Saving threatened species with human burials

One species that has bounced back relatively well after whaling stopped in the late 20th century is the humpback (pictured here). The same has not occurred for several other species.  (Photo by Diego Cotterle

Whale story

Modelling the future of Earth’s titans During the 1900s, many whales were commercially harvested almost to extinction. Amongst the most impacted were the larger baleen whales, those species with comb-like baleen plates used to strain the water for food (such as krill and small fish). In 1983 the International Whaling Commission decreed a moratorium on […]

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Participants in the ‘Conservation challenges and opportunities in areas of armed conflict’ workshop. (Photo by Felipe Suarez)

Networking for conservation in Colombia

ICCB 2017 through the eyes of newbies In July, we travelled to the colourful city of Cartagena in Colombia to attend the Society for Conservation Biology’s bi-annual International Congress for Conservation Biology (ICCB) conference. “Insights for sustaining life on Earth” was the theme for this year’s conference, with an emphasis on how to better manage […]

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Much private land holds considerable conservation value.
Purchasing land and locking it up in a reserve is an expensive option.
Encouraging owners to sign up to conservation contracts can be more
cost effective. Revolving funds provide a unique, self-replenishing
approach to make this happen. (Photo by Mat Hardy)

Swings & roundabouts, & private land conservation

What factors influence the selection of a property for a revolving fund? KEY MESSAGES: The effectiveness of a conservation revolving fund for land acquisition relies upon selecting the right properties Whilst conservation factors are important, financial and social factors are also highly influential, with a major determinant being whether the property can be on-sold within […]

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Orangutans (and science) in trouble

Will the orangutan be saved? KEY MESSAGES: For many threatened species the rate and drivers of population decline are difficult to assess accurately We applied novel methods for integrating field and interview survey data for the Critically Endangered Bornean orangutan Our analysis revealed that Bornean orangutan populations have declined at a rate of 25% over […]

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The mass migration of red crabs on Christmas Island is one of the natural wonders of the world. But the red crab and many other species on this isolated island are under threat. Given limited resources, how do Christmas Island National Park managers choose between multiple actions to protect multiple species?  (Photo by Max Orchard, Parks Australia)

Choosing between options with limited resources

A simple Cost-Effective Resource Allocator Key messages: Decision scientists working with national park managers have developed a user-friendly Cost-Effective Resource Allocator The allocator prioritises the set of management strategies that maximise the total number of years that a suite of species is expected to persist given a constrained budget The allocator uses a series of […]

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It is indisputable that animal-borne telemetry has enriched our understanding of the natural world and the animals that inhabit it. But could it also be providing a better guide to environmental decision making? (Images by Catherine Lynch)

Telemetry technology for better conservation

Integrating animal-borne technology with conservation management   Key messages: Research using animal telemetry devices can influence conservation decisions, and should be better integrated with management and policy Value-of-information analysis enables a quantitative assessment on the return-on-investment of animal telemetry-derived data for conservation decision-making Animal-borne telemetry has revolutionised our ability to study animal movement, species physiology, […]

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Ethics, equity and a ‘good’ environmental decision

Ethics and environmental decision science When researchers hear the word ‘ethics’ they often groan. That’s because the term usually arises in connection to ethics committees; panels which university-based scientists need to go through to get permission to undertake research. They ‘groan’ because it’s another transaction cost on getting their research done. Having said that, every […]

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Achieving the targets of global conventions

A special issue of Conservation Letters In December 2016, Conservation Letters released its first special issue with the theme of ‘Achieving the targets of global biodiversity conventions’. The issue was spearheaded by members of CEED and the Centre for Biodiversity and Conservation Science (CBCS), specifically Moreno Di Marco, James Watson, Oscar Venter, and Hugh Possingham […]

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Strategic framing for landholder engagement

A study of how private-land conservation organisations frame the benefits of participation has found a bias for emphasising the environmental benefits, while under-emphasising the benefits to landholders and the wider social benefits. “The success of these conservation efforts is tied to the engagement of landholders, however only a small proportion of landholders participate in conservation” […]

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Don’t let ‘climate’ crush coral efforts

Following a recent international coral science conference, CEED researcher Jennifer McGowan led a short correspondence to Nature asking to researchers and managers not to lose sight of where they can make the most difference. “The message of the correspondence aims to unite the coral reef science and management communities after the International Coral Reef Symposium […]

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Conservation in a time of offshore oil and gas development

What are the challenges and opportunities? KEY MESSAGES: Offshore oil and gas development brings with it a range of challenges and opportunities for marine biodiversity conservation The conservation community should become more actively involved in the earliest planning and exploration phases of oil and gas extraction Environmental decision-support tools can be used to explicitly incorporate […]

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Should we protect highly threatened habitats or safe habitats?

Risk it or play it safe? KEY MESSAGES: There is a bias towards placing MPAs in areas that are least threatened We found that conservation targets in our study area could not be met solely by avoiding high threat areas A threat selection strategy should be part of the management toolbox Cost-effectiveness in spatial conservation […]

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Public servants from CEPA consider different networks of marine protected areas. (Image by Carissa Klein)

A National Marine Conservation Assessment for PNG

The marine environment of Papua New Guinea (PNG) is vast and diverse. Marine ecosystems directly support the livelihoods of Papua New Guineans through fisheries and development activities, and tourism. They provide an ecological foundation for much of the national economy and prosperity. However, the country’s marine environment is under threat from a growing population dependent […]

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Robecca Jumin from WWF-Malaysia (third from the right) receives a
certificate in conservation planning from trainers from the University
of Queensland (during one of the Marxan courses run in Malaysia).
From the right are Hugh Possingham, Hedley Grantham and Carissa
Klein. The course was run in 2010 in Sabah.

From Marxan to management

Ocean zoning with stakeholders establishes the Tun Mustapha Marine Park Malaysia has just established the Tun Mustapha Marine Park off the northern tip of Sabah province in Borneo (Malaysia). At 1.6 million hectares, it’s the country’s biggest marine protected area, and Marxan and CEED scientists have played an important role in the planning process that […]

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