Dbytes #204 (21 July 2015)

 Info & news for members and associates of the Environmental Decisions Group “If these numbers are right that means there’s a huge amount of carbon stored in native forest. If the numbers are wrong, then we’re in real trouble, because that suggests that Australia’s carbon accounting methodology is deeply flawed and we cannot faithfully and accurately report to the United Nations on emissions from native forest management. You can’t have it both ways. Either the forests are a very significant store of carbon or the entire carbon methodology is flawed.”
David Lindenmayer on Radio National Background Briefing (see Canberra news)

General News

1. Department of the Environment issues ‘Threatened Species Strategy Action Plan 2015-16 – 20 mammals by 2020’.

2. Six bird species listed under the EPBC Act

3. NGOs say habitat protection must be a focus of threatened species recovery

4. A proposal to streamline regulation of trade in wildlife listed on the CITES

5. When the End of Human Civilization Is Your Day Job

EDG News

Canberra: David Lindenmayer features on Background Briefing on carbon in native forest
Perth: Richard Hobbs and John Weins on the history of Landscape Ecology in North America and Australia
Brisbane: Martine Maron and colleagues on climate-induced resource bottlenecks
Melbourne: Brendan Wintle on nice comments on simulation in ecology and SDM

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General News 1. Department of the Environment issues ‘Threatened Species Strategy Action Plan 2015-16 – 20 mammals by 2020’.

http://www.environment.gov.au/biodiversity/threatened/publications/factsheet-threatened-species-strategy-action-plan-2015-16-20-mammals-by-2020

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2. Six bird species listed under the EPBC Act

The Minister has approved the inclusion of six species of threatened birds to various categories under the EPBC Act effective 8 July 2015. They are the slender-billed thornbill, the painted honeyeater, the Horsfield’s bushlark, the Bassian thrush, plains wanderer and the regent honeyeater. http://www.environment.gov.au/news/2015/07/14/six-species-listed-under-epbc-act

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3. NGOs say habitat protection must be a focus of threatened species recovery

A new report released by the Australian Conservation Foundation, BirdLife Australia and Environmental Justice Australia reveals that recovery plans designed to prevent Australia’s most endangered species from extinction are failing to protect habitat. The report, ‘Recovery planning – Restoring life to our threatened species’, released in the lead up to the first national Threatened Species Summit last week, finds that of Australia’s 120 most endangered animals, only 10 per cent had plans that placed any clear limits on the future loss of habitat. http://www.acfonline.org.au/news-media/media-release/habitat-protection-must-be-focus-threatened-species-recovery

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4. A proposal to streamline regulation of trade in wildlife listed on the CITES

Invitation to comment. The Australian Government is considering a proposal to streamline regulation of trade in wildlife listed on the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES). Two areas have been identified as having potential for reform: 1. Options for streamlining the processing and issuing of CITES permits to provide greater certainty for commercial wildlife trade, including for the crocodile industry. 2. Personal and household effects provisions for the international movement of specimens listed on Appendix II of CITES. http://www.environment.gov.au/biodiversity/wildlife-trade/comment/streamline-regulation

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5. When the End of Human Civilization Is Your Day Job

Among many climate scientists, gloom has set in. Things are worse than we think, but they can’t really talk about it. An Esquire feature http://www.esquire.com/news-politics/a36228/ballad-of-the-sad-climatologists-0815/

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EDG News

Canberra: David Lindenmayer features on Background Briefing David Lindenmayer discusses carbon storage in native forests on a Radio National Background Briefing special called Burning Question on 19 July 2015). “Burning native timber for renewable energy could prop up an ailing native forest industry, but the forests could earn millions in carbon credits if they’re not logged. Both options are hotly disputed and the argument opens a new front in the long running and politically-charged ‘forest wars’.” http://www.abc.net.au/radionational/programs/backgroundbriefing/a-burning-question/6616386

Perth: Richard Hobbs and John Weins on the history of Landscape Ecology in North America and Australia Richard Hobbs and colleague John Weins, have contributed a chapter to the new book, “History of Landscape Ecology in the United States”, which describes the conception and development of landscape ecology as a new paradigm. In their chapter, “A Tale of Two Continents: The Growth and Maturation of Landscape Ecology in North America and Australia”, Richard and John explore how initial conditions and environmental and cultural settings have influenced how landscape ecology has developed in North America over the past quarter of a century in comparison with that of landscape ecology in Australia where things are indeed different and landscape ecology had a later start. http://www.springer.com/us/book/9781493922741

Brisbane: Martine Maron and colleagues on climate-induced resource bottlenecks Resource bottlenecks – periods of severe restriction in resource availability – triggered by increased climate variability represent important and little-understood mechanisms through which climate change will affect biodiversity. In this review, we synthesize the key global change processes that exacerbate the severity of bottlenecks in resource availability on animal populations, and outline how adaptation responses can help buffer the impacts. We found forty-nine instances of population-level impacts from climate-induced resource bottlenecks were recorded from the literature, including four extinctions and ten population crashes. Anthropogenic land use change interacts with increasing climatic variability to exacerbate these resource ‘crunches’, but can sometimes act as a buffer for species. More effective conservation responses to climate-related threats include managing protected area networks for spatial and temporal resource complementarities and other targeted actions to buffer vulnerable species against bottlenecks. Ref: Maron, M., McAlpine, C. A., Watson, J. E. M., Maxwell, S., Barnard, P. (2015), Climate-induced resource bottlenecks exacerbate species vulnerability: a review. Diversity and Distributions, 21: 731–743. doi: 10.1111/ddi.12339 http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/ddi.12339/full

Melbourne: Brendan Wintle on nice comments on simulation in ecology and SDM

“I find myself drawn back to blogosphere by a nice short comment about simulation in ecology by Vıtezslav Moudry in Journal of Biogeography. The comment highlights the impact that poor data quality can have on species distribution models, and points to the value of simulation studies for helping understand the behaviour of SDMs under different types of data bias, and the utility of some approaches for dealing with poor data quality. The study makes mention of a couple of my favourite studies, including two papers led by postdocs in our group; José Lahoz-Monfort and Gurutzeta Guillera-Arroita…” https://brendanwintle.wordpress.com/2015/06/29/nice-comments-on-simulation-in-ecology-and-sdm/

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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/ EDG: http://www.edg.org.au/

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

 

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