Sustained collaboration to make a differenceIn late September the Hub hosted a workshop for researchers and managers in Sydney on ‘Enhancing Monitoring of Threatened Species to Improve Conservation Outcomes’. The workshop was hosted at the Australian Wildlife Conservancy’s Q-Station, an old quarantine station on Sydney Harbour. The venue provided a great backdrop, complete with long-nosed bandicoots grazing on the lawn in the early morning and little penguins squawking at each other while we ate dinner – all of this on the fringe of downtown Manly. Sydney really is a great city, which is not easy for a Melbournian to say.
It was heartening to see land managers and conservation practitioners exploring together the practical challenges they face and seeking ways to better collaborate to ensure the best bang for our limited monitoring budgets as well as improved outcomes for Australia’s unique flora and fauna.
With monitoring at the heart of the discussion, we tackled the challenge of making monitoring meaningful in threatened species management, and reflected on the ingredients for a successful, high-impact monitoring program that warns us of declines in a timely fashion, and informs us about which management options work best for conserving threatened species. Expect to see some tangible outcomes over the next six months, ranging from improved monitoring of bilbies and a synthesis of lessons learned from existing monitoring programs.
The collective experience in the room, and the willingness of busy and dedicated conservation managers to come share their wisdom and experiences in order to help improve monitoring of threatened species was emblematic of our Hub. The workshop highlighted to me the importance of sustained collaboration between managers and researchers if we are to make a difference for threatened species on the ground. I look forward to many more such valuable collaborations.
Associate Professor Brendan Wintle