Intertidal Reef Surveys

Recently in collaboration with the marine science division of the Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions (DBCA), University of Western Australia and Kwelena Mambakort Aboriginal Corporation (KMAC) rangers, local DBCA staff conducted intertidal reef surveys within the Jurien Bay Marine Park.

These surveys are conducted on a biennial basis and are conducted to monitor the diversity and abundance across Western Australia’s marine parks. The team conducted the surveys over three different weeks, as heavy swell hindered surveys twice.

Figure 1: KMAC Rangers and Marine Scientist in the field

Utilising quadrats (1x1m square areas) thrown randomly across ten outer, middle, and inner tidal reef zones the surveys were conducted across eight different sites, from Tester’s reef, south of Grey, all the way north to Greenhead, and one was conducted at Fisherman’s Island. Excitingly, the area’s biodiversity increased when working on the offshore reef platform survey. It is the aim for future monitoring programs to be conducted on two more island sites within the marine park to establish an accurate representation of species.

Figure 2: Sea Slug- Hydatina physis (bubble shell)
Figure 3: Octopus aff. Tetricus (Common Octopus)

These surveys have been running since 2016 and are an important way to monitor the health of our reef and identify any threats and changes in the marine ecosystem. There is an incredible community across our reef platforms, and if you look closely enough, you too can find the beauty that lies beneath. For more information on what to look for or where to look, feel free to drop into the Parks and Wildlife office in Jurien Bay and ask to speak with one of our Marine Rangers or call the office on (08) 9688 6000.

Figure 4: Sea stars: Coscin asterias (eleven arm sea star) and Meridastra sp. (carpet sea star)

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