Sustainable Farms is exploring how enhanced biodiversity underpins productivity, and supports better farmer mental health. Sustainable Farms is bringing together farmers, researchers from finance, health and ecology, NRM agencies, agricultural service providers and many others. Jaana Dielenberg reports.
Farming creates novel habitats. In the Riverina region of southern New South Wales, rice fields are providing a conservation opportunity where food production and threatened species can be managed concurrently.
An interview with Mark Robb, Environmental Compliance and Biodiversity Officer, Coleambally Irrigation Cooperative Limited
More than 60% of Australia’s land mass is managed by farmers, and they are custodians for thousands of natural and agricultural wetlands. Working on private land offers a challenging but rewarding career for a researcher.
We are receiving an additional $2 million to deliver science to support wildlife and habitat recovery efforts following Australia’s bushfire crisis. The rapid rollout of work 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 hub.
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.
Toxoplasmosis was introduced to Australia by cats, who continue to spread the disease. It is known that the disease affects Australian mammals, and that many Australian mammals are suffering dramatic declines. It was completely unknown, however, whether these declines are linked with toxoplasmosis.
Chief Science Officer John Kanowski and Regional Ecologist SW Michael Smith from the Australian Wildlife Conservancy discuss the far-reaching work their team is doing to protect vulnerable mammals from introduced predators.
Oliver Tester from the Office of the Threatened Species Commissioner tells us about the Australian Government’s action on feral cats.
Feral cats are one of the greatest threats to Australian wildlife – and one of the most enigmatic of creatures. They therefore offer an incredible subject for a research career.
Principal Scientist in the Pest Animal Research Centre at the Queensland Department of Agriculture and Fisheries, Matt Gentle takes us through the cat baiting trials at Taunton National Park
Across Australia’s arid zones feral cats are utilising micro-refuges, like rabbit burrows, to help them persist in areas that are otherwise unsuitable.
A feral cat eradication program is underway on Kangaroo Island. Conservation managers want to know if poison baiting is suitable for densely vegetated and inaccessible areas characteristic of most of the island’s conservation reserves.
Beloved companion animal and decimator of native wildlife – that is Australia’s cat conundrum. Australia and Antarctica are the only continents without native felids. Our wildlife has evolved over millennia without defences against these supreme hunters.
Working with many collaborators, researchers from the hub have now completed a set of national-scale studies that tally the number of cats in Australia and the number of animals that they kill.
A partnership is investigating the relationships between small native mammals, cats, habitat and fire on the Tiwi islands while rangers utilise traditional cool burning strategies, to reduce bushfires and maintain habitat that helps mammals avoid cats.
Rabbits and feral cats are individually two of the most widespread and destructive pest species in Australia. When rabbit numbers are abundant they also boost feral cat populations. As a result, over the long-term, rabbit bio-controls can be effective in reducing both rabbit and feral cat populations. But what happens when rabbit numbers first crash; do cats prey-switch and create a bigger threat than usual for native wildlife?
A hub collaboration with Parks Australia is investigating the potential outcomes of cat control on Christmas Island, including whether rats will need concurrent control.
A national photo competition is drawing attention to the beauty of Australia’s iconic eucalypts, also called gum trees, as an Australia-wide assessment finds almost one quarter qualify as threatened according to International criteria. The competition, which has received over 1000 entries, was undertaken by the Threatened Species Recovery Hub and is receiving support from Australian Geographic.
With other concerned conservation biologists, researchers from the Threatened Species Recovery Hub have developed a ‘blueprint’ for management responses to the 2019-20 wildfires. This report can be downloaded from our website.
We express our sympathy to everyone whose life has been impacted by these horrific fires, and acknowledges the heartbreak of families who have lost everything, including loved ones.
A hub project is working to better understand the effects of different fire regimes on threatened flora in order to improve fire management strategies and conservation outcomes.
Almost a quarter of Australia’s possums and gliders are listed as threatened under Australian environmental law, and many more are showing signs of decline. Dr Rochelle Steven from The University of Queensland believes people in the community can do a lot to support conservation, especially in urban areas.
The detection and monitoring of threatened species have been a strong area of research in the National Environmental Science Program. Hub Director Professor Brendan Wintle takes a look at why it is so important to the conservation of Australia’s threatened species.
A hub project team is working closely with Parks Australia to help secure a future for the two Extinct in the Wild Christmas Island reptiles lizards beyond captivity.
A partnership with the Queensland Herbarium and Queensland Department of Environment and Science is modelling the habitat of two rare and threatened antechinus species to predict where they are likely to occur, and is then using detection dogs to rapidly survey these sites.
Nyamba Buru Yawuru, whose traditional lands cover 5300sq km of subtropical coastal and inland savannah country around Broome in Western Australia, are exploring opportunities to develop a predator-free wildlife sanctuary on their country.
Conservation geneticist Andrew Weeks of The University of Melbourne believes genetic rescue is going to be an increasingly important strategy for many species of flora and fauna with small and heavily fragmented populations.
Dave Blair was a valuable member of the Threatened Species Recovery Hub who worked tirelessly in the wet ash forests of the Central Highlands of Victoria for more than a decade. Thank you to Dave Blair for the truly colossal contribution he made to the world in so many ways!
100 Australian endemic species are listed as extinct (or extinct in the wild) since the nation’s colonisation by Europeans in 1788. The list includes 38 plants, 34 mammals, ten invertebrates, nine birds, four frogs, three reptiles, one fish, and a protist.
Kanyirninpa Jukurrpa (KJ) Rangers in the Martu Determination have collaborated with Threatened Species Recovery Hub scientists to design a monitoring program for mankarr (the greater bilby). Martu people identified priorities for the bilby monitoring program, then worked with Dr Anja Skroblin from The University of Melbourne to co-develop a monitoring method which brings together Martu knowledge and practice with Western conservation science.
I am a proud Murri from the Kamilaroi Nation in north-west New South Wales. I grew up in western Sydney on Darug land and now live in Canberra on Ngunnawal land.
A new project is aiming to increase city kids’ connections with nature, threatened species conservation and Indigenous culture. Dr Georgia Garrard from RMIT University talks about this project, which will see Wurundjeri Woi-wurrung Traditional Owners working with kids at Carlton North Primary School in Melbourne and Gunditjmara Traditional Owners working with kids at Heywood Consolidated School in western Victoria.
For the Larrakia Land and Sea Rangers, the sight of a shell midden in coastal saltpans tells a long history of culture and how their ancestors are connected with the intertidal and mangrove environment. Through a different lens, the Larrakia Rangers also see these shell middens as areas where their culture overlaps with the habitat used by the Critically Endangered migratory shorebird the far eastern curlew.