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…

Outback Surveys 2015 – The Strezlecki Track

I was lucky enough to be able to participate in an awesome long term monitoring program co-ordinated my the Fuller Lab earlier this year. From July 1st to 20th we surveyed along the Birdsville Developmental Road, Cordillo Downs Road and Strezlecki track as part of a long-term survey of Nomadic and Outback Australian birds. It was a…

Public Communications and Popular Press

Barnes, M., Szabo, J.K., Morris, W.K., Possingham, H.P. 2014. “Citizen science and the value of protected areas.” Decision Point 83 (6-7) *NERP research highlight and featured as a cover story Barnes, M., Szabo, J.K., Morris, W.K., Possingham, H.P. 2014. “A bird in the hand is worth worth two in the bush” Decision Point 83 (6-7) *Special issue on…

Reflections on ICCB

The premiére conservation congress of the year, ICCB, was held in the beautiful Montpellier, France this year, and I attended for my 4th congress, and first as a postdoctoral fellow to present my work on cost-effective monitoring. It was as usual a crazy week, and I very much appreciated the opportunity to catch up with…

How to identify conservation priorities – let’s move beyond richness maps

‘Priority maps’ are popular products of conservation research, much like threat maps (See our related paper on when and how threat maps should be used HERE). They are produced using a variety of methods, one  of which is to use species richness to make ‘hotspot maps’ – variously using total species richness, richness of rare or…

PhD Research Opportunity!

Litoria tyleri PhD Opportunity: Evaluating management impacts on terrestrial fauna through acoustic monitoring We seek an excellent PhD candidate to start work as soon as possible on acoustic monitoring of data deficient and threatened terrestrial species in Queensland. The focus will be on vocal species such as frogs and birds. The PhD will involve a mixture…

Why do we map threats?

In response to increasing reliance on threat maps for making conservation decisions, I have been privileged to be a part of an exciting paper in the journal Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment, titled “Why do we map threats? Linking threat mapping with actions to make better conservation decisions”. This paper was the result of a rewarding collaboration…

A bird is the hand is worth how many in the bush?

Protected areas underpin many global conservation efforts, but do they work? Despite significant investment in protected area networks, it is often unclear whether national parks and other protected areas are effective in maintaining their biodiversity values. Long-term monitoring data are critical for determining whether protected areas are able to achieve their objectives. The problem is…

Putting parks where they’re needed and avoiding paper parks

The question of where to best place new protected areas remains hotly debated by both scientists and managers. In a recent letter, my colleagues and I argue that parks should be placed in areas where they have the most potential to reduce biodiversity loss, which is discussed more HERE Craigie, I. D., R. L. Pressey and…