Dbytes #117 (9 September 2013)

Dbytes #117 (9 September 2013)
Info & news for members and associates of the Environmental Decision Group

“An optimist sees an opportunity in every calamity; a pessimist sees a calamity in every opportunity”
Winston Churchill

General News

1. Survey of the Worlds Pasture and Grassland Systems
2. Ecosystem Science Long-Term Plan
3. Berks, wankers and wonks: how to pitch science policy advice
4. Portraying the science of the (over) fishing the deep
5. International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) World Parks Congress website launched

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

Brisbane:
Kerrie Wilson wins the Eureka Prize for Outstanding Young Researcher
Perth: Melinda Moir on the Conversation about the conservation of inverts
Canberra:
Annabel Smith publishes on age in three fire-specialist lizards
Melbourne: Claire Keely discusses Salamander road crossings

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General News

1. Survey of the Worlds Pasture and Grassland Systems

[A message from Professor David Kemp, President, 22nd International Grassland Congress]
The worlds pasture and grassland systems are in reasonable to poor condition. With the world’s experts gathering for the 22nd International Grassland Congress (IGC) in Sydney, this is a good time to review the opinions of grassland scientists on the condition and state of these systems. In 1970 IGC delegates were surveyed to determine which species were most commonly used across the globe. Now over 40 years later there have been significant species developments and new issues affecting pasture and grassland condition and productivity. With our congress theme of “revitalising grasslands to sustain our communities”, a survey has been developed to capture information on important pasture species used across the world and their condition and state. You are invited to click on the link below to complete the survey for any region you are familiar with. It should only take 10 minutes. You can do the survey multiple times if you wish to enter details for more than 1 region. The survey will be open throughout September 2013. You don’t have to be a delegate to the IGC to do the survey. The more people who do this, the better will be the result. Pass the link onto anyone you feel could usefully contribute. The survey has been organised by Dr Suz Boschma, NSW Department of Primary Industries, Australia.
http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/SPSZV9H
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2. Ecosystem Science Long-Term Plan
The Academy of Science and others launched a consultation with the ecosystem science community to develop a cohesive plan for the long-term future.

http://www.ecosystemscienceplan.org.au/

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3. Berks, wankers and wonks: how to pitch science policy advice
[Guardian story recommended by Dean Ansell]

If you want to advise policymakers about science, learn from Kingsley Amis and Alan Clark.

http://www.theguardian.com/science/political-science/2013/sep/04/berks-wankers-wonks-science-policy-advice

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4. Portraying the science of the (over) fishing the deep
[YouTube clip recommended by Claire Runge]

Another great simple science animation to encourage lateral forms of science communications (see Don Driscoll’s recent attempt at http://vimeo.com/71194914 on the matrix in ecology). This one is called ‘Denizens of the deep’.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pp7BZjJkc_8

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5. International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) World Parks Congress website launched

The sixth IUCN World Parks Congress will be held in Sydney in November 2014, and is being co-hosted by Parks Australia and New South Wales Parks and Wildlife Services. This event will bring together over 3000 delegates from 160 countries to set the agenda for protected areas for the decade ahead.

http://www.worldparkscongress.org/

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EDG News

Brisbane: Kerrie Wilson wins the Eureka Prize for Outstanding Young Researcher
For her original and influential research, Dr Wilson has won the 2013 Australian Museum Macquarie University Eureka Prize for Outstanding Young Researcher.
The blurb reads: “Previous approaches to tight conservation budgets have tried to simply spread the dollars as widely as possible, but Dr Wilson has shown that smart, targeted spending can have a greater impact. These insights are helping to prioritise conservation efforts in Borneo in a way that balances competing land-use demands and the maintenance of forests to offset greenhouse gas emissions…”
Well done Kerrie!
http://australianmuseum.net.au/2013-winners-eureka

Perth: Melinda Moir on the Conversation about the conservation of inverts
Melinda has just written: Slimy, scaly and forgotten: we need to fund our invertebrates
“In Australia, the “cute and cuddlies” receive the vast amount of publicity and conservation management dollars. Little is left for the small, scaly and slimy species that many consider just plain creepy. But not only do we need invertebrates for our own survival; they’re also great bang for our conservation buck. Australia has about 300,000 terrestrial invertebrate species. The country has lost 8% of its native mammal fauna (23 species) since the arrival of Europeans. If we have lost a similar percentage of invertebrates, then 24,000 species could be extinct already. The problem however, isn’t simply a lack of funding. It is more fundamental. It is recognising which species require funding.
http://theconversation.com/slimy-scaly-and-forgotten-we-need-to-fund-our-invertebrates-15375

Canberra: Annabel Smith publishes on age in three fire-specialist lizards
Smith, A.L., Bull, C.M. and Driscoll, D.A. (2013),Skeletochronological analysis of age in three ‘fire-specialist’ lizard species. The South Australian Naturalist, Vol. 87, No. 1, pp 6-17
http://search.informit.com.au/documentSummary;dn=471323563991045;res=IELHSS

Melbourne: Claire Keely discusses Salamander road crossings

“I’ve just left Amherst, Massachusetts, where I was visiting an urban ecology lab, in the Department of Environment and Conservation, at the University of Massachusetts for three weeks. Amherst is a really beautiful, small college town and I loved riding my bike around and enjoying the sunshine (a good excuse to escape the cold of winter back home in Melbourne, Australia).When I chose to visit Amherst, I had no idea I was visiting the first place in North America to build salamander tunnels under the road! The salamander underpasses were created in 1987, for the yearly mass migration of the Spotted Salamander, Ambystoma maculatum. Every year, after the first rain of spring, most of the salamanders migrate during one night, to the nearby vernal pools to mate and lay their eggs. Drift fences along the road guide the salamanders to the two tunnels, which have holes above them, to let in light and moisture. Noah Charney took me to see the tunnels and look for amphibians while I was there. He narrates a video on the salamanders making their annual trek through the Henry st tunnels.
http://cckeelyresearch.wordpress.com/2013/08/27/salamander-road-crossings/

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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/

 

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