The TSR Hub is a serious investment by the Australian Government in the science of saving threatened species, but it’s not where the NESP investment ends.
The TSR Hub is one of six National Environmental Science Programme hubs and each is making its own important contribution to the national effort to
recover our threatened species. The TSR Hub is always keen to acknowledge our many collaborators across our broad suite of projects, however, with
this editorial I’d like to look beyond our own hub and highlight the good work being done on threatened species by our sister hubs.
The Clean Air and Urban Landscapes (CAUL) Hub is focusing on the sustainability and liveability of urban environments. Biodiversity conservation (including threatened species management) lies at the centre of many of its projects and TSR and CAUL are collaborating on several projects including studies of urban populations of frogs and flying foxes. Other research of the CAUL Hub includes understanding urban residents’ interactions with nature and developing protocols for reintroducing species into cities.
Many landscapes in Australia are fire-prone, and increasingly so. Altered fire regimes can have a serious negative impact on threatened plant species and ecological communities. A Threatened Species Recovery Hub project is working to better understand the effects of different fire regimes on threatened flora in order to improve fire management strategies and conservation outcomes.
Almost a quarter of Australia’s possums and gliders are listed as threatened under Australian environmental law, and many more are showing signs of decline. Dr Rochelle Steven from The University of Queensland believes people in the community can do a lot to support conservation, especially in urban areas.
The detection and monitoring of threatened species have been a strong area of research in the National Environmental Science Program and also the two national environmental research programs which preceded it. Hub Director Professor Brendan Wintle takes a look at what we’ve been achieving and why it is so important to the conservation of Australia’s threatened species.
In 2009, the Christmas Island blue-tailed skink and Lister’s gecko were headed for imminent extinction. Parks Australia acted quickly to collect remaining wild individuals in order to establish captive breeding programs on Christmas Island and at Taronga Zoo, Sydney, which have been highly successful. A Threatened Species Recovery Hub project team is working closely with Parks Australia to help secure a future for the two lizards beyond captivity.
The silver-headed antechinus and black-tailed dusky antechinus are carnivorous marsupials found in high-elevation forests in parts of central-eastern and south-eastern Queensland. They were only described in the past six years, but they are already listed as Endangered. Knowing where they occur is essential for effective conservation, but current distribution knowledge is patchy. To address this, PhD candidate Stephane Batista in partnership with the Queensland Herbarium and Queensland Department of Environment and Science is modelling the habitat where these threatened species are likely to occur, and is using detection dogs to rapidly survey these sites.