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Human Impacts on Cable Beach, Broome (Western Australia)

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There are concerns that Cable Beach, which is of outstanding natural beauty and a major tourist attraction for Broome and the Kimberley region of northwest Australia, is suffering damage from recreational use, particularly that caused by off-road vehicles. To assess current levels of human impact on the shore and its fauna, the southern-most kilometer of the Beach, covering an area to which vehicles had access and an adjacent area closed to vehicles, was surveyed for human usage and shore crab abundance. Human usage over the recording period was high in the area with high vehicular access. The amount of litter, although considerable, was well below that recorded in some other tourist destinations elsewhere in the world. Burrows of both the ghost crabs Ocypode spp, and the sand bubbler, Scopimera inflata, were less numerous in areas of high vehicle use than those of low use. Both species may be valuable in monitoring human impacts on Cable Beach.

Keywords: Kimberley; Ocypode; Scopimera inflata; beach litter; human impacts; off-road vehicles

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: Dove Marine Laboratory School of Marine Science and Technology, University of Newcastle upon Tyne, Cullercoats, Tyne and Wear, UK 2: Burnham-on-Crouch, Essex, UK 3: School of Animal Biology, University of Western Australia, Crawley, Western Australia

Publication date: 2007-04-01

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