Droughts, floods and fires: Threatened species in a changing world

Much of Australia’s nature, the essence of our country, is susceptible to climate change. Indeed, the loss in the last decade of Australia’s Bramble Cay melomys may be one of the first cases in the world of extinction due to climate change. Hub Deputy Director Professor John Woinarski from Charles Darwin University talks about how climate change is affecting threatened species and offers some guidance on what is needed to minimise this impact.


Chicken feathers and a self-fumigating pardalote

The forty-spotted pardalote has suffered severe range contractions due to habitat loss and degradation, fire, and aggressive competitors, such as noisy miners.  To add to these woes research has discovered that an insect parasite is killing chicks in the nests. However, researcher Fernanda Alves from The Australian National University has some good news from an innovative experiment which allows the tiny birds to ‘self-fumigate’ their nests with chicken feathers treated with a bird-safe insecticide. 


Call for data on threatened and near-threatened species 

The Threatened Species Index is a ground-breaking project which collates vast amounts of data from monitoring programs across the country to tell us how threatened species are faring.  The index was launched in November with bird data contributed by many state agencies, conservation NGOs and other groups and individuals.

We are now calling for monitoring data on birds, plants and mammals until 15 June.  The updated birds index and new threatened plant and mammal indexes will be ready by the end of the year. 

You can explore the birds index at or learn more in this STORY and ANIMATION or see findings summaries for AUSTRALIA, ACTNSWVIC, TAS, SA, WA, NT and QLD.


Long-term monitoring in the Victorian Central Highlands

Each year, researchers monitor birds, possums, gliders and the changing dynamics of the forest at almost 180 one-hectare monitoring plots in the Victorian Central Highlands. In a new video Professor David Lindenmayer from the Australian National University discusses these long-term monitoring sites in the mountain ash ecosystem, and what we are learning from them. 


New research a game changer for fox control

Red foxes are one of the greatest threats to Australia’s native mammals and to some pastoral industries.  To combat this, Australia spends more than $16 million per year on red fox control, with much of that money directed to poison baiting.  Recent research by The University of Melbourne led by Dr Bronwyn Hradsky has found that when control programs aren’t strategic, fox numbers can quickly recover. To help land mangers design effective control programs they have developed FoxNet.  The decision support tool simulates fox populations across realistic landscapes, with different habitat types. Land managers can use it to test different bait station layouts, frequencies and timings.   


Call for photos for new possum app

Do you have great possum photos?  If you do read on, we are looking for good photos for a new app which will help members of the public to identify and share sightings of possums and gliders.  Many of these species are under threat and good information about where different species are greatly assists conservation programs. The app is being developed in collaboration with the CAUL Hub.


A new innovation to get fish past culverts

Fish need to move to find food, escape predators and reach suitable habitat for reproduction.  Many small and juvenile native fish struggle to pass man made structures like culverts.  There are over 2000 culverts in New South Wales alone, so finding an effective and practical way to get fish past culverts is essential to conserving Australia's native fish.  A team from The University of Queensland has made a break through in this area which has been published in Ecological Engineering


Like our stories and want to read more?
The latest Science for Saving Species magazine is available HERE.

The Threatened Species Recovery Hub is supported through funding from the
Australian Government's National Environmental Science Program.

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Threatened Species Recovery Hub · Centre for Biodiversity and Conservation Science · The University of Queensland · St Lucia, Qld 4072 · Australia