Misuse and abuse of data analysis in biological surveys – what is a species accumulation curve and what does it mean

June 6th, 2018

In Western Australia, the EPA Technical Guidance – Sampling methods for terrestrial vertebrate fauna (2016) makes the following comments about reporting on the effectiveness of sampling in fauna surveys: ‘species accumulation curves can be useful in estimating total species richness and the proportion of species caught during a fauna survey’ (p31) and ‘average randomised species […]

Pest management can be an emotive issue

May 16th, 2018

I was reading an article by Dunn et al (2018) recently about the public attitude towards pest management. Although this article was using the Grey Squirrel in the UK as the example, the same issues are relevant in Australia. The death of any animal is a sad affair. For pest species such as cane toads, […]

How ‘hot’ or ‘cool’ are Echidnas?

May 2nd, 2018

By Dr Justine Barker I recently completed my PhD at Curtin University examining the physiology and behaviour of short-beaked echidnas (Tachyglossus aculeatus). One of the most interesting findings from my research was that echidnas are not as primitive in their physiology as once thought to be; in fact they are very well adapted. The primitive […]

Darting, chemical capture and relocating kangaroos – an imperfect science and the new DBCA procedures

April 13th, 2018

Kangaroos are regularly retained on golf courses when they are developed or in native vegetation in new residential subdivisions. People like to see kangaroos in their environment, however, we often fail to appreciate that a small number of kangaroos on a golf course or in a subdivision that are provided with permanent fresh water, quality […]

Are we getting value for money from offset research programs – a case study of the Northern Quoll in WA

April 4th, 2018

Richards (2016) questioned whether offsets were sufficiently transparent of know whether they were achieving their objectives and whether they were value for money, Lindemayer et al. (2017) reported offsets of a nest box program where ineffective, Maron et al. (2012) concluded that many of the expectations set by current offset policy for ecological restoration remain […]

How much sampling effort is needed to detect the presence of Bilbies in a defined area

March 21st, 2018

Last year the Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions (2017) published guidelines for surveys to detect the presence of bilbies, and assess the importance of habitat in Western Australia and this guide includes the following information for the preferred Bilby search method of 2ha searches: The standardised 2ha sign plot method provides systematically quantified data […]

A skin breathing fish and its other unique adaptations

March 7th, 2018

Killifish (families Aplocheilidae, Cyprinodontidae, Fundulidae, Profundulidae and Valenciidae) are egg-laying fish that are mostly adapted to living in ephemeral waters, many with eggs able to survive out of water and for periods of partial dehydration. They are found in fresh and brackish water on the Americas, southern Europe and much of Africa, middle-east, but they […]

Rat eradication on South Georgia – what a fantastic effort by an NGO on a shoestring budget

February 21st, 2018

I was reading yesterday about New Zealand’s effort to eradicate rats on an off-shore island and remembered the success story from South Georgia on our trip through Antarctica last year. South Georgia is in the southern Atlantic Ocean approximately 1,900km east of the southern end of South America and 1,500km east of the Falkland Islands. […]

Do Environmental Offsets deliver for Carnaby’s Cockatoo?

February 7th, 2018

Brooke Richards (2016) submitted an honours thesis titled ‘Do Environmental Offsets Deliver for Carnaby’s Cockatoo?’ and we thought the findings of this thesis may be of interest to a wider audience. Environmental offsets are applied when there is a significant residual environmental impact for a proposed development (Government of Western Australia 2011). The Western Australian […]

Retreating glaciers in the Antarctic and implications for penguins

January 24th, 2018

This time last year Graham and I were lucky enough to have spent about three weeks visiting the Falkland Islands, South Georgia and the Antarctic Peninsula. The scenery is fantastic, and we saw thousands of breeding penguins, lots of seals, whales and sea birds. However, one of the most significant observations and lasting memories is […]