H.P. Habitat distribution modeling of Halocnemum strobilaceum and Artemisia sieberi species using Maximum Entropy Method (Maxent) in the Qum Province rangelands Maxent, geostatistics, potential habitat, AUC, Kappa coefficient
Silcock, J.L. and Fensham, R.J. Degraded or just dusty?  Examining 150 years of ecological change in inland eastern Australia degradation, explorers, grazing, vegetation change, rare species
Spandonide, B. Innovative transport options for enhancing liveability in Australia’s rangelands
Spiegel, N.B., O’Reagain, P., Anderson, A. and Willis, M.R. Operator bias associated with visual assessments of pasture yield for forage budgets on native pasture stocking rates, pasture photo standards, Stocktake Plus, unpalatable yield
Stacey, R. Expansion of the exotic grass Bothriochloa pertusa on the Basalt of the Burdekin catchment
Taylor, C., Holmes, K. and Doudle, S. Land management on the Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara Lands APY, threatened species, fire, buffel grass, South Australia, IPA
Thompson, R. and Sooriyakumar, P. Teaching the Word – “Waterponding” and “Waterspreading” – Aus Aid style waterponding, waterspreading, Aus Aid, African trainees, training, rehabilitation
Tincknell, J. and Craig, J-A. Adding a new string to the bow of Indigenous pastoral businesses
Tindall, D., Scarth, P., Carter, J., Trevithick, R., Armston, J., Witte, C., Flood, N., Denham, R., Watson, F., Schmidt, M., Muir, J., Phinn, S., Danaher, T., Gill, T., Lucas, R., Barnetson, J. and Staben, G. Application of remote sensing for mapping and monitoring rangeland condition remote sensing, modelling, mapping, land condition
Walker, B.W. Radicalising the rangelands: disruptive change or progressive policy? rangeland futures, policy failure, governance, disruptive change, national interest
Walsh, D. Ahead of the pack: what 30 years of commercial pastoral innovation can teach us productivity, profitability, Barkly Tableland, cattle
Walsh, D. and Shotton, P. Cattle grazing found to have had no negative effect on soil organic carbon stocks at a site in the Northern Territory carbon farming, Barkly Tableland, grazing intensity, water point, vertosol
Walsh, F., Catt, G. and Wells, D. Aboriginal people choose new media for an old practice fire management, indigenous knowledge, video production, Aboriginal rangers
Walsh, F., Davies, J., Lander, S., Carmody, M., Hill, R., Mooney, M., Sparrow, A. and Ltyentye Apurte Rangers Understanding climate science supports adaptation in indigenous rangeland management climate science, climate change, erosion control, scientists, indigenous people, Aboriginal rangers
Ward, J. and Walsh, D. Palatable forbs less prolific than presumed on a black soil site in the Victoria River District pasture composition, 3P grasses, land condition, cattle grazing
Waters, C.M., Hacker, R.B., Sinclair, K., Curtis, A., Lines-Kelly, R., Alemseged, Y. and Leys, J. Developing a regional incentive for retaining rangeland ground cover ground cover, market-based instrument
Waters, C.M., Melville, G., Orgill, S.E., Alemseged, Y., Smith, W.,  Toole, I., Atkinson, T., Gillespie, P., and Bloomfield, C. The influence of managing grazing intensity on soil organic carbon and biodiversity soil carbon, biodiversity, ground cover
Watson, I., Petheram, C. and Stone, P. A multi-disciplinary approach to research for the development of northern Australia agricultural development; inter-disciplinary; northern development; land suitability; water resources; organizational learning
Whish, G., Pahl, L. and Bray, S. Impacts of pasture spelling on the performance of a beef grazing property in northern Australia case-study property, simulated spelling strategies, land condition, animal productivity, property profitability