Rachel Morgain is the Threatened Species Recovery Hub’s Knowledge Broker. She believes stakeholder engagement in vitally important to achieving hub aims.
The central purpose of the Threatened Species Recovery Hub is delivering research that is relevant for and useable by decision-makers, land managers and others responsible for recovering threatened species. Working with partners is vital if we’re to achieve this.
ver our four years of operation, our hub has worked with over 200 agencies across the breadth of the country. Our partners include Commonwealth, state and territory policy agencies, conservation and land managers, environmental NGOs, Indigenous groups, local government, community
groups and businesses.
Many of these organisations are direct partners on our projects. Others have contributed knowledge, expertise, skills or data. Still others are end-users, who seek to apply the findings of our research to inform their own contexts and challenges.
Guiding engagement at a strategic level is the hub’s Stakeholder Reference Group (SRG), which includes representatives from Commonwealth, state and territory governments, NGOs, natural resource management organisations and the hub’s Indigenous Reference Group, Leadership Group and engagement team. The SRG have a vital role in providing strategic input into our research activities and guidance into our hub’s engagement strategies.
The size and scale of the hub means that our research is relevant to much wider networks than can be involved day-to- day in our project-level collaborations. In partnership with state governments, our hub is holding roadshows in capital cities, with plans for regional areas. These provide an opportunity for audience members to hear findings from a breadth of hub research in one place and provide feedback into how project findings and knowledge from the research can be shared. They have been a drawcard for many from government, natural resource management, ecological consulting, community landcare groups and industry, many of them learning about our hub’s research for the first time.
Many of our major projects are made possible through the involvement of dozens of partners and collaborators across the country. Celebrating these major achievements through product launches is a way to showcase the work and applaud these contributions. In 2018, our hub launched two books on threatened species recovery, guidelines for plant translocation developed through the Australian Network for Plant Conservation, and Australia’s first Threatened Species Index for Australian birds (tsx.org.au).
These big events have the profile, but they are in reality just the end-point of much fuller processes of engagement, driven by a simple core principle of research co-production. The day-to-day activities of our hub’s projects are guided by the awareness that research designed, implemented and delivered with stakeholder input is almost certain to be better directed and more readily implemented than research undertaken in isolation.
For further information
Dr Rachel Morgain - email@example.com
Top image: Forums to share hub research findings and seek feedback from stakeholders are an important activity for the hub. Photo: Jaana Dielenberg
The Threatened Species Recovery Hub is receiving an additional $2 million to deliver research and scientific advice to help support wildlife and habitat recovery efforts following Australia’s bushfire crisis. The rapid rollout of meetings and expert workshops that were planned as part of this response now faces the added and acute challenge of COVID-19.
Predation by cats is a key threat to at least 123 threatened species in Australia. Better understanding and reducing the impact of feral cats on susceptible wildlife has been a major area of research for the Threatened Species Recovery Hub. Hub Deputy Directors Professors Sarah Legge and John Woinarski take a look at our research to address Australia’s cat problem.
The 2019–20 bushfires have been extensive and – in some areas – of very high severity. Many threatened species have had most of their distributions burnt, and fire is likely to have imperilled many species not previously considered threatened. One of the post-fire challenges to population recovery that many native species will face is increased risk of predation, including by introduced foxes and cats.
Australia has many unique small- to medium-sized mammals, which are vulnerable to predation by cats and foxes, two carnivores introduced to the continent with European arrival. For many of these species, effective conservation means heavy or total suppression of cats and/or foxes.
Oliver Tester from the Office of the Threatened Species Commissioner tells us about the Australian Government’s action on feral cats.