As Australian cities and suburbs continue to expand, new developments exert pressure on the species and habitats that exist on their margins. But do smaller species stand a chance against big developers? Researchers are looking for ways to level the playing field.
Golden sun-moths live on and above small patches of remnant native grassland, on the outskirts of north-western Melbourne and eastern Canberra. They derive their common name from the bright golden colours decorating the wings of the females, and they live up to it by being one of the few diurnal (day-time) moths found in Australia.
"The golden sun-moth is listed as critically endangered under Australian legislation," says CEED researcher Luis Mata, an insect ecology research fellow from RMIT University working with the NESP Clean Air and Urban Landscape Hub (CAUL Hub).
Luis has teamed up with CEED and Threatened Species Recovery Hub researcher (TSR Hub) and RMIT Associate Professor Sarah Bekessy to assess the viability of the species under different management scenarios.