Dbytes #153 (17 June 2014)

Info & news for members and associates of the Environmental Decision Group
“A study of 17 million scientific articles recently showed that the highest impacts often come from work that is well-grounded in a field of research but at the same time involves an unusual link to another field” Marten Scheffer http://www.pnas.org/content/111/17/6119.full

General News

1. The Wentworth Group on the Bilateral Agreement Implementation (EPBC Act)

2. Cost-effectiveness of biosecurity response options to red imported fire ants in South East Queensland

3. General Approach to Planning Connectivity from Local Scales to Regional

4. The Action Plan for Australian Mammals

5. The Australian Innovation Challenge awards

EDG News
General news:
EDG recent publications webpage.
Melbourne:
Skipton Woolley invokes the World Cup in ecology
Brisbane:
Lorenzo Cattarino on land-use drivers of forest fragmentation
Canberra: Phil Gibbon’s Biodiversity Conservation blog
Perth:
Rachel Standish reports back on NERP Workshop to inform the Federal Government’s programme to plant 20 Million trees by 2020.

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General News

1. The Wentworth Group on the Bilateral Agreement Implementation (EPBC Act) The Wentworth Group issued its submission to a Senate committee inquiry into the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Amendment (Bilateral Agreement Implementation) Bill and a related Bill. “By far the most effective way to reduce regulatory burden and duplication for business, and at the same time deliver better environmental outcomes for Australia, is to:

– Develop long-term regional strategic plans to guide land use and natural resource management; – Put in place transparent national science-based standards so that new development does not significantly impact threatened species; – Streamline and coordinate assessment processes; and – Establish an independent National Environment Commission. The Commonwealth Government should withdraw the Bill and abandon plans to hand environmental approval powers over to the states, for the following five reasons:” follow link http://wentworthgroup.org/2014/06/submission-to-inquiry-into-environment-protection-and-biodiversity-conservation-amendment-bilateral-agreement-implementation-bill-2014/2014/

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2. Cost-effectiveness of biosecurity response options to red imported fire ants in South East Queensland
This publication was produced by ABARES for the National Biosecurity Committee The National Red Imported Fire Ant (RIFA) Eradication Program was formulated in 2001 following the detection of the pest in Brisbane. By the end of 2011-12, the program had spent a total of $411 million (in 2011-12 dollars). The National Biosecurity Committee asked ABARES to conduct a comprehensive cost-effectiveness analysis to provide information to help shape future policy directions for RIFA. ABARES is publishing the report with the agreement of the National Biosecurity Committee. The work considers the role of recently introduced remote sensing technology to improve surveillance and how sensitive the expected future impacts, program costs, program duration and probability of eradication are to the choice of budget. http://www.daff.gov.au/abares/pages/publications/display.aspx?url=http://143.188.17.20/anrdl/DAFFService/display.php?fid=pc_brifar9aab_20140611_11a.xml

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3. General Approach to Planning Connectivity from Local Scales to Regional (GAP CLoSR): combining multi-criteria analysis and connectivity science to enhance conservation outcomes at regional scale in the Lower Hunter This study, done by the LaP Hub, sets out to develop a decision support framework, the General Approach to Planning Connectivity from Local Scales to Regional (GAP CLoSR) framework, to facilitate participatory planning and implementation of biodiversity connectivity networks at regional and local scales. The intention of this project was to produce and build a transferable GIS framework that could potentially be used across Australia for connectivity planning and draws on best practice ecological science. This report describes the development of the prototype framework in the Lower Hunter Region of New South Wales. http://www.nerplandscapes.edu.au/publication/GAP_CLoSR

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4. The Action Plan for Australian Mammals CSIRO’s Publishing’s new The Action Plan for Australian Mammals 2012 book is now out and stock is available. The authors are John Woinarski, Andrew Burbidge and Peter Harrison. http://www.publish.csiro.au/pid/7010.htm

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5. The Australian Innovation Challenge awards Entries are open for the $65,000 The Australian Innovation Challenge awards, honouring excellence in environment, agriculture and food; community services: health, education and public services; minerals and energy; manufacturing, construction and infrastructure; and ICT. Now is your chance to showcase your bright idea by entering the challenge, which is run by The Australian in association with Shell.

The awards are open to individuals and teams, and you can enter more than one project. International collaborative projects are eligible as long as the work was driven from Australia. The awards recognise innovation purely for the public good as well as breakthroughs with a direct commercial focus. Entries close on 14 July 2014. http://www.theaustralian.com.au/innovationchallenge

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EDG News

General news: EDG recent publications webpage. This webpage is now being updated regularly. Here, you are able to browse and search through publications from 2007 onwards. http://www.edg.org.au/edg-publications.html

Melbourne: Skipton Woolley invokes the World Cup in ecology EWC14 – Match Two: Catenaccio & Ecological Niche Theory. In football, like science, competing paradigms and co-existing concepts are common. Despite the revolutionary ideas and performances of Sebes and Puskás, other tactical systems flourished in the 1950s and 1960s. The Catenaccio (literally meaning door-bolt in Italian) is a tactical system in football which implies a highly organized, structured and competitive backline defence. The tactic focuses on protecting space to minimise goal-scoring opportunities. Making a team defensively compact, while trying to score goals at the other end. Parallels can be drawn between the Catenaccio system and Ecological Niche theory. Niche theory was formally defined in 1957, when G. Evelyn Hutchinson defined a niche as an n-dimensional hyper-volume. Where the dimensions are environmental conditions and the resources that define the requirements of an individual or a species…” http://skiptonwoolleyresearch.wordpress.com/2014/05/28/ewc14-match-two-catenaccio-ecological-niche-theory/

Brisbane: Lorenzo Cattarino on land-use drivers of forest fragmentation

“We investigated how the effect of different land uses in driving forest fragmentation varies with the spatial scale at which we measure forest fragmentation patterns. We looked at grazing and cropping land uses and used Queensland as a case study. We found that grazing creates more fragmentation than cropping across multiple agricultural fields. However, this difference is less pronounced within agricultural fields. This finding tells us the land use to target with conservation actions to reduce fragmentation at relevant spatial scales, such as the scale at which species move or the scale at which land management is conducted.”

Ref: Cattarino, L, McAlpine C & Rhodes, J 2014. Land-use drivers of forest fragmentation vary with spatial scale. Global Ecology and Biogeography. Early Online. http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com.libraryproxy.griffith.edu.au/doi/10.1111/geb.12187/abstract

Canberra: Phil Gibbon’s Biodiversity Conservation blog Phil Gibbons runs a third year course in biodiversity conservation. One class exercise involves students writing a blog. Here’s what Phil says about what their efforts: “I’ve just read—and marked—every blog posted by the 2014 class studying Biodiversity Conservation at The Australian National University. Usually the prospect of marking 60+ papers has lecturers and tutors looking for an excuse to do something else, or at least reach for a coffee every 15 minutes. This is definitely not the case for this exercise. Undergraduates were asked to initiate and organise two days of work experience and then blog about this. Postgraduates were asked to blog about any topic of their choice.”

http://biodiversityconservationblog.wordpress.com/

Perth: Rachel Standish reports back on NERP Workshop to inform the Federal Government’s programme to plant 20 Million trees by 2020. “About 20 participants gathered at the Australian National Botanic Gardens in Canberra on June 5—World Environment Day—to help shape a new initiative to revegetate urban and regional landscapes while providing people with an opportunity to connect with nature. The programme will commence in July 2014 with a focus on the establishment of native, biodiverse mixes of trees and understorey species across Australia. An additional goal of the programme is to contribute to efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by five per cent below 2000 levels by 2020. Researchers offered their perspectives on the goals of the programme, potential approaches to short and longer-term monitoring and finally, some thoughts on prioritising efforts to maximise benefits to biodiversity and to people. Participants were generally optimistic about the potential to use existing ecological research to build a successful programme and to design the programme such that we can keep learning how to restore our unique Australian landscapes in a cost-effective manner.”

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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

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