Dbytes #290 (1 June 2017)

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

“The Trump administration is likely to find itself internationally isolated on climate change policy, while locking US industrial systems into last century’s technologies and delaying an economic transition that is underway globally. It is not a scenario that is built to last – and if it does last, it is unlikely to work out to America’s long term advantage.”
Professor Frank Jotzo (Climate change: Trump swaps global leadership for obstruction)


General News

1. Killing cats, rats and foxes is no silver bullet for saving wildlife
2. An analysis of scientific mavericks and heretics
3. Towards an indicator system to assess equitable management in protected areas
4. Can Vulnerable Animals Find New Homes On Private Lands?
5. An interdisciplinary review of approaches to improving human-predator relations

EDG News

UQ Node: Kerrie Wilson awarded 2017 Nancy Millis medal for Women in Science
ANU node: David Lindenmayer and Ben Scheele on scientists are accidentally helping poachers drive rare species to extinction
UWA node:
Steve Schilizzi presents an Overview of Laboratory Research on Conservation Auctions
UMelb: Spatial capture-recapture modelling in Melbourne

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General News

1. Killing cats, rats and foxes is no silver bullet for saving wildlife
Cats, rats and foxes have wrought havoc on Australian wildlife and ecosystems. Known as “invasive mammalian predators”, these are species that have established populations outside their native range. Responsible for numerous extinctions across the globe, this group of species also includes American mink in Europe, stoats and ferrets in New Zealand, and mongooses on many islands. One common solution is to kill these predators. However, research published this week in the journal Biological Conservation shows it’s much more complicated than that. Killing invasive predators often doesn’t work and is sometimes actually worse for native wildlife.

https://theconversation.com/killing-cats-rats-and-foxes-is-no-silver-bullet-for-saving-wildlife-42754

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2. An analysis of scientific mavericks and heretics
[Recommended by Ascelin Gordon who says it shows that sometimes being ridiculed may be a good sign!]
This is about great ideas initially rejected but later proven correct. And, for those wanting to make big waves, the analysis (n=40) finds that the average heretic’s age is 37.5 (so don’t leave your wave making too long).

http://www.informationisbeautiful.net/visualizations/mavericks-and-heretics/

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3. Towards an indicator system to assess equitable management in protected areas
“No adequate standardized metrics to assess equitably managed PAs exists. We elaborate ten indicators to assess recognition, procedural and distributional equity in PAs. They are crucial to guide decision-makers towards equitable management and to help managers to address inequity in PAs.”

Ref: N. Zafra-Calvo, U. Pascual, D. Brockington, B. Coolsaet, J.A. Cortes-Vazquez, N. Gross-Camp, I. Palomo, N.D. Burgess, Towards an indicator system to assess equitable management in protected areas, Biological Conservation, Volume 211, Part A, July 2017, Pages 134-141, ISSN 0006-3207,

http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0006320717304421

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4. Can Vulnerable Animals Find New Homes On Private Lands?
Dr George Wilson (ANU) has long been worried about the way our animals are disappearing from the landscape. He thinks market forces could have a role to play in conservation. If private landholders could take up wildlife property rights and responsibilities, would that make up for shortfalls in government funding?

Radio National’s Ockham’s Razor
http://www.abc.net.au/radionational/programs/ockhamsrazor/vulnerable-animals-and-private-land/8561286

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5. An interdisciplinary review of approaches to improving human-predator relations

By Joern Fischer

“I’d like to recommend the following paper: Pooley et al. (2017) An interdisciplinary review of current and future approaches to improving human-predator relations.Conserv Biol 2017 http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/cobi.12859/full

Pooley et al. shine a fresh light on human-wildlife conflicts – or put differently, on human-wildlife coexistence and coadaptation. The authors argue that much research on human-wildlife conflicts has been heavily influenced by ways of thinking that are typical of the natural sciences. While this is not surprising, the authors argue that much could be gained by engaging more deeply with concepts and insights generated by scholars from other disciplines, including political ecology, history and human geography.

Key points include that both reasons and consequences of how humans and wildlife coexist have roots that are far deeper than natural sciences alone can discover. A neat example is that some species are protected for spiritual reasons, while others are persecuted for spiritual reasons – how should conservation biologists engage with such instances? As Pooley et al. point out, surely not selectively, simply maximizing conservation benefits. Another interesting example relates to the extent to which negatively affected communities engage with or shy away from political approaches to addressing their problems – issues of power and fear (as well as knowledge and time) can easily undermine some stakeholders’ willingness or ability to speak up about their problems to relevant authorities. …”

https://ideas4sustainability.wordpress.com/2017/05/11/paper-recommendation-understanding-human-wildlife-coexistence/

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EDG News

UQ Node: Kerrie Wilson awarded 2017 Nancy Millis medal for Women in Science
CEED’s Director, Kerrie Wilson, has been awarded the 2017 Nancy Millis medal for Women in Science. She received her award at the annual Science at the Shine Dome event last week, held by the Australian Academy of Science. The Nancy Millis Medal honours the contributions made to science by the late Emeritus Professor Nancy Millis AC MBE and recognises her importance as a role model for women aspiring to be research leaders.
http://www.uq.edu.au/news/article/2017/05/uq-environmental-star-wins-prestigious-science-medal

ANU node: David Lindenmayer and Ben Scheele on scientists are accidentally helping poachers drive rare species to extinction
Biologists have long valued publishing detailed information on rare and endangered species. Until relatively recently, much of this information was accessible only through accessing specialized scientific journals in university libraries. However, much of these data have been transferred online with the advent of digital platforms and a rapid push to open-access publication. Information is increasingly also available online in public reports and wildlife atlases, and research published behind paywalls can often be found in the public domain. Increased data and information accessibility has many benefits, such as helping to improve repeatability in scientific studies and enhancing collaboration. However, such readily accessible information also creates major problems in the context of conserving endangered species.
Ref: Science 356: 800-801
http://science.sciencemag.org/content/356/6340/800

And see The Conversation editorial on this topic at
https://theconversation.com/scientists-are-accidentally-helping-poachers-drive-rare-species-to-extinction-78342

UWA node: Steve Schilizzi presents an Overview of Laboratory Research on Conservation Auctions

Steve Schilizzi has been capturing work on conservation auctions that is currently going on including what has not yet been published. He released a paper that reviews the laboratory research on conservation auctions by first suggesting a framework for organizing the literature; then by highlighting the key insights and contributions achieved to date; and thirdly by taking stock of pending questions and unresolved problems. The review framework focuses on the performance of conservation auctions and distinguishes between causal factors and resulting effects.
Ref: Schilizzi, S. (2017). An Overview of Laboratory Research on Conservation Auctions. Land Use Policy, 63: 571-583


UMelb: Spatial capture-recapture modelling in Melbourne
Bronwyn Hradsky, Chris Hallam and Rebecca Groenewegen from UMelb attended a 4-day workshop on Spatial Capture-Recapture techniques. The workshop was held at the Arthur-Rylah Institute in Melbourne, and taught by Murray Efford (Otago), Gurutzeta Guillera-Arroita (UMelb) and Joanne Potts. More at
https://gguilleraresearch.wordpress.com/2017/05/23/spatial-capture-recapture-modelling-in-melbourne/


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About Dbytes
Dbytes is the eNewsletter of the Environmental Decisions Group. It is edited and distributed by David Salt. 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@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 receives support from the ARC Centre of Excellence for Environmental Decisions (CEED). You can find out about the wonderful work of CEED by reading its magazine, Decision Point (which, as it happens, is also produced by David Salt).

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

 

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