Grey areas indicate where there is a data gap. There are a number of reasons why there are data gaps in the report card. Importantly, data used for the report card must be collected and analysed in a scientifically robust manner. In some cases, data may be available on a particular indicator, but a significant body of work may still be required to ensure that is reported in a suitable format for the report card (e.g. flow indicators across the freshwater and estuarine zones). In other circumstances, there might be multiple programs collecting data and work needs to be done to ensure data between programs is consistent and comparable (e.g. data gaps for fish across the Region). However, for a number of situations throughout the Mackay-Whitsunday Region, there are no monitoring programs in place and the condition of the indicators is completely unknown (e.g. in the southern inshore marine zone).
New data for water quality in the Don basin and pesticides in the Proserpine basin was available for the 2017 report card. This is an important step towards filling data gaps and improving the understanding of water quality in the Mackay-Whitsunday Region.
A monitoring program has been established, funded by the Partnership, in the southern inshore marine zone for water quality, seagrass and coral. Water quality for the southern inshore marine zone will be released in the 2018 report card. A flow indicator across freshwater and estuaries has now been established and will also be released in the 2018 report card. Adding to our knowledge demonstrates the Partnership’s commitment to improving the Region’s report card by filling data gaps and subsequently providing a better understanding of the ecological condition of the Region’s local ecosystems.