Dbytes #115 (27 August 2013)

Dbytes #115 (27 August 2013)
Info & news for members and associates of the Environmental Decision Group

“We do not need more strategies. We need to measure the condition of our environmental assets properly…Then we need to get more funds to…the right place at the right time. We have had 20 or 30 years of strategy-writing and weasel words when in fact the core business…requires resources and a commitment to do it. So biodiversity conservation is not being taken seriously in this country. To have 1,790 listed species in Australia in 2013, which is about the same number as we had 20 years ago, suggests it has been a complete failure.”

Peter Cosier to the Senate Committee on the “Effectiveness of threatened species and ecological communities’ protection in Australia”
see http://www.aph.gov.au/Parliamentary_Business/Committees/Senate_Committees?url=ec_ctte/completed_inquiries/2010-13/threatened_species/report/index.htm
(The above quote is at the start of Chapter 6 and was submitted to Dbytes by Juliana Lazzari.)

General News

1. Science for Policy: Mapping Australian Government Investments and Institutions.
2. Acting on the unthinkable – translocations to Australia
3. The ACF issued an analysis of the parties’ environmental policies.
4. Weeds and Native Title – Law and assumption
5. Australian Cats and Foxes May Not Deserve Their Bad Rep
6. Science Pathways 2013: engaging with industry and innovation

EDG News (more details on these items follows general news)

Melboure:
New postdoc David Duncan evaluates the Biodiversity Fund
Perth: Keren Raiter and Mike Wysong monitor roads and predators
Brisbane: A guide to Marxan is now available in Indonesian
Canberra: Science and Policy meeting with DSEWPaC

-~<>~-

General News

1. Science for Policy: Mapping Australian Government Investments and Institutions.
Paul Harris and Dr Kerrie Jackson (2013). HC Coombs Policy Forum, ANU.
This report seeks to contribute to the ongoing improvement of the links between science and policy. It does this by mapping – for the first time – existing Australian Government investments and institutions that support the creation and delivery of science for policy.

It is the product of a collaborative project commissioned by the HC Coombs Policy Forum at The Australian National University, designed to support the implementation of the recommendations of the whole-of-government APS200 report on The Place of Science in Policy Development in the Public Service, released in 2012

https://crawford.anu.edu.au/public_policy_community/content/doc/APS200-Science-for-Policy-mapping-report.pdf?0

-~<>~-

2. Acting on the unthinkable – translocations to Australia
Editorial by David Bowman on ABC Environment
IT’S A CONVERSATION no one wants to have: should we introduce non-native animals to Australia in case they become extinct elsewhere in the world?

http://www.abc.net.au/environment/articles/2013/08/15/3825678.htm

-~<>~-

3. The ACF issued an analysis of the parties’ environmental policies.
http://www.acfonline.org.au/news-media/media-release/will-party-gets-your-vote-stand-environment

-~<>~-

4. Weeds and Native Title – Law and assumption

This RIRDC research report considers the implications of native title for weeds management. In particular, the report highlights two aspects: the legal question of who is responsible for weeds on native title lands and the practice of how weeds management is undertaken on native title lands through a case study on the Kimberley.

https://rirdc.infoservices.com.au/items/13-078

-~<>~-

5. Australian Cats and Foxes May Not Deserve Their Bad Rep
[Recommended by Jane Catford]

Foxes and feral cats are wildly unpopular among Australian conservationists. The two animals are infamous for killing off the continent’s native species, and they’ve been the targets of numerous government-backed eradication campaigns. But new research suggests that on Australian islands, these predators help control an even more destructive one: the black rat. As a result, eliminating cats and foxes could actually leave native mammals more vulnerable to predation, competition, and ultimately extinction.

Australia is ground zero for the modern biodiversity crisis. The continent has suffered more than a quarter of all recent mammal extinctions, and many other native species survive only as small populations on one or more of the country’s thousands of islands. While habitat destruction has caused some extinctions, cats, foxes, and rats introduced around 1800 by British sailors have also played a major role, decimating native animals like bilbies and bandicoots—both small, ratlike marsupials found only in Australia. All of this has given large, nonnative predators like cats and foxes a bad name. “We hate them,” biologist Emily Hanna of the Australian National University in Canberra declared here last month at the International Congress for Conservation Biology.

http://news.sciencemag.org/biology/2013/08/australian-cats-and-foxes-may-not-deserve-their-bad-rep

-~<>~-

6. Science Pathways 2013: engaging with industry and innovation

Registration is now open for the second national meeting of the Australian Early and Mid Career Research Forum – Science Pathways 2013: engaging with industry and innovation, being held in Melbourne on 17-18 October 2013.

http://www.science.org.au/events/conferences-and-workshops/sciencepathways/sciencepathways2013/index.html

-~<>~-

EDG News

Melboure: New postdoc David Duncan evaluates the Biodiversity Fund
The aim of my project is to design a quantitative evaluation of the Biodiversity Fund, an investment by the Australian Government of over $600 million dollars in biodiversity conservation and natural resource management. I have been interested in trying to measure and analyse the effectiveness of government investment on private land for a while now, and somewhere over that journey I have started to use the expression quantitative evaluation in place of monitoring. It could be semantic madness, but hear me out.”
http://daviddotduncan.wordpress.com/2013/08/02/monitoring-and-quantitative-evaluation-friday-afternoon-semantics/
Perth: Keren Raiter and Mike Wysong monitor roads and predators
Keren Raiter and Mike Wysong establish motion-sensor cameras to monitor effects of roads and predator interactions in Western Australia’s Goldfields. Keren’s research, based in the Great Western Woodlands, is looking at the effect of roads and tracks in otherwise undisturbed areas on predator (cat, fox, dingo and quoll) activity and interactions. Mike’s research will develop and test methods to reliably census feral cat and wild dog populations and to evaluate the influence of predator control on these species at Lorna Glen, a 244,000 hectare ex-pastoral lease managed jointly by the Department of Parks and Wildlife and the Wiluna Aboriginal Community.
Brisbane: A guide to Marxan is now available in Indonesian
Last week it was Marxan in Spanish, this week Marxan supporting handbooks are available in Indonesian.
The Introduction to Marxan course handbooks have been translated into Indonesian, and are available for download from:
http://www.uq.edu.au/marxan/intro-info
Thanks to Anton Wijonarno from WWF Indonesia for translating the handbooks.

Canberra: Science and Policy meeting with DSEWPaC
Ross Rowe (DSEWPaC Strategic Approaches Branch & Knowledge Integrator for the NERP LaP Hub) facilitated an interactive seminar on science and policy. Twenty one researchers from the ANU Fenner School of Society and Environment, including researchers from the Environmental Decisions NERP Hub and Luciana Porfirio from the NERP LaP hub, met 23 government officers mostly from the Strategic Approaches Branch in the Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities (DSEWPaC). Short presentations explored the researchers experience and perspective of government (Prof Steve Dovers, Head of Fenner), the national reform agenda for evidence based policy and decision making (Nick Morgan, Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet), the place and role of science in the department (Dave Johnson, NERP Director) and scientific needs of the Sustainable Regional Development Program and strategic assessments under the Environment Protect and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (Carolyn Cameron, Strategic Approaches Branch).

-~<>~-

About Dbytes
Dbytes is the eNewsletter of the Environmental Decisions Group. If you have any contributions to Dbytes (ie, opportunities and resources that you think might think be of value to other Dbyte readers) please send them to David Salt (David.Salt@anu.edu.au). Please keep them short and provide a link for more info. Also, email David if you want to unsubscribe (or subscribe someone else). While Dbytes is primarily aimed at members of the EDG, anyone is welcome to receive it.

About EDG
The Environmental Decision Group (EDG) is a network of conservation researchers working on the science of effective decision making to better conserve biodiversity. Our members are largely based at the University of Queensland, the Australian National University, the University of Melbourne, the University of Western Australia, RMIT and CSIRO. The EDG is jointly funded by the Australian Government’s National Environmental Research Program (NERP) and the Australian Research Council’s Centre of Excellence program (CEED).

CEED: http://ceed.edu.au/
NERP ED: http://www.nerpdecisions.edu.au/
EDG: http://www.edg.org.au/

EDG major events: http://www.edg.org.au/events.html
Decision Point: http://www.decision-point.com.au/

 

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s