Don’t forget the weather

Burnt heath (foreground) and woodland (background) after a
large wildfire. The burnt stems in the foreground are Banksia ericifolia.
This usually dominant heath plant can become locally extinct if fire
intervals are too short. (Photo by Claire Foster)

Environmental context is critical for fire management

Guidelines need to look beyond species traits for good outcomes Key messages: Fire-management guidelines are often based on the traits of individual species We studied the association between the recent fire regime and the plant community in three common vegetation types of coastal SE Australia Guidelines considering different vegetation types as separate management units may […]

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The growling grass frog is one of Australia’s largest frog species. It likes to live amongst reeds, sedges and rushes growing in and along slow moving streams, ponds, lakes and farm dams. (Photo by Geoff Heard). 

Urban development and the growling grass frog

Good decisions under high uncertainty Key messages: We linked a PVA with a CEA to determine which actions would best help the growling grass frog persist in a development zone Our approach allows uncertainty in species persistence to be explicitly accounted for in the CEA of different actions This analysis found that simply reserving core […]

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The superb fairy-wren feeds on insects and small grubs, and will often appear in small groups in gardens with dense, low, native shrub cover. (Image by Geoff Park)

Grow your own

Wildlife gardening for public–private biodiversity conservation   Key messages: Five features help collaborative wildlife gardening programs engage residents to manage their land to achieve landscape-focused conservation goals: on-site garden assessment indigenous community nursery communication hubs a framework that fosters experiential learning and community linkages endorsement of each garden’s potential conservation contribution Involving communities in appreciating […]

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A silvereye amidst the (lantana) thorns. (Photo by Jasmine Zeleny)

To weed or not to weed…

 Impacts of reveg and weed control on urban-sensitive birds Key messages: Birds with varying sensitivities to urban areas interact with habitat restoration differently Reveg provides the greatest benefit for urban-sensitive species, and weed control provides neutral or in some cases negative outcomes Weed control should be implemented in concert with replanting of native vegetation to […]

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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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Example of fine-scale vegetation fragmentation (individual trees
fragmented by urban development, NSW). (Image http://www.wagga.

How often, how far, how risky and how biased?

Movement behaviour mediates the impacts of habitat fragmentation at multiple scales KEY MESSAGES Different scales of fragmentation have lethal consequences for animals with certain movement traits For at-risk species, the impact of fine-scale fragmentation was accentuated when fragmentation also occurred at the coarse scale The land use to target with conservation actions to reduce fragmentation […]

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The grey-crowned babbler, a long-lived, colonial-nesting, woodland bird, in decline in southeast Australia. (Photo by Doug Robinson)

Learning about past restoration effort

The case of the grey-crowned babbler KEY MESSAGES Understanding the value of restoration requires measuring change through time Measure response variables that are meaningful Counterfactuals are necessary: Compared to what? Many resources are spent on restoring habitat to counter the impacts of land clearing and habitat degradation on wildlife populations. But individual projects involving restoration […]

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Which birds are ‘woodland birds’? It depends on who
you ask. These are black-faced woodswallows, classified as a woodland bird in 37.5% of lists. (Photo by Eric  Vanderuys)

What’s in a name?

The consequences of inconsistently classifying woodland birds (and other terms) Key messages woodland birds are inconsistently classified this inconsistency has a significant impact on research involving woodland birds inconsistencies in other areas of conservation science are likely having similar impact Woodland birds are bird species which depend on native woodlands. They are sometimes called woodland-dependent […]

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Clearing of mulga in central Australia. Conservation activities in heavily cleared landscapes focus on keeping the remaining large patches intact, often disregarding the increasingly important role of smaller patches in conserving biodiversity. (Photo by Michelle Venter)

Small patches need greater protection

Small patches of native vegetation are critically important to biodiversity conservation and need greater protection from clearing according to a new analysis undertaken by Ayesha Tulloch and colleagues. Just because a patch of native vegetation might be small, doesn’t mean we can afford to lose it. The researchers examined historical and current patch-size distributions to […]

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Sleepers in the grass

In many far flung paddocks on private land in south east NSW stand star posts marking the location of a collection of rail sleepers, sheets of corrugated tin and roof tiles. These are survey stations set up by Geoff Kay and David Lindenmayer from the ANU. These little islands of artificial habitat are magnets for […]

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What’s the point?

How much native habitat is enough? The question for farm and landscape planning is: ‘How much intensive production can take place without excluding most native species from the landscape?’ Roughly speaking, if any land use that largely excludes native biodiversity (eg, crops, plantations, fertilised pastures) covers less than one-third of the landscape, it is unlikely […]

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