Dbytes #176 (2 December 2014)

Info & news for members and associates of the Environmental Decision Group

“The Review delivers on the Government’s election commitment for a ‘More Competitive and Sustainable Fisheries Sector’ and will restore confidence in Commonwealth marine reserves by ensuring that management arrangements for the reserves reflect genuine and thorough consultation with stakeholders and are informed by the best available science.” From the Dept of the Environment website on the Commonwealth Marine Reserves Review (see item 1)

General News

1. Join the conversation about Commonwealth Marine Reserves

2. Important Bird and Biodiversity Areas are in Danger

3. Survey to help reform pest animal control

4. Antarctic Insider online newsletter

5. A field guide to Economics for Conservationists

EDG News

Brisbane: Justine Shaw on alien inverts in Antarctica
Melbourne: Jose Lahoz-Monfort on fox baiting and malleefowl conservation
Canberra: Making ecological monitoring successful
Rachel Standish appointed as Senior Lecturer in Ecology at Murdoch Uni


General News

1. Join the conversation about Commonwealth Marine Reserves

Written submissions to the independent review of Commonwealth Marine Reserves are now open. The co-Chairs of the Bioregional Advisory Panels, Professor Colin Buxton and Mr Peter Cochrane invite interested parties to provide them with ideas and suggestions on how marine reserves should be managed into the future. The submission period will remain open until 28 February 2015. http://www.environment.gov.au/mediarelease/join-conversation-about-commonwealth-marine-reserves http://www.marinereservesreview.gov.au/


2. Important Bird and Biodiversity Areas are in Danger There are 12,000 sites in the world classified as Important Bird and Biodiversity Areas (IBAs). Sadly, many of these sites are in danger of losing the habitat and biodiversity that makes them globally important. In Australia, BirdLife Australia has identified fourteen IBAs under levels of threat rated as Very High. Five of these have been designated as ‘in Danger’ as part of BirdLife International’s global campaign. Each of the IBAs in Danger provides habitat for species that are at high risk of extinction should the current threats continue. Fortunately, the value of these IBAs can be recovered through straightforward actions. http://www.birdlife.org.au/ibas-in-danger


3. Survey to help reform pest animal control If you think the laws, administration and funding arrangements for controlling invasive animals in Australia need to be improved then the Invasive Animals CRC would love you to take their survey. This research aims to collect ideas about ways to improve the institutional arrangements for the management of invasive animals, and feedback on a discussion paper “Improving Invasive Animals Institutions: A Citizen-focused Approach” Version 1.2. In this discussion paper, the researchers propose ideas about how to make laws, administration, funding and other arrangements more ‘citizen-friendly’ and supportive of community action. http://uneprofessions.az1.qualtrics.com/SE/?SID=SV_55w2HXBAhh9G2fX&Q_JFE=0


4. Antarctic Insider online newsletter Keep up to date with the latest news, events and activities in Antarctica with our online newsletter, Antarctic Insider. Every two months Antarctic Insider will be delivered to your inbox, providing you with a snapshot of the latest information from the Australian Antarctic Division and the broader Australian Antarctic program. http://www.antarctica.gov.au/news/antarctic-insider


5. A field guide to Economics for Conservationists

Why do conservationists need a field guide to economics on their shelves alongside the well-loved bird and plant guides? Two reasons, really. First, the economic decisions people make every day are at the core of the world’s conservation issues: climate change, Amazonian deforestation, tiger poaching, vulture declines in Asia, and countless others. Second, and more importantly, an understanding of the economic forces behind these decisions can help conservationists safeguard biodiversity in a more sophisticated and effective way. The authors use simple illustrations, examples from around the world, and readable (occasionally irreverent) prose to describe the central economic principles that are relevant to conservation. They assume no previous economic training. The book should prove an excellent resource for both teachers and students in conservation and ecology classes at the undergraduate and graduate levels, as well as for working scientists and others interested in learning more about conservation and economics.



EDG News

Brisbane: Justine Shaw on alien inverts in Antarctica “Just wanting to let you know that my new paper has come out in Polar Biology.It’s the first paper to come out the AAD biosecurity component of my NERP project. It’s a very applied paper – government asked a question, and I have been working closely with AAD staff (included as co-authors) to answer the question. It provides new information and advice on how to improve Antarctic biosecurity. The results have fed directly into the new biosecurity plan of the Australian Antarctic Division. The paper is led by my MSc student Melissa Houghton(UTAS).” Justine Shaw Reference Houghton M, Peter B. McQuillan, Dana M. Bergstrom, Leslie Frost, John van den Hoff, Justine Shaw (2014). Pathways of alien invertebrate transfer to the Antarctic region. Polar Science. DOI 10.1007/s00300-014-1599-2

Melbourne: Jose Lahoz-Monfort on fox baiting and malleefowl conservation “It is not every day that one adds a new megapode species to the life list! I’m spending a few days on Tetepare Island, a great conservation initiative to preserve the largest uninhabited island in the Solomons, and it has Melanesian megapodes (Megapodius eremita). Brownish, inconspicuous and rather small, they roam around the traditional palm leaf house that serves as lodge. The species resorts to external sources of heat to incubate the eggs, but unlike its cousin the malleefowl it tends to use piles of decomposing vegetation or volcanically-heated sandy soils. This morning, I found a monitor lizard digging megapode eggs from a mound. This reminded me of foxes and malleefowl, and I started reflecting on the progress that the Adaptive Management team has made over this year. Like the monitor lizard I was observing, we know for a fact that foxes prey on malleefowl. There is even very graphic evidence from camera traps of foxes digging eggs from mounds. From the conservation management point of view, however, the real question is whether such predation compromises the long term survival of malleefowl, and whether fox baiting – one of the main conservation actions currently undertaken – actually contributes to the recovery of the species. The evidence in the scientific literature regarding these questions is rather mixed.” http://joselahozresearch.wordpress.com/2014/11/17/experimental-learning-fox-baiting-for-malleefowl-conservation/

Canberra: Making ecological monitoring successful This recently released booklet from the Long Term Ecological Research Network (LTERN) Facility (part of TERN) is about lessons and insights from ecologists who have successfully designed and delivered on long-term ecological monitoring research. Lead author is Emma Burns, Exec Director of LTERN, with David Lindenmayer being one of the coauthors. Reference

Burns E, Lindenmayer D, Tennant P, Dickman C, Green P, Hanigan I, Hoffmann A, Keith D, Metcalfe D, Nolan K, Russell-Smith J, Wardle G, Welsh A, Williams R, Yates C (2014). Making ecological monitoring successful: Insights and lessons from the Long Term Ecological Research Network, LTERN, Australia. Available at http://www.tern.org.au/rs/7/sites/998/user_uploads/File/Making%20ecological%20monitoring%20successful_web.pdf

Perth: Rachel Standish appointed as Senior Lecturer in Ecology at Murdoch University Rachel will fly from the cosy Hobbs coop next year to start a tenured position at Murdoch University. Rachel has worked with Richard for over ten years mostly via support from the Australian Research Council via the Discovery (3 grants) and Linkage (1 grant) schemes, and more recently with support from the Centre of Excellence for Environmental Decisions. After a sneaky start (Rachel narrowly missed out on the formal post-doc position Richard had advertised), theirs has been a productive working relationship. They have co-authored 18 journal articles and 3 book chapters, and supervised 2 (almost 3!) post-graduate students to completion. Rachel’s highlights have been talking to Richard about science and life-stuff over coffee and beers, and taking advantage of the opportunities Richard has provided for overseas travel and professional development. Rachel will continue collaborating with Richard and remain affiliated with the EDG as an adjunct researcher at UWA. Science is challenging at best and defeating at worst—Rachel warmly thanks Richard for the unwavering support he has provided through both good times and bad.


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. While Dbytes is primarily aimed at members of the EDG, anyone is welcome to receive it. To unsubscribe or change your details please visit: http://lists.science.uq.edu.au/mailman/listinfo/dbites

Please pass this link to any others who may want to subscribe too.


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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