Professor of Terrestrial Ecology
President, Ecological Society of Australia
Associate editor, Journal of Applied Ecology
Associate Editor, Austral Ecology
The Australian Government’s threatened species prospectus was released in March, as a plan to attract investment from industry and philanthropists. It’s a fantastic communications exercise, maybe even an essential one, but why isn’t the government funding these programs directly? And why aren’t any invertebrates in the prospectus. We address these issues in this exciting first article from the Ecological Society of Australia comms team.
Australian Ecologists’ Letter to the NSW Premier in support of feral horse control
Public comments on the Kosciuszko National Park draft Wild Horse Management Plan, 2016 closed on the 19 August.
As reported in The Guardian, 41 ecologists, including eminent alpine ecologists and those with expertise in making cost-effective land management decisions sent a letter to the NSW Premier Mike Baird. In the letter we expressed support for the Kosciuszko National Park Draft Wild Horse Management Plan 2016. We strongly support a rapid reduction in horse numbers. We also point out that aerial culling is the most humane and effective method for reducing horse numbers. We argue that horse numbers need to be rapidly reduced to very low numbers in a shorter time frame than is currently proposed to protect fragile alpine ecosystems and species.
Review the latest news from the Ecological Society of Australia meeting on twitter #ESA15 and #ESA16
I started in my new position at Deakin University, Melbourne Burwood Campus, in the last week of August 2015.
Our paper, recently published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA, flags a major opportunity to avoid future damage to the natural environment. The paper highlights the ongoing risks that new pasture varieties will become invasive, degrade natural ecosystems and escalate the cost of land management. The paper urges governments, industry and farmers to take action now so that past land management mistakes are not repeated, or made worse.You can access the paper and supporting information. The PNAS version can be found here.
The new video tells the story in 3.5 minutes using a quirky combination of stop-motion animation and editing tricks.
Or read The Conversation article
To see the evidence behind the story, visit the ESA Hot Topic
Horse management in Australia’s high country is discussed in my recent article in The Conversation, co-authored by Dr Sam Banks. It also documents our observation of cannibal horses……….
NEWS: This story was the winner in the ANU’s Strategic Communications and Public Affairs annual media awards night 2014 in the category “Quirkiest/Most Unusual Story”.
The last forest skink died recently, representing the first reptile extinction in Australia. John Woinarski, Hal Cogger and I argue in The Conversation that the legacy of this extinction should not be a shoulder shrug.
See the video behind my paper: The Matrix in Ecology
And see the paper that it is based on:
DRISCOLL, D. A., BANKS, S. C., BARTON, P. S., LINDEMAYER, D. B. & SMITH, A. L. (2013). Conceptual domain of the matrix in fragmented landscapes. Trends in Ecology and Evolution 28: 605-613. Download Preprint
or see the official version at TREE