Sanctuary in the City

Billions of dollars are being spent around the world on adapting our cities to climate change. Unfortunately, most of the planning to this point does not include the specific intention of making space for biodiversity. This is a lost opportunity for conservation and the resilience of our cities. There is now considerable evidence of the many values of bringing biodiversity into our urban spaces, as well as the creation of many strategies on how it might be achieved. Pictured above is one depiction of how biodiversity might be incorporated around the urban development at Fisherman’s Bend near Melbourne. It’s part of the work being done by researchers at RMIT under the theme of Biodiversity Sensitive Urban Design. See for details.

Injecting biodiversity into city spaces

Cities planning to adapt to climate change should take biodiversity along for the ride Key messages: Cities are investing billions of dollars in climate change adaptation We analysed 80 city climate-adaptation plans and found that urban greening plays a key role in most adaptation strategies. This represents an enormous opportunity for biodiversity conservation. Unfortunately, our […]

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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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One dog’s fun is another bird’s terror. Repeated disturbance by dogs can stress and even kill shorebirds. (Photo by Kiran Dhanjal-Adams)

Using maths to decide when to put dogs on leashes

Reducing the threat to our endangered migratory shorebirds Key messages: We sought the most cost-effective allocation of patrol effort among sites with a limited budget to help manage disturbances to migratory shorebirds We demonstrate a straightforward objective method for allocating enforcement effort while accounting for diminishing returns on investment over multiple visits to the same […]

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Riparian vegetation along Brisbane River. Queensland’s waterways provide over $10 billion annually in economic benefits.

Restoring waterways cost-effectively

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.

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Australian cities critical for threatened wildlife

Australian cities can help conserve the country’s endangered animals and plants say CEED scientists. New research reveals that Australian cities still retain a remarkable number of threatened species. All Australian cities and towns contain species that are officially listed as threatened. Sydney has the most, at 126 species, Kalgoorlie-Boulder in Western Australia has the most […]

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Big trees for urban wildlife

Australian cities must work harder to preserve their large, old trees if we want to keep our native animals. Across Australia – and the world – the future of large old trees is bleak and yet large trees support many species such as birds and small mammals says CEED researcher Darren Le Roux. “Studies based […]

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Stay up in the tree koala, there’s a dog just below you!! Resident koala
in study area (peri-urban), on a property with a free roaming dog.
(Photo by Nicole Shumway)

A mismatch between attitudes and actions

Knowing there is a problem and doing something about it can sometimes be entirely different things. Koalas, while much beloved by the Australian public, have been in steady decline for at least the last decade. A combination of threats like habitat loss and modification, car collisions and dog attacks, led to the koala being listed under the EPBC Act in 2012. Increasingly, more councils (and Local Government Areas) are drafting and implementing local koala management plans and developing strategies to combat losses and aid in population recovery. However, in order for these conservation goals to be effective, members of the general public must be willing to adopt the suggested actions and incorporate them into their everyday routine. How feasible is this when such a large gap exists between peoples’ intent to conserve and their actual conservation behavior? What might influence those decisions?

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