Dbytes #198 (2 June 2015)

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

“The more any quantitative social indicator (or even some qualitative indicator) is used for social decision-making, the more subject it will be to corruption pressures and the more apt it will be to distort and corrupt the social processes it is intended to monitor.” Campbell’s Law

General News

1. Two migratory bird species listed as critically endangered under the EPBC Act

2. Expertise and public policy: a conceptual guide

3. Fresh Science 2015

4. UNESCO and the Great Barrier Reef

5. Inspire Australia with your research

EDG News

General News: Up and coming external conference
Melbourne: Cindy Hauser on malleefowl workshops in Perth and Mildura
Canberra:
David Lindenmayer and colleagues on birds in woodland patches in pine plantations
Perth: Keren Raiter and Leonie Valentine win Best Publication Awards
Brisbane:
Sugeng Budiharta in Jakarta Post on expanding Indonesia’s forestry moratorium

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General News

1. Two migratory bird species listed as critically endangered under the EPBC Act

The Minister has approved the inclusion of two species, Calidris ferruginea (curlew sandpiper) and Numenius madagascariensis (eastern curlew), to the critically endangered category effective 26 May 2015. http://www.environment.gov.au/news/2015/05/26/two-species-listed-critically-endangered-under-epbc-act EDG’s Richard Fuller points out this finding is based primarily on his lab’s research. See Richard’s tweet for pics of the birds https://twitter.com/RichFullerUQ/status/603018415209512960

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2. Expertise and public policy: a conceptual guide

From Roger Beckmann A research paper from the Parliamentary Library. http://www.aph.gov.au/About_Parliament/Parliamentary_Departments/Parliamentary_Library/pubs/rp/rp1314/PublicPolicy

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3. Fresh Science 2015

Fresh Science is a national competition that selects researchers with research results, an invention, or a discovery, trains them in how to tell their story, and helps them share their findings with the media and the public.

Nominations are now open and close 25 June. http://freshscience.org.au/

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4. UNESCO and the Great Barrier Reef

The World Heritage Centre has recommended against the Great Barrier Reef being listed as “in danger”. See the Minister for the Environment’s statement at http://www.environment.gov.au/minister/hunt/2015/mr20150529.html And a timeline of the UNESCO documentation on the GBR at http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/154/documents/

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5. Inspire Australia with your research

The ‘Inspire Australia’ video research competition aims to showcase innovative research being performed in laboratories and universities across Australia by emerging research leaders. All Australians will have the chance to vote for the research that they think should be funded. The Australian Early to Mid-Career Researcher Forum of the Australian Academy of Science is putting up the initial $1000 prize pool but the prize money will grow from there as others add to the community chest. As the community pool grows, more early to mid-career researchers can be supported to pursue research projects which will impact on the health, environment and economy of Australia. Visit thinkable to learn more and start brainstorming how to showcase your research in a 3 minute video. https://www.thinkable.org/competition/15

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EDG News

General News: Up and coming external conference
A message from Karen Gillow: “I am delighted to announce that we have a really useful upgrade to our web sites: a full list of relevant upcoming external conferences (such as ICCB, or ESA), including a web link, info about abstract submission and registration (including early bird dates). This is all thanks to hard work by Dr Anna Renwick here at UQ – thanks heaps Anna!! Please email Anna if you see any omissions and she can update the calendar quickly and easily, and your update will instantly be available online for everyone. You can see this at either (both are the same) www.ceed.edu.au or www.edg.org – just click on the What’s On menu, and then Conferences. Under the What’s On menus is also a Calendar of our own events (training, workshops, meetings etc). These are generally attendance by invitation only, but more info for each is there too. Jane Campbell, our super Events Manager looks after this Calendar, so drop her an email if you have any questions.”

Melbourne: Cindy Hauser on malleefowl workshops in Perth and Mildura
“My flight from Tokyo had barely landed before I set off for Perth with the malleefowl adaptive management research team (including Mike Bode, José Lahoz-Monfort, Tim Burnard and Joe Benshemesh). We’re embarking on an ambitious landscape-scale experiment to help understand the role of foxes in malleefowl conservation. While we know that foxes do take malleefowl eggs, juveniles and occasionally even adult birds, is this predation a key threat to malleefowl persistence? And furthermore, is baiting an effective tool for mitigating any impacts that foxes may have on malleefowl?” https://cindyehauser.wordpress.com/2015/05/18/malleefowl-workshops-perth-mildura/

Canberra: David Lindenmayer and colleagues on birds in woodland patches in pine plantations
Using statistical modelling and principal coordinate analysis, the researchers explored how a suite of functional diversity measures, bird species richness and the composition of the bird assemblage changed over time and in response to key covariates, including time since plantation establishment, woodland patch size, number of woodland patch boundaries surrounded by plantation and woodland vegetation type. There was no significant change in species richness over time (with woodland patch size being the only significant effect on this measure). In contrast, they identified marked changes in the composition of bird assemblages, as well as significant temporal changes in functional diversity. The most substantial declines in functional diversity occurred in woodland patches completely surrounded by long-established stands of radiata pine. Examination of temporal changes in functional diversity added new insights into the biotic changes associated with landscape transformation and the functional role of species being replaced. Ref: DB Lindenmayer, W Blanchard, P Tennant, PS Barton, K Ikin, A Mortelliti, S Okada, M Crane & D Michael. (2015). Richness is not all: how changes in avian functional diversity reflect major landscape modification caused by pine plantations. Diversity and Distributions. DOI: 10.1111/ddi.12328.

Perth: Keren Raiter and Leonie Valentine win Best Publication Awards
Keren Raiter won the Best Postgraduate Publication Award, and Leonie Valentine won the Best Postdoctoral Research Staff Paper Award, presented by the Uni of Western Australia’s School of Plant Biology. Keren’s winning paper, published in Trends in Ecology and Evolution, is co-authored by Hugh Possingham, Suzanne Prober and Richard Hobbs and is titled: ‘Under the radar: mitigating enigmatic ecological impacts’ (doi: 10.1016/j.tree.2014.09.003). It presents the conceptual underpinning for her research on mitigating the enigmatic impacts of mining and exploration in Australia’s Great Western Woodland. Leonie’s winning paper, published in Biological Conservation is titled: ‘Time since fire influences food resources for an endangered species, Carnaby’s cockatoo, in a fire-prone landscape’ (doi: 10.1016/j.biocon.2014.04.006). This paper highlights that while human and asset protection is a priority for prescribed burning, management of landscapes for improved persistence of threatened species is also important and complex trade-offs will have to be considered.

Brisbane: Sugeng Budiharta in Jakarta Post on expanding Indonesia’s forestry moratorium
From Sugeng Budiharta: “I have my opinion piece entitled “Expand, not just extend, forestry moratorium” just out in the Jakarta Post, the largest Indonesian-based English newspaper (attached). You can also find the full article through this link http://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2015/05/25/expand-not-just-extend-forestry-moratorium.html. In this article, I suggest to expand the paradigm of Indonesia’s forestry moratorium into a broader sense: ecosystem services, and not only for carbon. Much of the idea was developed from our work in the Borneo Future Initiative, in which ARC-CEED also being involved.”

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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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