What are the gains from sponsoring conservation programs for charismatic 'flagship species'

Kakapo jidanchaomian Flickr CCNew paper out by Joseph Bennett, Richard Maloney & Hugh Possingham

To address the global extinction crisis, both efficient use of existing conservation funding and new sources of funding are vital. Private sponsorship of charismatic ‘flagship’ species conservation represents an important source of new funding, but has been criticized as being biased and inefficient. In this study, we clearly show that private funding for flagships can often result in additional species saved from extinction, via conservation actions that are shared among species. By integrating sponsorship for flagships into more objective approaches that maximize shared benefits, and by using flagships to generate additional resources, more species can be saved from extinction.

See it HERE 

Photo: jidanchaomian via Flickr CC

Trophy hunting may be “a key to saving wildlife”

elephantThe world may need to allow controlled trophy hunting of elephants, lions and other animals if it wants to keep its endangered wildlife, an environmental scientist says.

Dr Duan Biggs of the ARC Centre of Excellence for Environmental Decisions (CEED) and The University of Queensland (UQ) argues that trophy hunting of elephants and lions – managed well – is critical for the well-being of local communities in low income countries, and the successful conservation of the animals and their habitats in turn.

Dr Biggs says managed hunting means that only carefully selected animals such as old or dying animals are hunted to ensure sustainability, and only allowing the export and import of trophies from operators that follow best practices.

Without this, he warns, poaching and illegal trade in wildlife products will thrive, as impoverished local communities have no incentive to protect the animals, and may even be driven to poach them or join the illicit trade. 




Saving critically endangered species - yes it can be done ...


paper published today in Current Biology concluded that immediate conservation action and an investment of an estimated US$1.3 million per species will significantly increase the chances of survival for vertebrates on the brink of extinction.

The paper was published by a multi‐disciplinary research team led by Dr Dalia A Conde and Prof John E Fa from Imperial College London (formerly at Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust), along with Prof Hugh Possingham from CEED and the University of Queensland, and scientists from the Max‐Planck Odense Center at the University of Southern Denmark, Texas A&M University, American Bird Conservancy, IUCN SSC Conservation Breeding Specialist Group, International Species Information System and World Association of Zoos and Aquariums.


CIFOR Poaching Debate

Rhino wallpaperPoaching, in particular of big, charasmatic game such as Rhino and Elephant a major threat to the existance of these species.

In this YouTube video, CEED Researcher Dr Duan Biggs  and Jacob Phelps (Center for International Forestry Research - CIFOR) discuss contentious policy responses to the booming illegal trade in wild plants and animals. When are sustainable use and captive breeding viable options, and what are their limitations?

Targeting threats alone "won't save our wildlife"

fox with penguinThe world needs to rethink its approach to conservation if it is to save nature from a looming wave of extinctions.
Researchers from the ARC Centre of Excellence for Environmental Decisions (CEED) say the focus on 'threat hotspots', a strategy used by many countries and conservation bodies, can be expensive, inadequate and may even push threatened species closer to the brink.
In a review published in the journal Frontiers of Ecology and the Environment headed up by Dr Ayesha Tulloch, the researchers propose a new framework that helps identify conservation actions that are both affordable and achieve have the greatest benefit for imperilled animals and plants.


Being smart about SMART environmental targets

Smart Targets Infograph

Successful environmental conservation needs to focus on the negotiation process, not just the end target, according to University of Queensland research.
The study provides strategies for scientists to facilitate more effective international negotiations to influence long-term government and business development priorities.
PhD student at UQ's Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence for Environmental Decisions, Sean Maxwell said clever decision making required more than setting SMART targets.



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.