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.
Threatened species on Indigenous land may be of prime interest to scientists and ecologists, but they are often not the species of greatest importance to the Indigenous landowners. Understanding local priorities for biodiversity is an essential step in ensuring that conservation projects are locally beneficial and supported. Researcher Tom Duncan from Charles Darwin University has been collaborating with the Tiwi Land Council and Tiwi Land Rangers to explore this issue on the Tiwi Islands.
For over 10 years groups covering almost two-thirds of Australia have been using traditional Indigenous tracking skills to survey wildlife and their threats, usually at a local scale. A Threatened Species Recovery Hub project is working with over 40 groups to collate and analyse this wealth of information and to answer questions that the groups on the ground want answered to help them manage Country. Professor Sarah Legge and Dr Anja Skroblin take up the plot.
Growing up, I spent a lot of time camping at Stradbroke Island, Byron Bay and many other coastal places. I am a Bundjalung woman, so naturally I am drawn to the water. Wategos beach at Byron Bay was named after our family, and some of my elders were actually born in the lighthouse! Spending so much time around the water as a child made me want to work with nature and wildlife. While being a marine biologist was my first dream, I have found myself on a path of wildlife biology and conservation.
The Arakwal People of Byron Bay have recently undertaken their first cultural burn in over 30 years on the clay heaths of Arakwal National Park. They are also now more actively guiding decisions about the care of the rare Byron Bay orchid and its clay heath habitat, both of which are listed as Endangered under New South Wales environmental law. Cathy Robinson and Josie Carwardine from CSIRO and Norman Graham, an Arakwal and New South Wales National Parks and Wildlife Service Ranger, talk about their research collaboration.
Karajarri Rangers are leading a Threatened Species Recovery Hub research project to investigate how different fire management approaches affect biodiversity. The first field trip took place in April this year, when a team of 16 rangers, support staff and scientists journeyed to the Edgar Ranges for eight days of wildlife monitoring. Hub researcher Sarah Legge worked with the rangers to compile this report from the field.
Cissy Gore-Birch is a member of the Threatened Species Recovery Hub’s steering committee and the Chair of its Indigenous Reference Group. The Indigenous Reference Group was established to assist hub leaders and project teams to strengthen the engagement and participation of Indigenous people in the hub’s activities and research projects. Cissy recently attended the Species of the Desert Festival on the Paruku Indigenous Protected Area, where she spoke about both threatened and culturally important species, and increasing the voice of Indigenous people in environmental policies and research.
Dr Sally Box, the Australian Government’s Threatened Species Commissioner, talks about the importance of working with Indigenous groups to conserve Australia’s threatened species.
There are 27 different types of possums and gliders in Australia. They have a huge variety of sizes, shapes and appearances. We’ve compiled a profile on every species here. One quarter of our possums and gliders are listed as threatened under Australian environmental law. Help their conservation, be a citizen scientist: you can record sightings of possums from your local areas in the free 'CAUL Urban Wildlife App'.
It was once possible to walk from Melbourne to Sydney through almost continuous grassy woodland. Today most of these temperate woodlands have gone. A team at The Australian National University have have embarked on a series of new experiments to investigate bird breeding success, noisy miner control, hollow supplementation and wildflower translocation.
One million species threatened with extinction worldwide. That was the attention-grabbing headline that recently (and, sadly, briefly) captured the world’s attention, when the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystems Services (IPBES) released its first global assessment of how the planet’s biodiversity is faring – and what that means for people.
The Alligator Rivers yellow chat is a small, bright yellow insectivorous bird of the Kakadu floodplains. This Endangered species is imperilled by habitat changes caused by altered fire regimes, buffalo and feral pigs, rising sea levels and the spread of weeds like prickly mimosa and introduced grasses. What has been happening to degrade these floodplains has been equally of concern to Traditional Owners as to yellow chat researchers.
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.
The native forest on Norfolk Island provides vital habitat for the island’s threatened plant and bird species, many of which are found nowhere else on the planet (also called endemic). When the British colonised Norfolk Island in 1788, they cleared much of the original vegetation. Remaining forest is now protected in the national park and reserves, but plant recruitment is poor and invasive non-native plant species would likely overtake the forest without the on-going efforts of park managers. To preserve remaining forest, it is important to determine the main causes of declines and the most effective actions that managers can take to address these threats and restore native vegetation.
The Threatened Species Recovery Hub is celebrating great conservation outcomes from projects taking place in Booderee National Park for two Endangered species: the eastern bristlebird and the southern brown bandicoot (eastern subspecies). The Australian National University’s David Lindenmayer and Chris MacGregor give us the scoop on the bristlebird and Natasha Robinson shares the good news about the southern brown bandicoot.
As a kid I spent a lot of time after school down the river with my blue heeler Blossom. We’d roam river edges looking for bunny holes, duck nests and new swimming spots and come home muddy and happy. While my old friend and those days are long gone, sometimes I find myself checking a pitfall trap in the rain with my face in the dirt and feeling like not much has changed.