Dbytes #275 (9 February 2017)

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

“The largest island ever cleared [of vertebrate pests] is Australia’s Macquarie Island, which covers about 128 square kilometres. New Zealand’s total area is about 268,000 square kilometres.” Nature story on NZ plan to get rid of all vertebrate pests (see item 1)

General News

1. Behind New Zealand’s wild plan to purge all pests

2. The environment needs billions of dollars more: here’s how to raise the money

3. Monitoring ecological consequences of efforts to restore landscape-scale connectivity

4. Over half of world’s wild primate species face extinction, report reveals

5. Assessing your [academic] work life balance

EDG News

ANU Node: Rick Zentelis and colleagues on principles for integrated environmental management of military training areas
RMIT Node: Chris Ives and colleagues on capturing residents’ values for urban green space
UWA Node: Climate change impacts and farm-level adaptation: economic analysis of a mixed cropping-livestock system
UQ node: Johannes Refisch vistits UQ
UMelb Node:
Cindy’s 2016 travel retrospective
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General News

1. Behind New Zealand’s wild plan to purge all pests The country is gearing up to get rid of rats, possums, stoats and other invasive predators by 2050. Is it a pipe dream? http://www.nature.com/news/behind-new-zealand-s-wild-plan-to-purge-all-pests-1.21272?WT.mc_id=TWT_NA_1701_FHNEWSFNEWZEALANDPESTS_PORTFOLIO

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2. The environment needs billions of dollars more: here’s how to raise the money Conversation editorial https://theconversation.com/the-environment-needs-billions-of-dollars-more-heres-how-to-raise-the-money-70401

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3. Monitoring ecological consequences of efforts to restore landscape-scale connectivity “We developed a conceptual model of the hypothesised roles of connectivity in complex landscapes and a linked framework to guide design of connectivity monitoring approaches in an adaptive management context. We demonstrate that integrated monitoring approaches using complementary methods are essential to reveal whether long-term landscape-scale goals are being achieved, and to determine whether connectivity management and restoration are the mechanisms responsible. We summarize a real-world example of applying our approach to assist government develop a monitoring plan for a large-scale connectivity conservation initiative in the Australian Capital Territory. As well as highlighting the utility of the framework to help managers make informed choices about monitoring, this example illustrates the difficulties of convincing funding bodies to include monitoring in project budgets and the questions more likely to be answered with limited funds.” Reference: David M Watson, Veronica A J Doerr, Sam C Banks, Don A Driscoll, Rodney van der Ree, Erik D Doerr, Paul Sunnucks, Monitoring ecological consequences of efforts to restore landscape-scale connectivity, Biological Conservation, Volume 206, February 2017, Pages 201-209, ISSN 0006-3207, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.biocon.2016.12.032 .

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4. Over half of world’s wild primate species face extinction, report reveals Researchers warn of approaching ‘major extinction event’ if action is not taken to protect around 300 species, including gorillas, chimps, lemurs and lorises. More than half of the world’s apes, monkeys, lemurs and lorises are now threatened with extinction as agriculture and industrial activities destroy forest habitats and the animals’ populations are hit by hunting and trade. In the most bleak assessment of primates to date, conservationists found that 60% of the wild species are on course to die out, with three quarters already in steady decline. The report casts doubt on the future of about 300 primate species, including gorillas, chimps, gibbons, marmosets, tarsiers, lemurs and lorises. https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/jan/18/over-half-of-worlds-wild-primate-species-face-extinction-report-reveals?CMP=share_btn_tw

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5. Assessing your [academic] work life balance [recommended by Phil Gibbons] Peter Solomon has written about his experiences trying to navigate the challenges of the modern academic life. http://www.wheatbiosecurity.com/single-post/2017/01/12/Work-Life-Balance-is-it-realistic

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EDG News

ANU Node: Rick Zentelis and colleagues on principles for integrated environmental management of military training areas Military Training Areas (MTAs) cover an estimated 200–250 million hectares globally, occur in all major ecosystems, and are potentially significant conservation assets. In some jurisdictions, MTAs may be the largest terrestrial land use category that is owned and operated by a sovereign government. Despite this, MTAs are not recognised as either a conservation or environment protection resource. Further, no MTAs are managed for their environmental values, defined as aspects of the environment that are valued by society, nor is there any specific MTA management guidance that details how both the military training and environmental values of a MTA can be maintained. We develop MTA management principles that integrate the management of both military training objectives and environmental values. Key to achieving this integration is an understanding of the intersection of the impacts of military training on the environment, and the known, or potential, environmental values of a particular training area. To assist with the implementation of the management principles, we developed a new conceptual framework for the management of MTAs. The framework contains two adaptive management loops.

Ref: Zentelis, R., Lindenmayer, D., Roberts, J.D. & Dovers, S. (2017). Principles for integrated environmental management of military training areas. Land Use Policy 63 (2017) 186-195

RMIT Node: Chris Ives and colleagues on capturing residents’ values for urban green space Public participation GIS was used to elicit residents’ values for green open space. Respondents assign a range of values to green open spaces simultaneously. Values assigned to parks were related statistically to landscape characteristics. Distance from water is important but park management classification less so. Theoretical, statistical and practical challenges exist when applying PPGIS

Ref: Ives C.D., Oke C., Hehir A., Gordon A., Wang Y., Bekessy S.A. (2017) Capturing residents’ values for urban green space: Mapping, analysis and guidance for practice. Landscape and Urban Planning. doi: 10.1016/j.landurbplan.2016.12.010

http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0169204616302821

UWA Node: Climate change impacts and farm-level adaptation: economic analysis of a mixed cropping-livestock system “The effects of climate change on agricultural profitability depend not just on changes in production, but also on how farming systems are adapted to suit the new climatic conditions. We investigated the interaction between production changes, adaptation and farm profits for a mixed livestock–cropping farming system in the Western Australian Wheatbelt. Crop and pasture production was simulated for a range of plausible rainfall, temperature and CO2 concentrations for 2030 and 2050. Profit margins were much more sensitive to climate change than production levels (e.g., yields). The whole-farm benefits of these adaptations were up to $176,000/year, demonstrating that estimating the impact of climate change without allowing for adaptation can substantially inflate costs.” Ref: Thamo, T., Addai, D., Pannell, D.J., Robertson, M.J., Thomas, D.T. and Young, J.M. (2017). Climate change impacts and farm-level adaptation: economic analysis of a mixed cropping-livestock system, Agricultural Systems 150, 99-108.

UQ node: Johannes Refisch vistits UQ From Kerrie Wilson: I am pleased to advise that Dr Johannes Refisch will be visiting the UQ node of CEED over the next two months. Johannes is on sabbatical from UNEP and will visit both CEED and the Max Planck Institute in Germany during his leave. Johannes leads the secretariat for the Great Apes Survival Partnership (GRASP), a unique alliance of member nations, research institutions, conservation organizations, United Nations agencies and private supporters that is based at UNEP headquarters in Nairobi. Johannes’ office is in 524 of Level 5 of BIOL. If you would like to make a time to meet with Johannes please do so. His email address is Johannes.Refisch@unep.org.”

UMelb Node: Cindy’s 2016 travel retrospective
“I spent one-third of 2016 outside of Melbourne! Much of my travel was motivated by my work. Though I had lofty goals of blogging on the go, I didn’t progress beyond a single draft post. But once December rolled round I shared a slideshow of travel highlights with the QAECO lab – here’s a few annotated pics…” https://cindyehauser.wordpress.com/2017/01/03/2016-travel-retrospective/ -~<>~- 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.

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

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