Dbytes #522 (4 May 2022)

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


“We face the spectre of a transactional world, devoid of principle, accountability and transparency.”
Prime Minister Scott Morrison


In this issue of Dbytes

1. Fail: our report card on the government’s handling of Australia’s extinction crisis
2. Find out what threatened plants and animals live in your electorate (and what your MP can do about it)
3. Agriculture and climate change are reshaping insect biodiversity worldwide
4. Bushland marked as environmental offset for new Sydney airport bulldozed for car park
5. International declarations and other environmental promises: A game for those who talk but don’t walk
6. Do birders make good tourists?
7. Climate risk map of Australia

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1. Fail: our report card on the government’s handling of Australia’s extinction crisis

Australia is losing more biodiversity than any other developed nation. Already this year the charismatic and once abundant gang gang cockatoo has been added to our national threatened species list, the koala has been listed as endangered and the Great Barrier Reef suffered another mass bleaching event. The Australian public consistently rates the loss of our unique plants and animals as a key concern. Indeed, in a recent poll of 10,000 readers of The Conversation, “the environment” was identified as the second-biggest issue affecting their lives, behind climate change at number one.

https://theconversation.com/fail-our-report-card-on-the-governments-handling-of-australias-extinction-crisis-181786?

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2. Find out what threatened plants and animals live in your electorate (and what your MP can do about it)

We’ve developed a web app, which launches today, that lets Australians learn which threatened plants and animals live in their federal electorate. For example, we found the electorate with the most threatened species is Durack in Western Australia, held currently by the Liberal party’s Melissa Price. Some 61 threatened animals and 198 threatened plants live or used to live within its boundaries, such as the Numbat, Gouldian finch and the Western underground orchid.

Find out what threatened plants and animals live in your electorate (and what your MP can do about it) (theconversation.com)

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3. Agriculture and climate change are reshaping insect biodiversity worldwide

Although research has shown that biodiversity changes are driven primarily by land-use change and increasingly by climate change6,7, the potential for interaction between these drivers and insect biodiversity on the global scale remains unclear. Here we show that the interaction between indices of historical climate warming and intensive agricultural land use is associated with reductions of almost 50% in the abundance and 27% in the number of species within insect assemblages relative to those in less-disturbed habitats with lower rates of historical climate warming. These patterns are particularly evident in the tropical realm, whereas some positive responses of biodiversity to climate change occur in non-tropical regions in natural habitats.

Agriculture and climate change are reshaping insect biodiversity worldwide | Nature

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4. Bushland marked as environmental offset for new Sydney airport bulldozed for car park

The heritage listed and critically endangered Cumberland plain woodland was cleared for a new defence department facility.

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2022/may/02/bushland-marked-as-environmental-offset-for-new-sydney-airport-bulldozed-for-car-park

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5. International declarations and other environmental promises: A game for those who talk but don’t walk

Are international declarations on the environment worth the paper they’re printed on? Based on the way the Australian Government treats them, they’re not worth anything. Consider what the Australian Government has said recently about forests and climate change

https://sustainabilitybites.home.blog/

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6. Do birders make good tourists?

Birdwatchers can be eccentric visitors but a recent report found they spend big in regional Australia.

https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2022/may/02/do-birders-make-good-tourists-in-the-90s-youd-get-some-deeply-suspicious-looks?CMP=Share_iOSApp_Other

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7. Climate risk map of Australia

The Climate Council’s Climate Risk Map of Australia is an interactive map of climate vulnerable places in Australia. Enter your suburb or postcode in the search bar in the top right corner of the map below to understand risks in your area.

Climate Risk Map of Australia | Climate Council

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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). Dbytes is supported by the Global Water Forum.

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.

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David Salt
and you can follow me on twitter at
@davidlimesalt

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