Until a few years ago hardly anyone had heard of the Yellow Chats on the Kakadu floodplains. National Park staff had so many other species to worry about and none of the local birdwatchers took a special interest in it. At least this is what Gill Ainsworth found during her PhD on the social value of Australia’s threatened birds.
Researchers from Project 3.2 are currently undertaking a survey of Australian managers, professional practitioners and academics involved with threatened species monitoring to better understand the value, monitoring framework and decisions, challenges and key elements of effective threatened species monitoring in Australia.
As Australian cities and suburbs continue to expand, new developments exert pressure on the species and habitats that exist on their margins. But do smaller species stand a chance against big developers? Researchers are looking for ways to level the playing field.
“If there was an Ark for Australia's most endangered species, what animals and plants would get a berth?” That was the question interviewer Gregg Borschmann put to the Threatened Species Recovery Hub’s Associate Professor Brendan Wintle and Professor David Keith when they took part in a panel discussion at the Australian Museum as part of National Science Week.
Experienced practitioners from diverse organisations came together to discuss threatened species monitoring at the workshop entitled ‘Enhancing Monitoring for Threatened Species to Improve Conservation Outcomes.’
Rachel Morgain has recently started as Knowledge Broker with the NESP Threatened Species Recovery Hub. She comes to the Hub with experience working at the interface of research and policy, through roles with the Australian Government and most recently at the Australian Academy of Science.
Dejan Stojanovic is in the field, checking on the 300+ nesting boxes he and his team spent a large part of their winter installing in known swift parrot territory.
And perhaps the most distinctive thing about Edge Pledge is its “challenge generator” – a website that asks each user to answer a few questions to determine their personality type, then uses this information to suggest a selection of appropriate challenges. Friends and colleagues “vote” on which challenge they favour; the challenge that gains the most in donations “wins” and can shortly begin.
TSR Hub researchers Professor Hugh Possingham and Dr Elisa Bayraktarov are collaborating with James O’Connor, Glenn Ehmke and Joris Driessen from Birdlife Australia to create the “Dow Jones” for threatened species. They are creating an index that reports on annual changes in Australia’s threatened species populations.
Cutting-edge science that can help shape policy and management decisions and protect Australia’s threatened species will be on show at the National Portrait Gallery on Monday 17 October.
A new national plant translocation database could be on the horizon, after researchers gathered to map out the sources of existing translocation data at a recent workshop.
Increasing collaboration across the Hub was a feature of the annual project leaders’ meeting held in Brisbane last month. Each of the project leaders presented a short synopsis on the progress of their research, and the ideas and conversations each sparked were significant.
Australasian bitterns are the subject of many great mysteries – where do they go during the colder months? How do they make that famous booming call? Could they really be the source of inspiration behind Australia’s mythical Bunyip tales?
Australia is home to thousands of unique plant species, yet faces many challenges in protecting them. University of Queensland post-doctoral research fellow Jennifer Silcock is interviewing threatened-plant experts nationwide to determine which plants should be placed on the Threatened Species Recovery Hub’s national Red Hot List.
Twenty-four western swamp tortoises hit the headlines last month as they settled in to new homes in swamps south of Perth. The tortoises were moved to a new range in an attempt to protect the species from the effects of climate change and their story featured in several news outlets including the ABC, Science magazine, the Guardian and Australian Geographic
Little is known about the impact of the diseases carried by invasive species that spread throughout the food chains of our native animals. TSR Hub researcher Dr Nelika Hughes from The University of Melbourne is looking closely at one such disease – toxoplasmosis – a parasitic disease that was introduced to Australia in cats.
Hundreds of thousands of Australian species are so poorly known that their risk of extinction cannot be determined. These species cannot be categorised as threatened or not under Australia’s EPBC (Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation) Act, and are therefore afforded no conservation protection under the legislation.
Researchers from the TSR Hub’s Project 3.3 will establish as many as 41 malleefowl monitoring sites across southern Australia, in one of the largest adaptive management experiments ever attempted in Australia.
Anticipating the threats posed by cane toads to the islands of Western Australia’s Kimberley region, improving outcomes for threatened sea turtles and seabirds on the Whitsunday islands, and the challenges and opportunities of rewilding Dirk Hartog Island were just a few of the critical discussions held at a recent TSR Hub workshop.
PhD student Billy Ross is using motion-sensing camera traps to establish baseline data on the number of northern quolls and feral cats in the Pilbara to determine whether cat-baiting can prevent the threatened mammals’ extinction.
A survey of Australia’s feral cat managers will ensure that all efforts to control Australia’s feral cat population are being captured.
Genetic translocations may hold the key to protecting Australia’s frogs from the effects of climate change, according to TSR Hub researcher and The University of Western Australia PhD student Tabitha Rudin.
Three Tasmanian birds perch atop the list of Australia’s most threatened birds, as revealed by a TSR Hub team comprising researchers from Charles Darwin University and The University of Melbourne.
One of the things that struck Dr Anja Skroblin at the inaugural Ninu (Bilby) Festival was the connection between communities from opposite ends of the country, through ancient stories and songlines about bilbies.
Using the knowledge accumulated through a recent workshop, TSR Hub experts will help environmental managers to better understand the refuges Australian threatened species need to survive the threats posed by climate change, drought, fires, predators and other threats.
Representatives from a broad range of environmental organisations used a recent workshop to define what end-users and partners want from a threatened species index, and to determine how such an index could be created.
Professor John Woinarski delivered the keynote speech to attendees of The Western Port Biosphere’s second annual Biodiversity Forum at the Royal Botanic Gardens Cranbourne.
Australia will soon have it first ever genetic guidelines to support the relocation of threatened animals, after a recent TSR Hub workshop in Perth.
Innovative tracking technology will help environmental managers to develop a whole new understanding of how far critically endangered Leadbeater’s Possums travel each night and how their habitats can best be managed.
Peter Vesk’s team is protecting more than individual species – they’re working to conserve habitats that house entire communities of threatened species.
While local communities can play an important role in threatened species recovery, and scientists make significant efforts to involve locals in recovery efforts, there isn’t yet a lot of science around the best way to engage them.
Hungry herbivores, fungal diseases and long hot summers are just a few of the challenges land managers face when attempting to re-introduce a threatened plant species.
Threatened plants tend to receive less attention than threatened animals and, while work to recover them is ongoing, there’s a serious risk that further declines could go unnoticed until it’s too late.
Places such as islands, river channel regions of the desert and small-scale rock outcrops can offer critical protection for threatened species populations when times get tough.
Sugar gliders in Tasmania are having a devastating impact on the swift parrot population, and they could be detrimental to other threatened bird species as well.