What’s the point?

What’s the point?

The mozzie decides There’s one in every crowd, the mozzie magnet, the person who claims that mosquitoes preferentially seek them out resulting in a disproportionate higher number of bites. Could there be any truth in this? According to researchers, mozzies choose their victims using a number of cues. Initially they are attracted to the carbon […]

Read More

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 […]

Read More

Allocating funds among restoration actions

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.

Read More

Learning from agri-environment programs in Australia

 A NERP workshop (Mt Stromlo, Canberra, November 2014) Do our agricultural landscapes hold the key to protecting our declining biodiversity? If they do, how would it be done? And who would pay? Would it be the landowner or the general public (via the government)? These might sound like simple questions but when you consider some […]

Read More

Mapotron: an interactive web-app for spatial data
Expert knowledge on biodiversity and management actions is a critical component of conservation
science. Mapotron is a new digital platform that allows researchers to generate and communicate spatially
explicit data—without needing to use a full blown geographic information system (GIS) or having to
convert between different formats. It seamlessly embeds into online surveys, allowing researchers to elicit
spatial data from hundreds of participants with minimal effort. Pictured below is a screen grab of Mapotron
listing several of its many features. Check it out yourself to discover its full potential.
http://marxan.net/shinyapps.html

Welcome to the Mapotron 

New open-source software to bring together spatially explicit information Conservation planning is all about being spatially explicit. Species, ecosystems, people, threats and management activities are the basic components in any conservation plan and they are all distributed across the landscape in varying degrees. A good conservation plan contains information about the distribution of these components […]

Read More

An adult male orangutan in a Kalimantan oil-palm plantation, now an
endangered species. (Photo by Nardiyono)

Prioritising restoration in Kalimantan

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.

Read More

Surveys that take randomness into account 

The survey of plant and animal populations is central to undertaking field ecology. However, detection is never perfect, so the absence of a species cannot be determined with complete certainty. Methods developed to account for imperfect detectability during surveys do not yet account for stochastic (random) variation in detectability over time or space. When each […]

Read More

Open access to conservation science 

Conservation science is a crisis discipline in which the results of scientific enquiry must be made available quickly to those implementing management. Richard Fuller and colleagues assessed the extent to which scientific research published since the year 2000 in 20 conservation science journals is publicly available. They found that of the 19,207 papers published, less […]

Read More

Private benefits of native veg on private land 

In many parts of the world, natural vegetation has been cleared to allow agricultural production. To ensure a long-term flow of ecosystem services without compromising agricultural activities, restoring the environment requires a balance between public and private benefits and costs. Information about private benefits generated by environmental assets can be utilized to identify conservation opportunities […]

Read More

‘Field of dreams’ 

American (film) version: An Iowa corn farmer, hearing voices, interprets them as a command to build a baseball diamond in his fields; he does, and the Chicago Black Sox come.  Australian (farm) version: An Australian wheat/sheep farmer looks out across the landscape and hears no voices (no birdsong, no frog croak, no bat call) and […]

Read More