The need to restore the world’s ecosystems and landscapes to protect biodiversity and vital ecosystem services has resulted in significant international commitments over the last decade. Governments and non-government organisations are now looking at ways to scale up restoration efforts to meet those commitments.
Don’t forget the weather
Models are basic to good decision making. System models are representations of the dynamics of an ecological system, a conceptual map of how the system works. They enable us to specify our thinking on how the system responds to management. Without them in our decision frame it’s unlikely our choices will be well founded. What’s more, and just as important, without a system model the potential to learn is limited.
What? where? and when? If we could answer these three little questions when it comes to allocating our available limited resources to saving species and ecosystems then we would be going a long way towards fixing the biodiversity crisis as it unravels around us.
Decision science & conservation at Zealandia Dr Danielle Shanahan is Manager of Conservation & Research at Zealandia, a 225 ha wildlife sanctuary that lies in the centre of New Zealand’s capital city of Wellington. It’s not a zoo or a museum but a world-first experiment on how to combine effective restoration and threatened species management […]
Should we restore or protect, on land or in the sea, to best benefit marine ecosystems? KEY MESSAGES: We developed a model that compared restoration to protection, on either the land or in the ocean, to maximise the extent of coastal marine ecosystems We found that direct active marine restoration can be the most cost-effective […]
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 […]
Forest restoration enhances the provision of many ecosystem services, is an important tool for combating climate change and helps protect biodiversity. In a recent issue of Applied Vegetation Science, Leticia Garcia and coauthors (including CEED’s Richard Hobbs) examined restoration outcomes in the Atlantic Forest area in Brazil. They show that simply planting trees is insufficient […]
Southeast Queensland’s waterways provide over $10 billion annually in economic benefits through drinking water supply, fishing, tourism, and recreation. But these goods and services are under threat from intensive agricultural, urban development and climate change.
How economics can enhance the success of ecological restoration Key messages: Economic principles, tools and instruments can be applied to a range of factors that affect the success of a restoration project Addressing four key aspects of ecological restoration would enhance their success: (1) assessing social/economic benefits, (2) estimating overall costs, (3) effective prioritisation, and […]
One of the world’s leading restoration ecologists has questioned the way we use the term ‘degraded’. According to CEED Chief Investigator Professor Richard Hobbs this is far more than simple semantics. How we assess whether a system is degraded has major implications for whether restoration is required. In a paper just published in Restoration Ecology, […]
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 […]
Counting the costs and assessing the feasibility KEY MESSAGES We examined the cost and feasibility of restoration in marine coastal ecosystems The median price was around US$80,000 per hectare, the average price was up at US$1,600,000 per hectare Feasibility ranged from 38% for seagrass, to 65% for coral reefs and saltmarshes Coasts are popular areas […]
A major emerging task for biodiversity conservation is to ‘scale-up’ the restoration of degraded land from the local patch to the scale of the landscape (regional). This poses significant challenges for prioritising investments, most notably because: (a) restoring native vegetation involves considerable uncertainty and time lags over at least several decades; and (b) restoration typically involves a range of different potential actions, each with its own costs, time frame and likelihood of success.
Mention Indonesia and images of soaring rainforests and orangutans come to mind. But the reality is quite different. Over 63% of Indonesia’s forest estate is currently deforested or degraded (that’s around 83 million hectares), and many of its iconic species such as the orangutan and proboscis monkeys are endangered. And the deforestation marches on. In 2012 Indonesia broke the record for clearing tropical forest. The choking haze from burning forest and peatland has blanketed South East Asia many times in recent years, and awareness of the economic and health hazards associated with this is growing.
Freshwater habitats are critically important for a broad range of animals and plants (see the article, ‘the importance of freshwater habitat’) and they are in trouble. Worldwide these habitats are experiencing declines in biodiversity far greater than those being experienced in other terrestrial and marine ecosystems. New research involving EDG modelling is hoping to help managers identify how this decline might be best dealt with.
Landowner decisions about conservation initiatives are influenced by their values, beliefs and social norms. Understanding what drives landowner decision making and how these decisions impact biodiversity on privately owned land can better inform natural resource management.