Theme 3.00

Monitoring and management

Improved monitoring and management of threatened species and threatened ecosystems, including the effectiveness of interventions, is essential to learn what conservation actions work best.

A better understanding of the current condition of ecosystems is the first step in this process.

This theme will focus on:

  • Improved reporting and information on threatened species and ecological communities
  • Better prediction of threatened species trajectories
  • Practical adaptive management for threatened species conservation and recovery programs improvement.
Related Projects

Developing a threatened species index

Project: 3.1
This project will develop and evaluate a set of indices that can provide reliable and robust measures of population trends across Australia’s threatened species. This will support more coherent and transparent reporting of changes in biodiversity across national, state and regional levels.

Improving threatened species monitoring

Project: 3.2
This project aims to improve the design and implementation of cost-effective monitoring for threatened species. The project will assess the extent and quality of monitoring across threatened species, and seek to understand what contributes to good monitoring. The project will include a series of case studies that can act as exemplars of sound design, appropriate integration with management actions, and effective engagement with the community.

Using reintroductions to understand causes of mammal declines and extinctions at Booderee National Park

Over the last century Booderee National Park has suffered large declines and extinctions of many native species, especially mammals. Active management has stabilised declines of many species and created conditions considered suitable to trial reintroductions of at least three regionally extinct mammals. This project will support Parks Australia in planning and monitoring the releases.

Monitoring Threatened Species on Indigenous lands: Bilbies in the Martu Determination

Martu people are traditional owners of over 14 million hectares of the western deserts, one of the last strongholds of the greater bilby. The project is combining Indigenous knowledge and Western scientific techniques to create and establish bilby monitoring and data management programs that will be implemented by Martu Kanyirninpa Jukurrpa Rangers.

A tool for evaluating biodiversity monitoring programs in national parks

Monitoring is crucial for determining trends in plant and animal populations and their response to management. However, decisions about how much to invest in monitoring, and where, when and how to allocate monitoring effort, are complex. This project will further develop a computer simulation tool (SPOTR) for evaluating the performance of biodiversity monitoring programs.

Bioacoustic monitoring of breeding in glossy and red-tailed black-cockatoos

Breeding success is a key limiting factor in population recovery for the threatened glossy black-cockatoo and south-eastern red-tailed black-cockatoo. Monitoring is important to guide conservation actions, however these species are difficult to monitor using traditional methods. This project will develop novel bioacoustic methods to monitor breeding in these species.

Using drones for biodiversity monitoring

This project will trial the performance of drones with thermal cameras to provide tangible advice to managers about when they should be used to augment traditional ecological monitoring approaches. It will also develop a framework for designing drone-based surveys, and evaluate the statistical and technical trade-offs between different survey designs.

Thermal imaging for biodiversity monitoring

Traditional techniques for monitoring wildlife such as spotlighting are often too expensive, inefficient or impractical for widespread use. New technologies and new advances in survey methods have the potential to provide data that are more accurate for lower costs.

Arid Zone Monitoring: Surveys for vertebrates across arid and semi-arid zones

Project: 3.2.5
Monitoring animal populations in Australia’s sandy deserts is challenging. Desert species can be patchily distributed, at low densities, and have boom-bust cycles. As a result, we know little about the distribution, abundance, and status of desert wildlife. This project is working with indigenous and non-indigenous partners to collate and analyse this information, to produce a collective picture of the distributions of desert species and their threats, and how these are changing over time.

Evidence-based management protocols for recovery of multiple threatened woodland birds

Project: 3.2.6
Eastern Australia’s temperate woodlands have been significantly cleared, with 80% of their former extent already gone, and the classically Australian woodland bird community that is inseparably bound with them disintegrating.

Monitoring bogong moth population change

Project: 3.2.8
Recent reports of bogong moth migration failure have caused major concerns among managers, ecologists and the general public, not least because of the important role the moth plays in the diet of the Endangered possum. This project seeks to establish a robust bogong moth monitoring strategy that will provide accurate estimates of the annual variation in biomass available to mountain pygmy possums.

Practical adaptive management to improve threatened species conservation programs

Project: 3.3
Adaptive management is a widely supported framework for conducting environmental management in the face of uncertainty. Challenges persist in putting this approach into practice, particularly in the case of conserving threatened species. Many threatened species recovery efforts fail because appropriate management actions are either not implemented, the outcomes of that management are inadequately monitored, or management is poorly informed and not as effective as it should be.

Adaptive Management for threatened mammals in the Victorian Central Highlands

Project: 3.3.2
Many species of mammals and birds are dependent on the Mountain Ash forests of Victoria’s Central Highlands, including the Critically Endangered Leadbeater’s Possum and Vulnerable Greater Glider. This project will use analysis of existing long-term monitoring data and new field-based experimental research and radio-tracking to strengthen the scientific evidence base of strategies to secure the longterm conservation of these and other species dependent on these forests.

The conservation of Greater Glider populations in the Victorian Central Highlands

Project: 3.3.4
Greater gliders have declined in many parts of south-eastern Australia, with local extinctions in some areas. They require tree hollows for dens and so are found in forests with large old hollow-bearing trees. The project focuses on greater glider populations in the mountain ash forests of the Victorian Central Highlands. This project aims to 1) quantify how populations in the focus region are changing across space and over time; and 2) identify the factors underpinning the observed changes.

Recovering malleefowl with adaptive management of feral predators

Project: 3.3.5
The distribution and abundance of malleefowl (Leipoa ocellata) has declined markedly since the arrival of Europeans to Australia. The main identified threats include habitat loss and fragmentation, herbivore grazing, changed fire regimes and invasive predators.

Adaptive reintroduction strategies for the northern corroboree frog

Project: 3.3.6
The critically endangered northern corroboree frog is one of many frogs in major decline due to chytrid fungus. A common management response is to establish captive breeding programs paired with reintroductions. However, reintroductions into the sites where the last wild populations persisted has met limited success due to the continued effects of chytrid fungus. This project will develop and trial innovative new translocation and reintroduction approaches, to reestablish wild populations of the northern corroboree frog in the ACT.

Mitigating and managing barriers to fish passage and improving river connectivity

Project: 3.3.7
Native fish populations in the Murray Darling Basin are estimated to be at 10% of pre-European numbers. One significant cause of declines is barriers to fish movement, which can lead to population fragmentation and loss of access to key habitat. Barriers can be created by physical instream structures, cold water pollution and changed hydrological conditions.