The involvement of deputy directors Sarah Legge and John Woinarski in the Threatened Species Commissioner’s Feral Cat Taskforce is another example of the
Hub contributing significantly to threatened species policy and management.
This Taskforce is made up of representatives from every state and territory government, as well as Natural Resource Management organisations, the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources, the RSPCA, the National Environmental Science Programme and Threatened Species Scientific Committee representatives, the Invasive Species Council and Invasive Animals Cooperative Research Centre.
One of the Hub’s key contributions to this Taskforce for the next six months is to assess the size of the feral cat population in Australia, and interpret this in the context of the feral cat management targets.
Hub personnel will also support the Australian Government Department of the Environment to develop measurement tools to monitor the culling of feral cats across Australia.
“The feral cat taskforce is a great opportunity for the Hub to identify research gaps, as well as opportunities to collaborate with agencies responsible for managing feral cats,” said Doctor Sarah Legge.
“The Hub places a strong emphasis on connecting research with land managers and delivery agencies and this is a great forum for strengthening these connections, and also to work with the Government to support the delivery of the Threatened Species Strategy.”
All the work being carried out in Project 1.1 involves collaborations with land management agencies, and some work also involves NGOs like the Australian Wildlife Conservancy, as well as the private sector.
For example, the Western Australian Government is working with Rio Tinto to deliver a large-scale feral cat control program in the Pilbara, and the Hub is adding to that effort with some focussed research on the effects of feral cat baiting and responses by the threatened northern quolls.
Image: Feral cat in Western Australia (Flickr CC BY NC ND 2.0)
Conservation managers considering the implementation of nest boxes programs need to give careful consideration to design, colour, placement and shade profile of nest boxes.
The vast brigalow forest that extended from northern New South Wales to southern Queensland has been cleared in the space of 60 years and it seems that many species have become threatened as a result. Rod Fensham and co-workers have identified the plant species that are likely to have become threatened and many of these species were not previously recognised as imperilled.
Monitoring is fundamental to good policy and effective conservation management. Data derived from monitoring underpin the process for listing of species as threatened, which is a precursor to recognition in policy.
TSR Hub researcher David Lindenmayer and colleagues embarked on a four-year case study examining the impacts of a biodiversity offset which established nest boxes to compensate for the losses of natural tree hollows caused by the widening of sections of the Hume Highway (the road linking Sydney and Melbourne).
In recent months you may have noticed some energetic public debate about what is the biggest threat to threatened species in Australia. Is it feral cats and foxes or is it the clearing and degradation of native vegetation?