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 […]
What’s the point?
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 […]
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.
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 […]
The what, who, how and where of making a difference The starting line: Before embarking on this journey you need to ask yourself why you want policy makers to use your science? What is motivating you to engage with policy makers and why do you care if your science is adopted or not? These are […]
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 […]
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.
Understanding dense eucalypt stands and the pros and cons of thinning Stands of dense woody regrowth are increasing in extent across Australia and around the world, and that raises many questions on how they should be managed. What’s their value and should we leave them alone or actively thin them? Dense woody regrowth commonly pops […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]