Experienced practitioners from diverse organisations came together to discuss threatened species monitoring at the workshop entitled ‘Enhancing Monitoring
for Threatened Species to Improve Conservation Outcomes.’
Government, NGO, community group and university representatives presented case studies, the insights from which helped shape lively discussion around the decisions, processes and challenges of threatened species monitoring.
Participants unanimously agreed that monitoring is an essential part of threatened species recovery; however, they asked why threatened species monitoring is rarely carried out, and why, when it is carried out, is it rarely effective in terms of positively affecting conservation outcomes?
Discussion revolved around solutions to this problem, including the potential for new technologies (drones, thermal cameras) to aid with monitoring design, the value of citizen science, and the contribution of Indigenous groups to threatened species monitoring.
One of the insights from the workshop was the need to include people at all stages of monitoring design and application. Hub researcher, Natasha Robinson, from the Australian National University observed that “to improve threatened species conservation we need people to engage with and value threatened species monitoring.”
“Practitioners need to demonstrate the value of on-going monitoring through reporting on our successes (and failures), and to engage with a broad range of people – from community, to land managers, to Indigenous people, to funding bodies and government.
“Without support from these different groups, monitoring is at risk of not being integrated into decision making and on ground management, and therefore not contributing to positive conservation outcomes.”
On-ground threatened species conservation will be assisted by practical guidelines - under development as part of this project - that aim to enhance the effectiveness of threatened species monitoring. See more information.
Image: Long-term monitoring of threatened species comes with its challenges (image supplied by Natasha Robinson)
Your small local patch of bushland could be playing a much bigger role in conserving biodiversity than you think. A global study just published in PNAS looked at the conservation values of vegetation patches in 27 countries on four continents including Australia, and considered their size and distance to other habitat.
New research by the Threatened Species Recovery Hub has identified invasive species as the no. 1 threat to Australian biodiversity with habitat loss a close second.
The exceptionally long-beaked far eastern curlew is the world’s largest migratory shorebird. It is also one of the most well-travelled. This globe-trotting bird was listed as Critically Endangered in Australia in 2016, with its numbers in rapid decline since it was first listed as Least Concern in 2004.
A new video summarises the findings of a University of Queensland PhD project on northern quolls in the Pilbara. Once found all the way from Brisbane to the Pilbara, quolls are now listed nationally and internationally as Endangered, and are restricted to just a few isolated populations, mostly on rocky habitats.
On average, populations of Australia’s threatened birds have decreased by half since 1985, according to Australia’s new Threatened Bird Index.