Returning to Paradise with Mappt: How the Lady Elliot Island Eco Resort Utilises Mappt to help Native Plant Re-vegetation

Lady Elliot Island, Queensland has taken on Mappt to assist native plant re-vegetation
Lady Elliot Island, Queensland has taken on Mappt to assist native plant re-vegetation

Lady Elliot Island, Great Barrier Reef utilises Mappt to assist native plant re-vegetation

Lady Elliot Island is an idyllic tropical island.  Lying 80 kilometres off the Queensland coast, it is the southernmost inhabited island on Australia’s Great Barrier Reef complex.  Lady Elliot is known for it’s water clarity due to its southerly location, isolation, and distance from the mainland.

Measuring a mere 45 hectares in total area, the island represents a unique but fragile ecosystem home to thriving populations of manta rays attracted to abundant plankton found in nearby waters.  With an extremely short geologic lifespan (3500 years) human impact has been dramatic.  Thankfully continuing re-vegetation and strict land management practices have been so successful that it was necessary to build a higher second lighthouse capable of shining above the regrowth.

Paradise Lost & Found

By the later 1870’s, intensive guano mining had stripped the island bare of topsoil with only eight native trees remaining.  Since 1966 a re-vegetation program started by lighthouse staff has provided an abundance of native trees.  The island is once again an important stopover for migrating seabirds.  Lady Elliot Island is located within the ‘Green Zone’ of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park, which is the highest possible classification designated by the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority.  Maintaining a vibrant native plant community is critical to the health of the surrounding offshore areas.

Lady Elliot Island, LEI, Ecco Resort is replacing introduced plants with natives. Mappt Mobile GIS has been implemented as the preferred field data collection and validation tool for LEI's re-vegetation program

Lady Elliot Island (LEI) Eco Resort is replacing introduced plants with natives. Mappt Mobile GIS has been implemented as the preferred field data collection and validation tool for LEI’s re-vegetation program

Where Mappt Comes In

Mappt has been selected to help manage and monitor re-vegetation efforts on Lady Elliot Island.  Non-native plant eradication and re-vegetation areas have been identified along with native flora best suited for these areas.  The approach is step-wise with removal and re-vegetation occurring in the same high-priority area before new areas can be addressed.

Functionality like geofenced exclusion/inclusion zones and buffering (a new feature in Mappt) are useful tools for this type of work.  For example, exclusion zones help keep workers within or outside of designated zones to help ensure that re-vegetation areas are undisturbed.  Buffering tools help designate clearways alongside the runway areas to ensure adequate clearing to satisfy CASA (Civil Aviation Safety Authority) requirements.

Mappt Mobile GIS is used in-field to help workers locate areas for revegetation on Lady Elliot Island.

Mappt Mobile GIS is used in-field to help workers locate areas for revegetation on Lady Elliot Island.

Mappt for Better Land Management

Mappt is an intuitive, easy-to-use field data collection application that lends itself to a variety of disciplines including land management, agriculture, and sustainability programs. Important ecosystems such as Lady Elliot Island benefit from careful management supported by up-to-date geospatial information.

Contact us today to learn how Mappt can be of benefit to your field mapping and data collection activities.

Re-vegetation polygons on Lady Elliot Island. Note the buffering polygon surrounding the island's runway.

Re-vegetation polygons on Lady Elliot Island. Note the buffering polygon surrounding the island’s runway.