From the director:
Bushfires and COVID-19  

The Threatened Species Recovery Hub is receiving an additional $2 million to deliver research and scientific advice to help support wildlife and habitat recovery efforts following Australia’s bushfire crisis. The rapid rollout of meetings and expert workshops that were planned as part of this response now faces the added and acute challenge of COVID-19. 

READ MORE from Prof Brendan Wintle 

Kangaroo Island Wildlife Recovery Workshop 

About half of Kangaroo Island was burnt in the January 2020 bushfires. In late February, 80 stakeholders and scientists came together for a milestone three-day wildlife recovery workshop to inform the island’s wildlife recovery planning, including key threats and recovery actions for threatened species like the Kangaroo Island dunnart and glossy black-cockatoo. The workshop was a collaboration between the South Australian Government, the Australian Government, Natural Resource Kangaroo Island and the Threatened Species Recovery Hub. The highlights have been captured in this short VIDEO.

Better monitoring for threatened species

Monitoring programs often target multiple species to reduce costs, but is this an effective and efficient approach for detecting population changes in threatened species? Research led by Charles Darwin University tested this question for the brush-tailed rabbit-rat on the Tiwi Islands. The study found that detectability is strongly seasonal and significantly influenced by environmental factors such as distance to nearest watercourse, fire history and vegetative cover. As a result targeted monitoring (i.e., surveying suitable habitat in the late dry season) greatly reduces the survey effort (and cost) required to detect population changes compared to a typical multi-species program with randomly selected sites. Read more in this FINDINGS FACTSHEET.

National conservation assessment of every eucalypt species 

Hub research led by The University of Queensland has assessed all 822 Australian eucalypt tree species against IUCN Red List of Threatened Species criteria. The assessment found that 193 species (23 per cent of all Australian eucalypt species) meet criteria for a threatened status of Vulnerable, Endangered or Critically Endangered. Less than half of the species identified are currently listed as threatened under Commonwealth, state or territory laws. Land clearing for agriculture and pastoralism since European colonisation was the most common cause of species becoming threatened. Read more in the FINDINGS FACTSHEET

Identifying reintroduction sites for the forty-spotted pardalote 

Once widely distributed across Tasmania, the forty-spotted pardalote is now mostly confined to a few small offshore islands.  Hub research led by The Australian National University has examined the factors that have enabled the species to persist in these refuges and applied these insights to identify large areas of suitable habitat, which are suitable for reintroductions but that are too distant for natural recolonisation. Read more in the FINDINGS FACTSHEET.

Rabbits, roos and seedling survival in buloke woodlands

Grazing and browsing by herbivores like rabbits and roos can be a serious impediment to restoring degraded ecosystems. A collaboration between hub researchers at The University of Melbourne and Parks Victoria used a field experiment to investigate survival and browsing damage to seedlings in the Endangered buloke woodlands vegetation community. The findings show that complete protection from browsers with wire guards was the only treatment that resulted in a net positive growth of seedlings over one year, while 95% of unguarded seedlings were dead or significantly damaged. To survive and reach maturity in buloke woodlands plants would need protection for nine years or more. Read more in the FINDINGS FACTSHEET.

People of the hub - Hugh McGregor 

Few people understand feral cats like Dr Hugh McGregor from The University of Tasmania, who is a feral cat researcher based at Arid Recovery in outback South Australia. We asked Hugh about his career looking at cats: "Like others who study feral animals, I’ve developed a deep respect and regard for cats, which I balance with knowledge of the need to control them and manage their impacts. I don’t see any point in hating cats themselves, only the damage that they cause our country and wildlife. They are incredible animals, and it is endlessly fascinating and rewarding coming to understand them and trying to develop tools to effectively limit their impacts." READ MORE

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