Dbytes #195 (12 May 2015)

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

“Thousands of businesses and families throughout Victoria also derive their livelihood from timber and paper production activities from the Central Highland region. Everyone wants to ensure the [Leadbeater’s] possum’s survival – but equally we must ensure the survival of the businesses which put food on the table of 21,000 families in Victoria”. Australian Forest Products Association on the listing of the Leadbeater’s possum as Critically Endangered http://www.ausfpa.com.au/wp-content/uploads/23.04.15-Leadbeaters-Possum-and-industry-can-co-exist.pdf

General News

1. Ramsar wetlands dataset

2. Better budgeting with environmental accounting

3. Twenty tips for writing a research proposal

4. Top 100 cited papers of all time

5. Conference: Species on the Move

EDG News

Canberra: Dean Ansell writes an editorial biodiversity conservation on farms
Perth:
Jodi Price talks on functional similarity and species coexistence
Brisbane:
Sam Nicol and colleagues on the parlous state of the red-finned blue-eye
Melbourne: Mick McCarthy and colleagues on alpine grazing (in the Conversation)

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General News

1. Ramsar wetlands dataset Now available under Creative Commons licensing. The Department’s spatial data portal includes a dataset of Australia’s Ramsar wetlands. http://www.environment.gov.au/fed/catalog/search/resource/details.page?uuid=%7B3F208CDF-28ED-4B1F-B965-A733EB58D952%7D

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2. Better budgeting with environmental accounting The Australian Bureau of Statistics has produced national accounts data for more than 50 years and it provides consistent statistics for tracking of the health of the economy and informing decision-making including the federal Budget. But there’s a crucial piece of the puzzle missing: data on the health of our environment is not included in national accounts. And we are all poorer for it. A Conversation editorial by Michael Vardon and Peter Burnett https://theconversation.com/better-budgeting-with-environmental-accounting-40699

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3. Twenty tips for writing a research proposal

Recommended by anna Renwick [Editor’s tip: If your proposal includes lists, make sure they contain no more than 5-7 tips.] http://conservationbytes.com/2015/05/04/twenty-tips-for-writing-a-research-proposal/

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4. Top 100 cited papers of all time
Recommended by Claire Runge

Claire’s comments on this paper: “The trick is to write a biology lab method paper. The good news for all of us – having a paper cited just once puts it in the top 50% of all articles! (Most papers are never cited or only cited once). Get it cited more than 10 times and you are in the top 25% and to make it to the top 2% all you need is 100 citations.” http://www.nature.com/news/the-top-100-papers-1.16224?WT.mc_id=TWT_NatureNews

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5. Conference: Species on the Move

‘Species on the Move’ is an international conference being hosted in Hobart in February 2016 and focusses on species responses to climate change. Workshop proposals due May 15th. http://www.speciesonthemove.com/

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EDG News

Canberra: Dean Ansell writes an editorial biodiversity conservation on farms Dean Ansell writes about Australia’s approach to biodiversity conservation on farms and asks whether we are behind the game in agri-environmental policy. http://www.policyforum.net/the-birds-and-the-beef/

Perth: Jodi Price talks on functional similarity and species coexistence Jodi Price gave an invited seminar presentation in the Department of Ecology and Evolution at La Trobe University in April. The presentation titled ‘General patterns in the relationship between functional similarity and species coexistence’ focused on Jodi’s research examining species coexistence in grassland communities. Jodi also met with PhD students during her visit, and collaborated with Dr John Morgan on various projects.

Brisbane: Sam Nicol and colleagues on the parlous state of the red-finned blue-eye “For those interested, our latest paper just came out in the ESA’s new journal Ecosphere. We investigated the factors that predict occupancy of one of Australia’s most critically endangered fish, the red-finned blue-eye, and it’s highly invasive competitor, the mosquitofish Gambusia holbrooki. These two fish are waging a war for survival on a single former cattle station in arid Western Queensland which forms the global habitat for the red-finned blue-eye. The stakes are pretty high: if we can’t eradicate the mosquitofish then it’s likely that the red-finned blue-eye will go extinct. The property contains artesian springs fed by the Great Artesian Basin – it’s a fascinating system and a cool place to study. This is the first in a series of studies that we’re doing to try to figure out how to eradicate the invader while trying to protect the endemic species. For those of you who can’t stomach a full paper, here’s a blog article I wrote about the paper (it has pictures! J): http://conservationdecisions.org/2015/05/05/what-makes-a-fish-want-to-live-in-the-desert/ Ref: Nicol S, Haynes TB, Fensham R, Kerezsy A (2015). Quantifying the impact of Gambusia holbrooki on the extinction risk of the critically endangered red-finned blue-eye. Ecosphere 6(3):41. DOI: dx.doi.org/10.1890/ES14-00412.1 http://www.esajournals.org/doi/pdf/10.1890/ES14-00412.1

Melbourne: Mick McCarthy and colleagues on alpine grazing (in the Conversation) “Science shows alpine grazing doesn’t reduce bushfire risk and damages the environment. But the issue will no doubt continue to be debated. The Victorian government has removed cattle from the Alpine National Park and introduced legislation to parliament that bans future cattle grazing in the park, under debate this week. This is the latest in a string of decisions relating to alpine grazing in Victoria. We are now back where we were a decade ago, when the Labor government under Steve Bracks banned cattle grazing in the Alpine National Park in 2005. So, what is the crux of this debate? Those in favour of alpine cattle grazing argue that “grazing reduces blazing” – that it lessens the risk of fire. Opponents point to the lack of evidence for this claim and the ample evidence that cattle grazing harms the environment. The science supports the position of the opponents. But to understand the current situation, it is worth recalling the cycle of policy changes over the past decade.” https://theconversation.com/the-alpine-grazing-debate-was-never-about-science-40219

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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. 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/

Decision Point: http://www.decision-point.com.au/

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