Presentations galore

Presentations galore

During the four years of the NERP Environmental Decisions Hub, environmental decision scientists regularly travelled to Canberra to give briefings and presentations to policy people and decision makers in the Department of the Environment. These ranged from one-on-one meetings, small groups and packed lecture theatres. Pictured below is Professor Richard Hobbs addressing a packed house […]

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Priority threat management in the Lake Eyre Basin

The Lake Eyre Basin in Central Australia is under pressure from multiple sources. Something needs to be done quickly but, as is often the case, environmental managers are operating under severe time and resource limitations, and are attempting to make decisions surrounded by enormous uncertainty. The threat that is really scaring environmental managers is the […]

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Management thresholds with Parks Victoria

Whilst ecological research and monitoring can help define unfavourable ecosystem conditions; the question of when to implement a management action requires value judgements by decision-makers. Such judgements require decision-makers to subjectively trade-off competing objectives. NERP ED researchers worked with Parks Victoria to trial a structured decision making (SDM) process to explore where to set management […]

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Posing problems in the Park

Supercolonies of yellow crazy ants are threatening the forest ecosystems on Christmas Island. Can we predict where supercolonies are likely to form? Will these predictions lead to better targeted control effort? The noxious bitou bush has invaded coastal ecosystems in Booderee National Park in Jervis Bay, NSW, and park managers are pouring significant resources into […]

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Carbon farming and biodiversity

Under the Carbon Farming Futures program, rural landholders have the potential to generate carbon credits through activities such as agro-forestry, re-vegetation of land or changed agricultural practices. Each of these activities may have positive or negative effects beyond their intended mitigation of climate change (externalities or co-benefits). There are many, and often complex, costs and […]

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Urban biodiversity

Our urban environments present unique challenges for biodiversity conservation. Tradeoffs between competing objectives are complex and vested interests high. Past planning decisions often leave lasting ecological and social legacies. Despite decades of research, key knowledge gaps remain around the processes that drive patterns of biodiversity and how they interact with social systems. Novel and sophisticated […]

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Movement science and policy

The movement of organisms has a fundamental influence on the distribution of biodiversity and affects community structure and ecological phenomena such as reproduction, resource availability and species interactions. Anthropogenic disturbances and inappropriate management can disrupt these important processes, so movement information should be considered in conservation decisions. A recent review indicated that there remains a […]

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Strategies to bridge the implementation gap

There is a growing body of evidence to show that scientists often don’t answer the questions most important to managers. It is also increasingly clear that while decision makers value scientific information they do not routinely use science even when it’s available. There are many reasons for this divide between the science and practice of […]

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A call to better protect Antarctic biodiversity

The ‘last wilderness on Earth’ requires a better system of protected areas according to NERP ED researcherJustine Shaw. That wilderness, of course, is Antarctica. Most of Antarctica is covered in ice, with less than 1% permanently ice-free. This ice-free land is where the majority of biodiversity occurs yet only 1.5% of these important areas belong […]

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Dealing with non-detections in biological surveys

Our big brains struggle to coherently combine probabilities. It’s something that’s been noted time and again in studies on how doctors interpret a medical diagnosis but it’s a basic problem whenever we are presented information with several points of uncertainty. And this is a big problem commonly encountered in environmental management whenever we have imperfect […]

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Good environmental decisions and strong metrics

Good environmental decision making is information-intensive. Environmental managers invest a lot in monitoring and research to collect information, but often take a rough-and-ready approach to combining that information into a form that is useful for decision making. Does this matter? Does it make a difference to environmental outcomes to use a theoretically sound decision metric, […]

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Calculating the benefit

Calculating the real benefit of a conservation action by comparing losses and gains isn’t only relevant to the way we do offsets, it applies equally to conservation planning and agri-environment schemes. NERP ED recently reviewed the literature on conservation policy in the three areas of offsets, conservation planning and agri-environment schemes (Maron et al., 2013). […]

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Connecting science and management (at Booderee)

Management of national parks is mainly based on the experience of resource managers and not directly on new scientific knowledge and evidence. And yet there are many advantages to connecting management with research on the ground. David Lindenmayer demonstrates this value by describing the development of a strong and enduring partnership between scientific research and […]

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Citizen science and the value of protected areas

Long-term monitoring data are critical for determining whether protected areas are able to achieve their objectives. The problem is that, in most cases, these long-term data ‘officially’ do not exist. The good news is that even though ‘official’ data sets collected by scientists often don’t exist, ‘unofficial’ observations made by keen ‘amateur’ naturalists are sometimes […]

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Planning for biodiversity in the urban fringe

Biodiversity near and within urban areas brings many benefits but its maintenance involves complex trade-offs between competing land uses. NERP ED researchers recently demonstrated how these trade-offs can be better described to facilitate more transparent, efficient and democratically derived urban planning. They used reserve design tools in a novel way to identify priority development sites. […]

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Climate shift for eucalypts

How will eucalypts cope with climate change? Nathalie Butt recently led the first comprehensive investigation into the vulnerability of eucalypt distributions to climate change across Australia. The investigation revealed that overall, eucalypt species in the central desert and open woodland regions will be the most affected, losing 40% of their climate space under the extreme […]

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