Big trees for urban wildlife

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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Alternative futures for Borneo

Scientists have urged the three nations who share the island of Borneo to collaborate more closely to save their endangered wildlife while meeting development goals. By coordinating conservation and development efforts as well as reforming land-use, Malaysia, Indonesia and Brunei could retain up to half of the land of Borneo as forests, protect elephant and […]

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Using sighting records to infer extinction

Extinction, the disappearance of the last individual of a species, is rarely observed, is very difficult to detect and therefore usually must be inferred. And getting it right is important. Listing a species as extant (still in existence) when it is actually extinct is undesirable since it can lead to misallocation of funds, incorrect reporting […]

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First dog in space

As our workshop report on animal telemetry suggests, animal telemetry has come of age. But the technology has a history that now extends back some fifty years. One of the first well publicised uses of animal telemetry involves the sad tale of Laika, the first dog in space. In 1957, Laika was rocketed into orbit […]

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Animal tracks in the bank

A suite of online data repositories have been established in recent years to host animal tracking records. As our workshop report (on animal telemetry) on page 14 points out, this gives us an opportunity to synthesise hundreds of thousands of animal telemetry datasets. Here are three examples of repositories. Movebank: a free, online database of […]

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“I want one!” A juvenile southern elephant seal (Mirounga leonina) equipped with a state-of-the-art CTD- SRDL
(Conductivity – Temperature Depth, Satellite-Relay Data Logger). See Roquet et al (2014) for more info.
(Photo by Clive McMahon)

Telemetry and better decision making

Connecting animal telemetry and spatial conservation: A CEED Workshop (University of Queensland, February 2015) The use of animal-borne telemetric devices is a powerful tool for ecologists and wildlife managers. Since the first devices were deployed back in the 1950s (see the story on Laika on page 16) advances in technology and reductions in price have […]

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A polar bear and cub. Polar bears were listed as Special Concern under SARA in 2011. (Photo by Gordon Court)

Protecting species-at-risk in Canada

COSEWIC and the first ten years of SARA Eric Taylor is a Professor of Zoology at the University of British Columbia, in Vancouver, Canada. His research examines the origins and persistence of biodiversity, principally in fishes, using molecular approaches. Professor Taylor is the Chair of COSEWIC, the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in […]

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The value of native bush to landholders

Private benefits of native vegetation can help achieve better biodiversity outcomes A third of Australian woodland has been cleared since European settlement. This has resulted in the loss of important ecosystem services, including biodiversity. Just over three quarters of Australian land is managed by private landholders, therefore conserving biodiversity on private land is an important […]

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Why academics should communicate ‘failure’

A reflection on rejection, imposters and how we share achievement ‘Failure is success in progress’ – Albert Einstein ‘Rejection’ – what a negative, pervasive word! We are rejected from the moment we first engage with the world: So you were picked last for a team in school? And perhaps you failed that crucial exam? More […]

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Large bushfires occur in the mallee shrublands and woodlands of Victoria, New South Wales and South Australia. (Photo by Lauren Brown)

Burning issues

State-wide percentage targets for planned burning are blunt tools that don’t work Fire profoundly influences human health, the economy and wildlife. In Victoria, for instance, bushfires have burned more than one million hectares since 2009, claiming 178 lives and more than 2,300 homes, and causing more than A$4 billion in social, economic and environmental costs. […]

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Of fire and ice

In this issue of Decision Point we examine many of the values that surround our environmental decisions and I’ve categorised them here as being connected to fire or ice. Up front it’s fire with an editorial on one of the firiest topics around – the pros and cons of percentage targets for fuel reduction burns. […]

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