Overcoming Unconscious Bias

Although as scientists we are trained to be impartial, we are no exception to some pervasive prejudices. Only by becoming aware of our prejudices can we work to overcome their effects. But what if our biases are unconscious? ‘Unconscious bias’ is a well-known phenomenon that impacts our behaviour and decisions. It refers to the sub-conscious…

Protected areas are helping save our favourite animals – but let’s not forget the others

Republished from the Conversation for posterity, you can find the original HERE Protected areas, like national parks and wildlife refuges, are the cornerstones of global conservation efforts. So making sure they achieve their mission is fundamental to our goal of halting biodiversity declines. Unfortunately, how well protected areas maintain their biodiversity remains poorly understood. While…

New Paper: Wildlife trends in protected areas predicted by national socio-economic metrics & body size

Our paper, out today in the journal Nature Communications investigated what delivers success for wildlife in protected areas.National Parks are the cornerstone of most country’s conservation efforts, so it’s essential they work to conserve nature. To make sure that parks achieve their conservation mission, we investigated what made them tick, what conditions resulted in improved…

Protected areas need capacity, funding, and good governance

An IUCN taskforce workshop held at the IUCN World Conservation Congress today highlighted emerging work from the IUCN joint Taskforce on biodiversity and protected areas and partners over the past 5 years. The workshop was the culmination of at least 3 PhDs, 50+ dedicated people, 5 years, three giant databases, and something like 30 international workshops…

Social Media for fisheries and beyond #SocialFish

Some folks at the American Fisheries Society symposium hosted a pretty great seminar today on Social Media in fisheries science. Following from distant Hawaii, and intrigued by the combination of the ocean, fish and social media – all things I am into, I tuned in, and found it so inspirational I wrote a storify The…

Advancing Reptile Conservation

Reptiles are on track to being recognised as the most diverse group of terrestrial vertebrates (10,270 as of August 2015), yet unlike the relatively well-known bird and mammal faunas, our grasp on their conservation status and key threatening processes is rudimentary. This is exemplified by that fact that the first ‘comprehensive’ global analysis of the…

Reflections on #ICRS2016

A whole week of the best minds in coral reef science and conservation comes to a close today. As a quantitative conservation and decision scientist, I focused on the policy, management and decision science parts of the action packed program. Three themes emerged: 1. We still don’t have a good handle pm whether most interventions…

Australian ecosystems suffering death by 1000 cuts

We recently spent a weekend out bush on a cattle property north of Dalby. While setting up camp next to a farm dam, a bird call I couldn’t quite place my finger on was coming from a nearby stand of vegetation. Upon investigation, to our surprise, not one, but four painted honeyeaters had established breeding territories in…

Protect biodiversity, not just area: SMARTER protected area commitments needed to halt biodiversity decline

Global biodiversity conservation goals shape the behaviour of individuals, governments and NGOs.The Aichi Targets are a set of goals, under the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), which is dedicated to halting biodiversity decline worldwide. These targets shape global conservation policy and practice. The Convention on Biological Diversity’s Aichi Target 11 mandates that 17% of terrestrial…