Local communities ‘have a key role’ in the war on wildlife poachers

Elephant KG 2007

Local communities may hold the key to saving the world's imperilled rhinos, elephants, tigers, and other wildlife from extinction at the hands of ruthless poachers.

The role of local people in combatting the worldwide poaching crisis and illegal trade in wild animals, their body parts and plants is the theme of a global symposium involving governments, donors, scientists and conservation organisations.

Australia’s ARC Centre of Excellence for Environmental Decisions (CEED), at the University of Queensland is the scientific partner for a symposium led by the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s (IUCN) Sustainable Use and Livelihoods Specialist Group (SULi) with the International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED), the Austrian Ministry of Environment and TRAFFIC, the wildlife trade monitoring network, the GIZ and USAID.  The symposium is “Beyond enforcement: communities, governance, incentives and sustainable use in combating wildlife crimewildlife crime” will be held at Glenburn Lodge, near Johannesburg, South Africa, from 26‐28 February 2015.

See full media release HERE

CEED submits statement to Marine Reserves Review

Turtle MEvens

The Australian Government is currently accepting comments regarding the future management of the Commonwealth Marine Reserves.  

Here, CEED weighs in on the inadequacies of the current network delineations and provides guidance on how to improve representation and equitable protection across Australia's diverse marine habitats and planning regions. 

View the document (PDF)

Read more about the Commonwealth Marine Reserves Review.


Flock of Bird Boxes land at UQ

Nest boxesProf. Salit Kark & her research team are installing nest boxes around South-East Queensland as part of a research project investigating the interaction of native cavity-nesting birds with rival alien bird species. 

Most recently the team installed twenty-four boxes at the Gatton campus of the University of Queensland.

READ MORE .... Biodiversity Research Group

In the photo L to R: Laura Cox, Salit Kark and Carla Arhcibald

Vanishing big trees puts Australia’s urban wildlife in peril

IMGP2514Australian cities must work harder to preserve their large, old trees if we want to keep our native animals, environmental scientists have warned. Across Australia ‐ and the world ‐ the future of large old trees is bleak and yet large trees support many species such as birds and small mammals, says Mr Darren Le Roux, a PhD student at the ARC Centre of Excellence for Environmental Decisions (CEED) and The Australian National University. 



Scientists race to save ‘books’ in the burning ‘library of life’

platypus from Zoos VictoriaAs species blink into extinction all around the world, environmental scientists in Australia have come up with a way to decide 'which of the books we rescue from the blazing library of life'.

Researchers at the ARC Centre of Excellence for Environmental Decisions (CEED) have developed a cost-effective way to save a wide range of threatened species, including rare old ones that may be costly to protect.

Full media release HERE.  Publication HERE

Animation on how to choose marine reserves

Marxan animationHugh Possingham and Jennifer McGowan (UQ) have produced a short animation on systematic conservation planning for marine reserve design. It's a great tool to explain the concepts and processes involved in marine conservation planning, and will be used for workshops and courses. 

Watch the video >>

Animation by D Greenup (UQ)

For more information, contact Jennifer McGowan at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Also published on Youtube 


PhD opportunity in land management strategies...

uq position webLand management strategies to enhance ecosystem services in production landscapes

We seek to understand how production landscapes can be most effectively managed to enhance the delivery of multiple ecosystem services. Contrasting options to achieve this goal are referred to as land sharing and land sparing, which represent endpoints of a continuum of land management strategies. As part of a recently awarded Australian Research Council Discovery Project, our aim is to undertake a rigorous assessment of the environmental and economic implications of land management strategies across three continents.

This PhD project will develop and apply new decision-support technology to evaluate land management strategies over whole landscapes for multiple ecosystem services. The project could potentially involve a range of techniques including landscape modelling, land use optimisation, scenario analysis, generation of data on ecosystem service benefits, regional climate modelling, and elicitation of information from experts. There is flexibility in relation to the ecosystem services and techniques that the successful PhD candidate will focus on, with options ranging from food production, biodiversity, energy, water, carbon sequestration, to regional climate regulation, amongst others. The successful candidate will focus on the intensive agricultural zone of continental Australia, with particular focus on the Brigalow Belt bioregion of Queensland. There will also be opportunities to be involved in projects undertaken in Central Kalimantan and British Columbia.

Applicants must possess a Bachelor’s or equivalent degree with first-class Honours, Master of Science or MPhil with significant research components. Candidates from diverse disciplines are welcome to apply. Successful applicants will have a demonstrated capacity and aptitude for conducting research and it is desirable that they possess or seek to obtain skills in ecological and economic modelling, and spatial and statistical analysis. The candidate will work jointly with scientists across multiple disciplines (including biodiversity conservation, geography, environmental science and environmental economics) at The University of Queensland, CSIRO and University of British Columbia. The supervisory team will include: Assoc. Prof. Kerrie Wilson (UQ), Prof. Clive McAlpine (UQ), Elizabeth Law (UQ/UBC), and Dr Brett Bryan (CSIRO). Resources are available to support the PhD research as part of the broader project.

Prospective applicants should also apply or be the recipient of an APA (or equivalent) scholarship. Interested students should provide a professional CV and a short letter of interest to Assoc. Prof. Kerrie Wilson (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. ). 

Restoring Indonesian forests

Indonesian Rainforest KGillowA new paper out Restoring degraded tropical forests for carbon and biodiversityin Environmetnal Research Letters by CEED PhD student Sugeng Budiharta in out now.

The extensive deforestation and degradation of tropical forests is a significant contributor to the loss of biodiversity and to global warming. Restoration could potentially mitigate the impacts of deforestation, yet knowledge on how to efficiently allocate funding for restoration is still in its infancy. This paper investigates investments in restoration in the tropical landscape of East Kalimantan, Indonesia, and provides useful guidance for locating the most cost effective reforestation areas.

Links: the publication; report in Jakarta Globe; and opinion piece in Jakarta Globe

IUCN & CEED Ivory Trade Symposium - Feb 2015

Elephant - KG 2007Beyond enforcement: Communities, governance, incentives and sustainable use in combating illegal wildlife trade

27 February - 1 March 2015, South Africa

IUCN CEESP/SSC Sustainable Use and Livelihoods Specialist Group (SULi), the International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED), the Austrian Ministry for the Environment, the ARC Centre of Excellence for Environmental Decisions (CEED) and TRAFFIC – the wildlife trade monitoring network– are holding a symposium exploring the roles of communities, governance, incentives and sustainable use in combating illegal wildlife trade, to be held near Johannesburg, South Africa.

Full details HERE.  

Call for Abstracts: English or French, by 30 November 2014.     Draft Program: English or French

Killing off alien invaders - with maths

Penguin ParadeEnvironmental scientists are using a new mathematical model to ensure that feral pests are well and truly beaten.

Developed by scientists at The ARC Centre of Excellence for Environmental Decisions (CEED), the model minimises the risk of pests and weeds ‘bouncing back’ after they’re seemingly eradicated. This will allow Australia’s native wildlife and plants to be truly free from these invaders, which include feral foxes and cats, cane toads, and weeds.

It can also ensure that scarce public conservation funds are better spent, as governments and environmental managers can better determine when to stop eradicating these invaders, says Professor Michael McCarthy from CEED and The University of Melbourne (UniMelb).

“Many eradication programs fail, often because the eradication program is prematurely wound up,” says Prof. McCarthy...read the FULL STORY