Dbytes #429 (10 June 2020)

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


“People may be surprised to hear that the response to the coronavirus outbreak hasn’t done more to influence CO2 levels. But the buildup of CO2 is a bit like trash in a landfill. As we keep emitting, it keeps piling up. The crisis has slowed emissions, but not enough to show up perceptibly at [the testing station at] Mauna Loa. What will matter much more is the trajectory we take coming out of this situation.”
Ralph Keeling, Scripps Oceanography, Mauna Loa
Record CO2 levels on World Environment Day, 2020


In this issue of Dbytes

1. Eastern Curlew’s 10-day flight to China stuns bird enthusiasts calling for greater habitat protections
2. How predicting ocean temperature helps care for the Great Barrier Reef
3. We want a green recovery and we want it now!
4. Critically endangered herb thriving on Macquarie Island after seven-year feral animal eradication program
5. 12,000 year temperature record
6. We modelled the future of Leadbeater’s possum habitat and found bushfires, not logging, pose the greatest threat
7. Have I got an environmental reform ‘deal’ for you

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1. Eastern Curlew’s 10-day flight to China stuns bird enthusiasts calling for greater habitat protections

Local bird enthusiasts are celebrating after a critically endangered Eastern Curlew successfully made its maiden flight to China, after it flew some 8,000 kilometres from the mudflats of Queensland’s Moreton Bay. Researchers have been tracking the juvenile wading bird for the last two-and-a-half years, as it foraged for crabs and other crustaceans around the mudflats of Moreton Bay.

https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-06-06/eastern-curlew-flight-toondah-harbour-cleveland-qld/12322856

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2. How predicting ocean temperature helps care for the Great Barrier Reef

Ocean temperature plays a very important role in the health of marine ecosystems. Warmer oceans can have devastating consequences for coral reefs and other marine life. They also put a strain on commercial fisheries and aquaculture. So, how do we warn for unusually hot ocean conditions to help marine industries better manage the impacts?

http://media.bom.gov.au/social/blog/2373/how-predicting-ocean-temperature-helps-care-for-the-great-barrier-reef/

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3. We want a green recovery and we want it now!

Around 70 per cent of Australians expect the government to put the environment centre stage in its pandemic recovery, according to a new Ipsos survey, reflecting the significant media coverage of this idea.

https://www.thefifthestate.com.au/articles/we-want-a-green-recovery-and-we-want-it-now/

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4. Critically endangered herb thriving on Macquarie Island after seven-year feral animal eradication program

A critically-endangered herb once thought extinct on sub-Antarctic Macquarie Island has been found growing at a new location as the world-heritage site continues its rabbit-free recovery. The remote island was declared free of pests in 2014, following a seven-year feral animal eradication project. Galium antarcticum, a type of flowering bedstraw, was thought to have died out in the early 1980s until 500 plants were discovered in 2013 at Skua Lake near the island’s west coast.

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2020/jun/01/critically-endangered-herb-thriving-on-macquarie-island-after-seven-year-feral-animal-eradication-program?CMP=Share_AndroidApp_Tweet

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5. 12,000 year temperature record

A continuous record of global temperatures dating back 12,000 years that is linked to regional areas provides an important resource for understanding current climatic changes

AN ANSTO environmental scientist assisted with locating records from the Australia and New Zealand zone for the database

The publicly available online resource includes quality-controlled, published, proxy records from lake and ocean sediment, peak and glacial ice among others directly linked to temperature as a driver

https://www.ansto.gov.au/news/12000-year-temperature-record

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6. We modelled the future of Leadbeater’s possum habitat and found bushfires, not logging, pose the greatest threat

The Federal Court recently ruled that a timber harvesting company couldn’t log potential habitat of the critically endangered Leadbeater’s possum. This decision led to the immediate protection of more Leadbeater’s possum habitat and will lead to further habitat set aside over the next ten years as native timber harvesting is phased out in Victoria. But these short-term, site-based measures will not guarantee the long-term conservation of this iconic Victorian species.

https://theconversation.com/we-modelled-the-future-of-leadbeaters-possum-habitat-and-found-bushfires-not-logging-pose-the-greatest-threat-140055

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7. Have I got an environmental reform ‘deal’ for you

Reform is tough and environmental reform is no exception. It’s tough because the choices on the table almost invariably involve looking at the status quo, figuring out the trade-offs, and revealing winners and losers. The losers often use, or threaten to use, their political power to try and block the reform. As a result, instead of transformative and enduring change, we usually end of up with incremental shift that solves little…

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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