Dbytes #420 (8 April 2020)

Info, news & views for anyone interested in biodiversity conservation and good environmental decision making


“For the first time, severe bleaching has struck all three regions of the Great Barrier Reef – the northern, central and now large parts of the southern sectors.”
Terry Hughes and Morgan Pratchett [see item 3]


In this issue of Dbytes

1. The Australian Native Seed Survey Report
2. ‘Probably the worst year in a century’: Australia’s environmental toll of 2019
3. We just spent two weeks surveying the Great Barrier Reef. What we saw was an utter tragedy
4. Decision to renew Victorian logging agreements criticised after summer bushfires
5. Government safeguards again fail to curb emissions from big polluters
6. Nature moves back in…or will it?
7. Entering a no-analogue future

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1. The Australian Native Seed Survey Report

Effective ecological restoration is going to be critical if we are to have any hope of repairing the damage done to biodiversity in human landscapes (the recent fires in some cases exacerbate this need), and the fundamental resource for this is native seed. This report provides a once in a generation snapshot of the state of the seed sector and the concerns and issues those involved see as hindering our quest to protect what we have remaining and to restoring the landscapes we’ve degraded.

https://www.anpc.asn.au/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/ANPC_NativeSeedSurveyReport_WEB.pdf

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2. ‘Probably the worst year in a century’: Australia’s environmental toll of 2019

Record heat and drought across Australia delivered the worst environmental conditions across the country since at least 2000, with river flows, tree cover and wildlife being hit on an “unprecedented scale”, according to a new report.

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2020/mar/30/probably-the-worst-year-in-a-century-the-environmental-toll-of-2019

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3. We just spent two weeks surveying the Great Barrier Reef. What we saw was an utter tragedy

The Australian summer just gone will be remembered as the moment when human-caused climate change struck hard. First came drought, then deadly bushfires, and now a bout of coral bleaching on the Great Barrier Reef – the third in just five years. Tragically, the 2020 bleaching is severe and the most widespread we have ever recorded.

https://theconversation.com/we-just-spent-two-weeks-surveying-the-great-barrier-reef-what-we-saw-was-an-utter-tragedy-135197

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4. Decision to renew Victorian logging agreements criticised after summer bushfires

Conservationists call on the state to explain how it will boost wildlife protection in the wake of devastating fires

https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2020/apr/03/decision-to-renew-victorian-logging-agreements-criticised-after-summer-bushfires

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5. Government safeguards again fail to curb emissions from big polluters

Nearly a fifth (18 per cent) of the 210 mines, smelters, refineries and other facilities covered by the Morrison Government’s climate safeguards exceeded their polluting limits in 2018-19, analysis by the Australian Conservation Foundation (ACF) has revealed. ACF’s analysis of data released by the Clean Energy Regulator found the facilities purchased only $863,860 worth of carbon credits in 2018-19, while companies avoided paying around $10.3 million in carbon credits, meaning they effectively emitted around 729,000 tonnes of climate pollution without charge.

https://www.acf.org.au/morrison_govt_safeguards_again_fail_to_curb_emissions_from_big_polluters

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6. Nature moves back in…or will it?

With urban areas around the world suddenly emptied of humans, people are sharing photos and videos on social media showing wild animals cavorting in the empty streets. I started to collate some of them on Twitter, but I gave up because it’s really hard to confirm how many of them are fake news. The Goats of Llandudno were a legitimate lockdown observation – but it turns out they’re regular visitors to the town. Some posts are clearly a joke (a herd of buffalo in the centre of Buffalo, NY), while others would seem pretty believable to most people with no specialist knowledge of the species or location, like the ‘rare Malabar civet’ in the streets of an Indian town. Most posts provide very little context, no confirmation of the date they were filmed, and often no confirmed source. For the average responsible social media user, there is simply no way of verifying them.

https://ecologyisnotadirtyword.com/2020/04/06/nature-moves-back-inor-will-it/

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7. Entering a no-analogue future
You’re seeing it happen around you right now.

The future is suddenly a very uncertain place. What we did yesterday is no guide to what we can do tomorrow, and we’re all quite scared. This is what a no-analogue future looks like; except it’s not in the future, it’s here now.

https://sustainabilitybites.home.blog/

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About Dbytes

Dbytes is a weekly eNewsletter presenting news and views on biodiversity conservation and environmental decision science. From 2007-2018 Dbytes was supported by a variety of research networks and primarily the Centre of Excellence for Environmental Decisions (CEED). From 2019 Dbytes is being produced by David Salt (Ywords).

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.

Anyone is welcome to receive Dbytes. If you would like to receive it, send me an email and I’ll add you to the list.

David


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