Environmental policy specialist Samuel Marwood was helping to write the threatened species strategy for the Victorian Government two years ago when he
ran into a problem: funding.
Samuel knew straight away that he was not the only person being kept awake at night by the challenge of securing ongoing financial support for a threatened species program. The hearts and minds behind some of the greatest human defenders of such species are consumed by where they’ll find their next stage of funding.
On the other side of the equation, Samuel also knew there were great people in the community who wanted to support threatened species – but who didn’t have any money, either. Not very much, anyway.
The answer? Samuel put on his thinking cap and innovated. The result, Edge Pledge, brings those people to the problem and delivers a solution by creating new and fun opportunities to raise money for a cause or threatened species they care about.
And perhaps the most distinctive thing about Edge Pledge is its “challenge generator” – a website that asks each user to answer a few questions to determine their personality type, then uses this information to suggest a selection of appropriate challenges. Friends and colleagues “vote” on which challenge they favour; the challenge that gains the most in donations “wins” and can shortly begin.
Edge Pledge is no ordinary fundraising platform. It is already disrupting crowdfunding principles that are themselves not long on the market and, incredibly, Edge Pledge has raised more than $30,000 in the past six weeks.
Samuel has got it this far, but now he is calling out to the TSR Hub to help it go further, “whether it is sharing it on Facebook, making a donation or creating your own pledge, we need everyone to help out where they can”.
You can find out more about Edge Pledge through Facebook or Twitter, from the website edgepledge.com, or from entertainers Rove McManus and Claire Hooper, who have dressed up in costume to tell us what it feels like to be a threatened species.
You might even find that Edge Pledge disrupts your own status quo for a while…
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.