Dampier Archipelago

The Dampier Archipelago, located about 1550 kilometres north of Perth, is home to one of the most exciting collections of rock art in Australia. It is possible to visit parts of the Dampier Archipelago, including some of the rock art in the Burrup Peninsula. The Dampier Archipelago was included in the National Heritage List on 3 July 2007. On the magnificent Dampier Archipelago in Western Australia, where the striking red earth of the Burrup Peninsula meets the blue Indian Ocean, rock engravings thought to number in the millions and other significant sites are helping us learn more about our Indigenous heritage. Made up of islands, reefs, shoals, channels and straits, and covering a land area of around 400 square kilometers, the Burrup Peninsula is 27 kilometres long and four kilometres wide. Many important native plants, animals and habitats are found in the area. The Archipelago was formed 6-8000 years ago when rising sea levels flooded what were once coastal plains. The underlying rocks are amongst the oldest on earth, formed in the Archaean period more than 2400 million years ago.

Government evidence of impact of climate change:

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  • NSW Department of Conservation and Land management, Dampier Archipelago Nature Reserves Management Plan 1990-2000

    Ships conveying petroleum products through the archipelago together with the presence of a submarine gas condensate pipeline and onshore bulk fuel handling and storage facilities present a possible threat of contamination to the Dampier Archipelago.

    Thus in the last 100 years or so; the natural fire regime has changed from one of small but frequent fires to one of large but less frequent fires.