Info & news for members and associates of the Environmental Decisions Group
“The practice of throwing more science at science denial ignores the social science research into denial. You can’t adequately address this issue without considering the root cause: personal beliefs and ideology driving the rejection of scientific evidence. Attempts at science communication that ignore the potent influence effect of worldview can be futile or even counterproductive.”
John Cook http://theconversation.com/inoculating-against-science-denial-40465
1. Nominations of fellows for the IPBES young fellows pilot programme
2. Advances in Reintroduction Biology of Australian and New Zealand Fauna
3. Feedback wanted on Eucalypt woodlands of the Western Australian Wheatbelt ecological community
4. Frogs of Australia – iPhone/iPad app
5. Improving knowledge exchange among scientists and decision-makers
General EDG news: The EDG Events calendar
Brisbane: Hugh Possingham “ReWrite the Rules”
Melbourne: Chris Ives and colleagues on the use of social data in strategic environmental assessment
Canberra: Karen Ikin and colleagues on woodland and agriculture Perth: Richard Hobbs visits Pacific Institute for Climate Solutions
1. Nominations of fellows for the IPBES young fellows pilot programme The pilot programme is targeting young scholars who wish to gain experience by participating in the development of the regional and sub-regional assessments (Africa, Americas, Asia-Pacific and Europe and Central Asia) or the thematic assessment on land degradation and restoration. Selected fellows will take part as contributing authors to the chapter of the assessment they are selected for. Fellows will attend two author meetings and receive training to gain an in-depth understanding of the IPBES assessment processes. Fellows from developing countries and countries with economies in transition will receive support to attend these two meetings, in accordance with UN rules. Nominees will be invited to fill out an application form and attach their curricula vitae through the dedicated web portal (http://www.ipbes.net/fellowshipform.html) Interested candidates (nominees) are requested to fill out their application form no later than 31 May 2015.
2. Advances in Reintroduction Biology of Australian and New Zealand Fauna Advances in Reintroduction Biology of Australian and New Zealand Fauna is a timely review of our understanding of translocation from an Australasian perspective, ensuring translocation becomes an increasingly effective conservation management strategy in the future. Written by experts, including reintroduction practitioners, researchers and policy makers, the book includes extensive practical advice and example case studies, identifies emerging themes and suggests future directions. http://www.publish.csiro.au/nid/21/pid/7357.htm
3. Feedback wanted on Eucalypt woodlands of the Western Australian Wheatbelt ecological community Dept of the Environment invited comment on draft conservation advice for the eucalypt woodlands of the WA wheatbelt. http://www.environment.gov.au/node/38903
4. Frogs of Australia – iPhone/iPad app [Recommended by Kerrie Wilson] ‘Frogs of Australia’ is a comprehensive electronic field guide app to Australian frogs, available for iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch (with an Android version on the way). Species profiles include high-resolution photographs, distribution maps, description of key characters, similar species, conservation, calls, and more. http://www.ugmedia.com.au/field-guides/frogs-of-australia/
5. Improving knowledge exchange among scientists and decision-makers Ref: Cvitanovic C, Hobday A, van Kerkhoff L, Wilson SK, Dobbs K, Marshall NA (2015) Improving knowledge exchange among scientists and decision-makers to facilitate the adaptive governance of marine resources: A review of knowledge and research needs. Ocean and Coastal Management 112, 25-35.
General EDG news: The EDG Events calendar EDG workshops, external conferences and other events are all listed in our online calendar. http://www.edg.org.au/events.html
Brisbane: Hugh Possingham “ReWrite the Rules” On May 23, Hugh Possingham spoke on species triage at UQ TEDX, a public and online forum. To see his performance, visit https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ehFy-GRfIfc and Hugh begins his talk at the 1:36minute mark.
Melbourne: Chris Ives and colleagues on the use of social data in strategic environmental assessment Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) is increasingly used to assess land use plans in a way that is broader in spatial, temporal and conceptual scope than traditional Environmental Impact Assessment. In this paper Chris Ives and colleagues argue that data on the social context of land use plans are vital to ensure effective biodiversity conservation outcomes that result from SEAs. They explore the Australian Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act (1999) (EPBC Act) as a case example of how the integration of these data can be practically achieved within an existing legal process. While a range of social data is relevant to this type of assessment, they focus on the use of spatially-referenced social data in the context of land use planning. When applied to the design and implementation of land use plans, this type of information can improve the acceptability of conservation actions, enhance environmental stewardship, and minimise land use.
Ref: Christopher D. Ives, Duan Biggs, Mathew J. Hardy, Alex M. Lechner, Mateusz Wolnicki, Christopher M. Raymond, Using social data in strategic environmental assessment to conserve biodiversity, Land Use Policy, Volume 47, Pages 332-341. http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0264837715001015
Canberra: Karen Ikin and colleagues on woodland and agriculture “The identification of habitat structures with biologically meaningful links to habitat quality has enabled an increased understanding of wildlife distributions in fragmented landscapes. However, knowledge is lacking of where these structures occur in the landscape. For a broad-scale agricultural landscape, we investigated how the occurrence and abundance of wildlife habitat structures is related to abiotic conditions and land management practices, and whether this differed between old growth and regrowth woodland. We used generalised linear mixed models to investigate the distribution of eight habitat structures in the South-West Slopes bioregion of south-eastern Australia. Only one habitat structure, canopy depth, was related to abiotic conditions alone, whereas only leaf litter cover was related to land management practices only. Each of the other structures (abundance of logs, large trees, hollow-bearing trees, mid-sized trees and dead trees, and amount of native grass cover) was related to a combination and/or interaction of abiotic conditions and land management practices. Old growth woodland had higher log, large tree and hollow-bearing tree abundance, whereas regrowth woodland had higher mid-sized tree and dead tree abundance. Our findings inform key management prescriptions that can be used to improve conservation efforts so they have strong, quantifiable effects on wildlife habitat in temperate agricultural landscapes. Our case study shows that by understanding how management actions in specific abiotic conditions lead to the increased occurrence or abundance of particular habitat structures, management can be spatially targeted to alternative conservation strategies relevant to the landscape of interest.” Ref: Ikin, K., Mortelliti, A., Stein, J.R., Michael, D., Crane, M., Okada, S., Wood, J. and Lindenmayer, D.B. (2015). Woodland habitat structures are affected by both agricultural land management and abiotic conditions. Landscape Ecology, doi: 10.1007/s10980-015-0193-5. http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs10980-015-0193-5
Perth: Richard Hobbs visits Pacific Institute for Climate Solutions Richard is currently on a 6 week Visiting Fellowship with the Pacific Institute for Climate Solutions, a British Columbia Provincial Government initiative that spans the 4 main BC universities. As part of the fellowship, Richard is giving seminars at the University of Victoria, University of Northern British Columbia and the University of British Columbia, on the topic “Dealing with dragons: Deciding if, when, and how to intervene in ecosystems”. He has also visited the Hakai Institute on Calvert Island, participated in the “Thinking Mountains” conference in Jasper Alberta, and is collaborating with Eric Higgs and Nancy Shackelford at UVic. -~<>~-
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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/