Dbytes #487 (4 August 2021)

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

“Even with that decline in air transport and the general slowdown in human movement [due to COVID], it generally didn’t have an overall impact on greenhouse gas emissions.”
Thomas Newsome [see item 7]


In this issue of Dbytes

1. A Comprehensive Overview of Technologies for Species and Habitat Monitoring and Conservation
2. Don’t make silver bullets policy priorities for climate change
3. Academic blogs: knowing where your work ends up
4. Environment officials questioned use of land government already owned as offset for western Sydney airport
5. Threatened Species Index has moved to TERN
6. Betting big on bioacoustics
7. Climate emergency not slowed by COVID-19 pandemic and planet’s ‘vital signs’ worsening, scientists say

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1. A Comprehensive Overview of Technologies for Species and Habitat Monitoring and Conservation

From José Lahoz-Monfort: We’ve just published an overview paper in journal BioScience, with the first comprehensive compilation of technologies for wildlife & habitat monitoring & conservation. No future promises: the technologies that are available today, from the well-established to the more forward-thinking, including terrestrial and aquatic environments. With 25 pages, it’s almost a small book on conservation tech, the first of its kind by the breadth of technologies covered (from sensors to AI, from airborne to animal-borne). We think it might be a good resource for those wanting to get into this field (including students) or on the lookout for different tech options, and we’ve made it open access.

https://academic.oup.com/bioscience/advance-article/doi/10.1093/biosci/biab073/6322306

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2. Don’t make silver bullets policy priorities for climate change

The Morrison Government is placing enormous faith in silver bullets to solve Australia’s biggest challenges. Selling silver bullets as policy solutions mean a failure to acknowledge the real problem, a diversion of resources away from solutions that do address the challenge, and the loss of critical time.

https://sustainabilitybites.home.blog/

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3. Academic blogs: knowing where your work ends up
By Manu Saunders

This week, a syndicated article appeared across a number of online media platforms under various different headlines. It covers the doomsday insect apocalypse narrative and appears to cast doubt on the issue of insect decline, largely blaming media and ‘activists’ for promoting the hype. The author links to my blog posts on the insect apocalypse, my BioScience paper co-authored with Jasmine Janes & James O’Hanlon, and my American Scientist article as evidence against the hype, and some sections paraphrase or directly quote from my work. To the average reader, it could appear that I have talked to the author, and that I endorse the article. I did not, I do not, and I was not aware the article was being written.

Academic blogs: knowing where your work ends up – Ecology is not a dirty word

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4. Environment officials questioned use of land government already owned as offset for western Sydney airport

Green group decries infrastructure department’s ‘dodgy offset’ plan to use government site that already had protections

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2021/aug/02/environment-officials-questioned-use-of-heritage-listed-land-as-offset-for-western-sydney-airport

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5. Threatened Species Index has moved to TERN

The Australian government’s National Environmental Science Program (NESP) funding for the Threatened Species Recovery Hub finished in June this year, but the future of one of its achievements, the Threatened Species Index (TSX), has been secured with TERN becoming the new custodian of the index project. With support from the Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment for the foreseeable future, TERN will ensure continued access for all stakeholders to data on changes in the abundance of 254 species of threatened Australian mammals, birds and plants. The first of its type in the world, the TSX provides reliable and robust measures of changes in the relative abundance of Australia’s threatened and near-threatened species at national, state and regional levels.

Threatened Species Index has moved to TERN – TERN Australia

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6. Betting big on bioacoustics

Lisa Yang is an investor and philanthropist who donated $24 million last month to establish the K. Lisa Yang Center for Conservation Bioacoustics at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology. Yang told Mongabay that she focused on bioacoustics due to the great potential for scaling the effectiveness of conservation efforts: “The technology can provide an effective way of assessing conservation practices.”

Betting big on bioacoustics: Q&A with philanthropist Lisa Yang (mongabay.com)

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7. Climate emergency not slowed by COVID-19 pandemic and planet’s ‘vital signs’ worsening, scientists say

Scientists have declared Earth’s “vital signs” are worsening, despite a change in habits because of COVID-19. Emissions have reached an all-time high even though air traffic has declined. Australia is an outlier in both setting targets and strategies to reduce emissions.

Climate emergency not slowed by COVID-19 pandemic and planet’s ‘vital signs’ worsening, scientists say – ABC News

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About Dbytes

Dbytes is a weekly eNewsletter presenting news and views on biodiversity conservation and environmental decision science. ‘D’ stands for ‘Decision’ and refers to all the ingredients that go into good, fair and just decision-making in relation to the environment.

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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