Beating poachers - with mathematics
Environmental scientists have developed a new, low-cost way to save rare animals and plants from poachers and plunderers – using maths.
In a new study, researchers from the ARC Centre of Excellence for Environmental Decisions (CEED), the Wildlife Conservation Society, Imperial College London and the Uganda Wildlife Authority are using a cunning mathematical model to outwit poachers in central Africa.
By studying the poachers' incursion patterns and prioritising patrols, the technology can improve protection of endangered animals and plants where they most need it, while minimising patrol and conservation costs, say Dr Richard Fuller and Dr James Watson of CEED and The University of Queensland (UQ).
Rescuing the Reef video
Dr Carissa Klein and Jutta Beher have made a fantastic video about rescuing the reef with science for the the GBR Foundation Bommies Award (on the Great Barrier Reef and climate change). The winner of the People's Choice Award is the person with the most "likes" on Facebook. Voting started today and closeds on 31st January. So check THIS OUT, scroll down to Carrisa & Jutta's video and click LIKE now.
The Marxan.net computer cluster is live!
We've created a new way to run Marxan using R Studio Server, R Shiny Server, compute clusters and cloud technologies.
Marxan acknowledges funding from the NeCTAR project as well as through the Queensland Cyber Infrastructure Foundation (QCIF). Nectar is an Australian Government project conducted as part of the Super Science initiative and financed by the Education Investment Fund.
Monitoring endangered species to death
In a Frontiers of Ecology paper provocatively entitled "Counting the books while the library burns", CEED researchers Professor David Lindenmayer and Dr Maxine Piggott of the Australian National University, and Assoc. Professor Brendan Wintle of the University of Melbourne warn that some conservation programs are standing by and watching species die out. They produce evidence that many wildlife programs around the world are monitoring species to the point of extinction – often without taking the necessary action to save them.
Rescuing wildlife from climate extinction - with maths
In a bid to save endangered animals from extinction by climate change, a team of Australian and New Zealand environmental scientists has pioneered a revolutionary way of deciding whether animals can safely be re-located.
"With the climate changing more rapidly than species can move or adapt, our only chance of saving some species may be to move them to more climatically suitable areas," says lead author Dr Tracy Rout of the ARC Centre of Excellence for Environmental Decisions (CEED) and The University of Melbourne.
Full media release here
Solving the seagrass crisis
The world’s seagrass meadows are in diabolical trouble – but Australian scientists say we can still save them if we act early, even as sea levels rise.
“We’re currently losing around 7 per cent of the global seagrass area every year due to a combination of human impacts – and those losses are likely to accelerate as sea levels rise,” says Dr Megan Saunders a University of Queensland Global Change Institute researcher collaborating with the ARC Centre of Excellence for Environmental Decisions (CEED)
Full release here
Dr Kerrie Wilson winner of UQ Foundation Research Excellence Award
Dr Kerrie Wilson, CEED Chief Investigator from the University of Queensland's Faculty of Science, has been awarded $90,000 for her project, Incorporating hydrologic ecosystem services (supply, flows and beneficiaries) into land use planning.
Dr Wilson's project aims to bring better understanding of the supply and flow of fresh water, in order to enhance land-use planning for conserving biodiversity and the ecosystem services on which humans depend. Congratulations Kerrie!
Watch the videohere
2013 Macquarie University Eureka Prize for Outstanding Young Researcher
Congratulations to Kerrie, a UQ ARC Future Fellow and Senior Lecturer, and CEED Chief Investigator and Node Director, on being named a winner in the Australian Museum's 2013 Eureka Awards for the Outstanding Young Researcher category.
The annual Eureka Prizes reward excellence in the fields of scientific research and innovation, science leadership, school science, and science journalism and communication.
The winners in this year's awards program were announced on the 4th of September in Sydney. Award details here.
Scientists call for religious help to save our wildlife
The world's great religious leaders could play a vital role in helping to save the world's dwindling wildlife and wilderness, three eminent ecologists from Sweden and Australia have proposed.
Writing in the journal Oryx the scientists point to a strong overlap between regions with high conservation needs and the world's great religions.
"A greater involvement of religious communities in the conservation discourse, and a greater inclusion of conservation issues in religious ethics, could be beneficial for biodiversity," they say.
"Our study examines the spatial distribution of different religions in the world and how they overlap with areas important for biodiversity at a global scale," says lead author Grzegorz Mikusinski from the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences.
Full release here
We've been asking the wrong questions
Stop worrying about how species will respond to climate change – focus on how our adaptations are going to affect them.
Dr James Watson - Director Climate Change Program, Wildlife Conservation Society; UQ Honorary Professor and CEED ResearcherGuardian.co.uk 29 July 2013
Full release here