Hi. Welcome to the Environmental Decisions Group. We’re a network of conservation researchers. We aim to generate worldclass research. We publish in high impact journals and, as with all researchers, we hope our work gets well cited. However, at the end of the day, the important outcome is that our work makes a difference in saving species and ecosystems.
Indeed, we put this expectation into our mission statement: “Our research will result in new tools, data, models and authoritative syntheses that enable Australian governments to make evidence based decisions that protect biodiversity.” Sounds a bit dry and lofty when phrased like this (like most mission statements) but it’s far from empty rhetoric. Consider this issue of Decision Point. We’re serving up several examples of top notch research but in each case it’s crystal clear the aim is enabling more effective conservation management (in very real, tin tacks, do-it-now ways).
Jonathan Rhodes explains how we evaluate threats to koalas across New South Wales and gives us another example of how citizen science is making a difference to biodiversity conservation.
Chrystal Mantyka-Pringle applies a Bayesian Belief Network analysis to explore threats to our precious freshwater habitats and finds riparian restoration has a lot going for it. It even has the capacity to mitigate some of the impacts of climate change.
Martina Di Fonzo discusses how by incorporating information about threats into extinction risk analysis can make this form of analysis more relevant to the needs of managers.
Ayesha Tulloch sets out a better way of selecting indicator species in order that we can better monitor our conservation actions and Brendan Wintle explains the logic behind strategic assessments and summarises the many ways our researchers have contributed to this approach.
To cap it off, this issue also carries two reports from this year’s Summer Scholars: Lottie Boardman and William Chan.
This is the third year in which EDG has placed final year uni students in the Department of the Environment in the hope of helping our environmental policy makers with discrete challenges while building new bridges between academia and government. All of which, in some small way, backs up our claim – we are hereto help.