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Articles related to Environment

Zakharova_Natalia  / iStockphoto
Cover Story: Small Fry
Fish are becoming smaller all over the world as oceans change and catches increase, with even small changes having great consequences for ecosystems and fisheries.
A Chroococcidiopsis colony containing both normal and “far-red” photosynthetic c
Cover Story: Extreme Photosynthesis: How Life on Earth Could Survive on Mars
The discovery of a new form of photosynthesis extends the limits where life can survive on Earth, and might provide a first step to terraforming Mars.
Browse: Coal Shipping Threat to Great Barrier Reef Browse: Fish out of water are more common than thought
Browse: The world’s oldest farmers Browse: The fine line between playing God and saving species
Fire is a key part of ecosystems in the Mallee. Credit: Peter Teasdale
Cover Story: Pyrodiversity vs Biodiversity
New research challenges conventional wisdom that the creation of a diverse mosaic of fire histories benefits biodiversity.
Cover Story: Species Are Shrinking
An ingenious experiment has revealed the physiological reasons why many species are becoming smaller in response to global warming, overhunting and overfishing.
Browse: Seaweed threatens Pacific coral reefs Browse: Trade Winds Predict Blooms of Irukandji Jellyfish
Browse: Corals Have the Genes to Adapt to Warmer Oceans Browse: Cane Toads Make Long-Distance Calls for Love
Browse: Heat Waves Stress Sheep and Koala Fertility
Credit: CSA-Printstock/iStock
conSCIENCE: Our Human Right not to Be Poisoned
Thousands of new chemicals are released each year, and the toxic effects are mounting. What can we do about it?
Browse: Toad-Proof Fence Browse: New Tasmanian Devil Facial Cancer
An adult female green turtle returning to the sea after nesting. T. Franc
Feature: Mother Knows Best
Why do turtles lay eggs when their close relatives evolved live birth? A study of their reproductive physiology reveals how egg-laying improves the survival prospects of hatchlings.
Joanne Draper
Feature: Rewilding Australia
Are there ecological benefits behind proposals to return Tasmanian devils to the mainland and dingoes to south-eastern Australia, or is “rewilding” simply “biological control” rebranded?
Browse: Cane Toad Invasion Front Is Accelerating in Straight Lines Browse: Judas Camels Betray Feral Friends
Browse: “Alternative RNA” Switches Reptile Gender
The oil spill at Montara lasted for 74 days.
Feature: After the Oil Spill
Just 4 years after the Montara oil spill, scientists have compiled the most detailed description yet of the wildlife, fish and habitats of the Timor Sea as they monitor the recovery of the species affected by the spill.
Browse: Reef Mapped in High Resolution
The waters of the Great Barrier Reef have been mapped in high resolution, in many cases for the first time.
Browse: Oats Clean Nuke Contamination
Browse: Heat Waves Increase Risk for Unhatched Geckos Browse: Tiger Shark Monogamy Fuels Sustainability Risk
Feature: Islands of Extinction
Native mammals are disappearing rapidly as an aggressive invader takes over in forests fragmented by a hydroelectric dam.
Feature: The Social Lives of Sharks
Tracking technology reveals that Port Jackson sharks have buddies of similar age and gender, and can navigate across Bass Strait to the same breeding grounds.
Browse: The Scent of a Queen Quells an Uprising by Her Subjects Browse: 10% of Wilderness Lost in Two Decades
Browse: Shark Declines Can Lead to Fish with Smaller Eyes and Tails Browse: Elusive Gecko Is a Top 10
Browse: Squid on the rise as oceans change
Photo: Guy Nolch
Feature: Why the Long Face?
The jaw strength of crocodiles can be predicted by simple linear measurements that could provide new insights into the diets of extinct marine reptiles.
Credit: Johan Larson/Adobe
Feature: Genetic “Backburning” Can Stop Cane Toads
Could the cane toad’s march through the Kimberley be stopped in its tracks by introducing less-dispersive toads ahead of the invasion front?
Browse: Value in Seagrass Beds
The carbon stored in the seagrass beds that fringe our coast could be worth billions of dollars if trading schemes to protect forests are extended to the oceans, according to a report in PLOS ONE.
Browse: Breeding Program Takes Pressure off Coral Reefs Browse: Irukandji Jellyfish Go Fishing
Browse: Oil Spill Rehab Is Worth It
Tiger snakes on Chappell Island
Feature: Shape-Shifters
Genetic analyses reveal that Australia’s land and sea snakes have rapidly evolved different body shapes and sizes to suit the local prey available, from fat muttonbird chicks to eels hiding in narrow crevices.
Browse: Eggs Lure the Right Sperm
The survival of mussel larvae is affected by chemical signals emitted from the females’ eggs, according to a study published in the Proceedings of The Royal Society B.
Browse: Coral Buffers Itself from Ocean Acidification
Browse: Radar Uncovers Wombat Warrens
Sea squirt
Feature: What Speed Sperm Should a Sea Squirt Squirt?
Sea squirt sperm is revealing how a male’s environment affects his sperm’s quality, with implications for the health of offspring that could also improve the success of human IVF procedures.
 Moorish idol
Feature: Tropical Invaders Seek a Cool Change
As oceans warm, a new study has shown that certain measurable traits may help scientists predict which species of tropical fish will successfully shift into cooler temperate waters.
short-eared rock wallabies
Feature: Mammals on the Brink
Traditional ecological knowledge and western science have combined to address one of Australia’s most pressing biodiversity conservation issues – the decline of its native mammal species.
Browse: Lady Gaga-ntuan Was Born (and Died) This Way
The longest stick insect in Australia has been rediscovered in Far North Queensland by bug hunters from Museum Victoria.
Browse: Kea Genetics Shaped by Climate, Not People
Genetic variation in New Zealand’s kea is the result of recolonisation of alpine areas since the last ice age 10,000 years ago, and not due to population decline as a result of human colonisation, as initially thought.
Browse: Perfume Prevents Ant Wars Browse: Shark Deterrents Rated
Browse: Mother Whale’s Cultural Traditions Shape the Genetics of Offspring Browse: Climate Change Makes Chicks Hatch Early
A large female golden orb-web spider
Feature: Along Came a Spider
The comparative size and weight of two animals determines the outcome of 80% of fights. Now a small spider has revealed the physiological factors that help explain the other 20% of contests.
Browse: London’s Underground Mozzie Molests Us in Winter
The London Underground mosquito has been found in hundreds of locations in southern and central Australia.
Browse: Roadside Air More Charged than under a High-Voltage Power Line
cane toad
Feature: Tolerate Thy Neighbour
Cane toads have been wiping out native species, but one fish species has learnt to avoid toxic toadpoles.
Feature: Why Don’t Birds Fall Over When They Take Off?
An analysis of the biomechanics of the powerful jump of a bird taking flight gives inspiration for the future of agile robots.
Browse: Antarctic Waters Replicating Prehistoric Sea Level Rise
Browse: Indian Myna Is Spreading Avian Malaria Browse: Penguins Evolved After Islands Formed
Browse: Arms Maketh the Kangaroo
The secret to mating success is big forearms, at least if you are a male kangaroo, Western Australian researchers have announced in the Biological Journal of the Linnean Society.
Browse: Greener but Drier
Browse: Bomb Curve Solves Age-Old Lungfish Problem
Two juvenile false killer whales off north-eastern New Zealand.
Feature: False Killers
The false killer whale appears to form long-term relationships with another dolphin species.
Browse: Methane-producing Microbe Thaws from the Permafrost
Scientists from The University of Queensland have discovered a microbe that is set to play a significant role in future global warming.
Browse: Female Fiddler Crabs Seek Protection, Not Sex
Frogs have to adjust their calls in order to be heard in noisy urban environment
Feature: Sex in a Changing World
Sex isn’t always easy, but it’s becoming a lot more complicated due to human-induced changes to the natural environment.
Browse: Weeds Still Evolving Invasive Potential
Browse: Orange Peel Mops Up Mercury Pollution
Feature: How Do Hybrid Species Overcome Genome Shock?
How do hybrid species like cotton and ligers combine different genes, proteins and chromosomes, and can this knowledge be exploited for agriculture?
Browse: Parasites Turn Fish
Parasites can make fish left- or right-finned, or at least with a tendency to turn one way, according to researchers at the Australian National University.
Browse: Penguins Feed in Straight Lines
A research team at the University of Otago has discovered that the endangered and endemic yellow-eyed penguin forages in straight lines for several kilometres by following furrows in the seafloor scoured out by fishing trawlers.
Browse: Nemo’s Journey Really Is an Epic
Casey presents his teeth during a dental inspection at Taronga Zoo.
Feature: Eat Prey, Sieve
The ability to ambush, capture and tear apart penguins at the water’s edge has earned leopard seals a fearsome reputation. However, new research suggests that these top predators are also able to “filter feed” on krill by using their ferocious-looking cheek teeth as a delicate sieve.
Feature: A Burning Issue
The use of fire to manage Australia’s vast northern savannas is being doused by government bureaucracy, resistance by pastoralists, loss of indigenous knowledge and mistrust of science.
Heathland in the Stirling Ranges National Park
Feature: Ancient Rainforests or Burning Bush?
New fossil evidence is forcing a rethink of whether rainforest or fire-prone shrubland prevailed in Australia during the age of the dinosaurs.
Browse: Male Bees Protect Females from STDs Browse: Call to Minimise Drone Impact on Wildlife
Feature: Hacking the Illegal Trade in Wildlife
Hackers should be deployed to disrupt a $23 billion online market in wildlife and wildlife parts.
Browse: Our Plastic Rubbish Is Littering Australia’s Coast
Browse: Rangers Turn to Maths to Scramble Animal Poachers
Environmental scientists have developed a low-cost way to save rare animals and plants from poachers and plunderers – using maths.
Browse: Mirror-Eyes Reflect Evolution of Vision
A small tropical fish uses mirror-eyes on the side of its head to help see its prey in the darkness of the deep sea habitat, according to research published in Proceedings of the Royal Society B.
Browse: Increased Emissions in Coal Seam Gas Fields Browse: Wand Cleans Oil from Penguins
Feature: The Outback Needs More People
Fewer people now live in the outback than before European settlement, so conservation efforts are aiming to attract more people who can actively manage the landscape.
Credit: lassedesignen
Feature: High Society
GPS collars have revealed that koalas are more social than previously realised.
By the 1980s there were as few as 40 individual northern hairy-nosed wombats.
Feature: The Elusive Northern Hairy-Nosed Wombat
Creative sampling and DNA techniques have allowed scientists to keep track of one of Australia’s most endangered and elusive marsupials.
Photo: Si-Chong Chen
Feature: All Creatures Great and Small
Many large animals are rare or under threat, so the discovery that they ingest and disperse both large and small seeds has widespread ecological consequences.
Little penguins
Feature: Predator in a Penguin Suit
Miniature video cameras and GPS have given an underwater bird’s-eye view of the hunting behaviours of the world’s smallest penguin.
Browse: Dingo Baiting Doesn’t Harm Wildlife
Browse: Moore’s Law Inspires Carbon Reduction Target
Scribbly gum
Feature: Scribbles in Time
Scribbles on eucalypts are the marks of a unique interaction with caterpillars that may date back to the Gondwana supercontinent.
Credit: Bobby Tamayo
Feature: Top Dog: How Dingoes Save Native Animals
Dingoes are considered a pest by land managers in Central Australia, but it turns out they are effective pest managers of feral cats and foxes – until the rains come.
Credit: Mopic
Feature: Welcome to the Anthropocene
Say goodbye to the Holocene. Later this year a new epoch might be formally recognised.
Browse: Forests Feel the Heat
A temperature increase of 1°C causes tropical rainforests to release an additional 3.5 billion tonnes of carbon during El Niño events, with worrying implications as the world warms.
Browse: Motorboat Noise Helps Marine Predators
Credit: Alessandro Silvano
Feature: The Melting Antarctic Glacier That Could Flood the World
A scientific voyage has revealed startlingly warm waters around a glacier in East Antarctica that could raise global sea levels by 4 metres.
Feature: Cultural Evolution in Darwin’s Finches
A new study is analysing the songs of Darwin’s finches to determine the role of cultural evolution in speciation.
A large staghorn fern
Feature: Killer Vines Strangling the Rainforest
Woody vines are proliferating in Australia’s fragmented tropical rainforests and threatening the existence of ferns.
Feature: The Illegal Wildlife Trade as a Source of New Alien Species
The illegal wildlife trade is increasing the likelihood that foreign reptiles will become established in the wild – with consequences for both biodiversity and human health.
Credit: mraoraor/Adobe
Feature: Under the Shade of Eucalypt Trees
Eucalypt trees are iconic in Australia, with around 900 species spread around the continent. However, a new study has found that toxic compounds in their leaves are having undesirable ecological impacts when eucalypt plantations have been established in other parts of the world.
Browse: Expansion of Invasive Species Underestimated
The rapid expansion of invasive species through spatial sorting is not being incorporated into predictions of their spread, according to A/Prof Rick Shine of the University of Sydney’s School of Biological Sciences.
Browse: New Lizard Species Discovered
Australia’s place as a centre for reptile biodiversity has been confirmed with the identification of two new species.
Browse: Private Land Is Better for Birds than Conservation Reserves
Private land can help protect Australia’s endangered bird populations as effectively as the nation’s best performing conservation reserves, according to a study published in Ecography.
Browse: Canal Housing Releases Carbon Stored in Estuaries Browse: Antarctic Mercury Threatens Fish and Birds
Browse: Genetic Clues to Managing Koala Demise
Genetic patterns in koala populations have revealed that the right balance between tree cover and roads is required to save koala populations from urban growth.
Browse: Exotic Species Help Ecosystems
Exotic animals are generally considered to be a major threat to native species, but scientists in New Zealand have found some positives.
Browse: Marine Parks Don’t Protect Diversity
 The red lionfish hides in plain sight using stripes and fins that disrupt the b
Cover Story: Lions of the Caribbean
Despite the extravagent appearance of red lionfish, these voracious carnivores are virtually undetectable by small prey and are causing massive problems in the Caribbean. So why aren’t they taking over the Great Barrier Reef?
Cover Story: Oz Mammal Genomics
A large project to sequence the genomes of Australia’s mammals will provide the first complete picture of their interrelationships and evolutionary history – and aid their conservation.
Tiny bumps on cicada wings repel water and dirt.
Feature: The Genius of the Cicada Wing
The nanostructure of cicada wings is inspiring new materials that are self-cleaning, repel water and can kill bacteria.
Superb fairy-wren
Feature: Learning Before Birth
Superb fairy-wrens sing to their chicks before they hatch, teaching them a begging call that identifies them before cuckoo chicks can predate the nest.
Feature: A Birds’ Eye View of Avian Flight
The “handedness” of birds enables them to navigate a collision-free path through complex environments, with some flying left of obstacles while others prefer to fly right.
whale shark
Feature: Hide & Seek
Whale sharks may be the largest fish in the ocean but they are particularly elusive. Researchers are now using photographic and genetic methods to find out their migration patterns and determine the best conservation strategies to protect them from threats posed by shipping accidents and unregulated fishing.
Feature: Sex with Strangers
An invasive honey bee species is mating with local honey bees in Far North Queensland. What are the consequences for the Australian honey bee industry?
Feature: Australia’s Role in the 2011 Global Carbon Sink Anomaly
How did Australia’s vegetation cause a sudden and massive increase in uptake of atmospheric CO2 in 2011, and why did sea levels fall in the same year?
Feature: The Beauty of Obsolete Oil Rigs
The ear bones of reef fish are telling marine ecologists which decommissioned oil rigs are creating a vibrant habitat and which need to be brought back to land for disposal.
Credit: Eraxion/iStock
Feature: Probiotics for the Planet’s Polluted Plumbing
Imagine a world where billions of tiny creatures were deployed in the environment to degrade industrial pollutants that contaminate the world’s crucial groundwater reserves.
The installation of 3000 clear plastic panels simulates an El Niño drought
Feature: A Raincoat for a Rainforest
How do you study the effects of drought in a rainforest? Try covering one in plastic.
A green oasis of Antarctic mosses in the Windmill Islands. Zbyněk Malenovský
Feature: Will Antarctic Oases Remain Green?
Antarctic mosses are threatened by climatic change and human activity, but researchers can now detect their health by analysing spectral patterns imaged from the ground or remotely by drones.
A pygmy blue whale. Credit: research team
Feature: DNA Gives Hope to Blue Whales
A DNA study has determined whether the low genetic diversity of Australia’s blue whales was caused by past natural events or recent whaling, and offered hope for their long-term survival.
Feature: The Bold and the Beautiful
The discovery that a gene partly determines which swans are bold and which are wary of people could assist captive breeding programs in cities.
The skull of a woma python
Feature: Out of the Mouths of Snakes
DNA analysis and 3D imaging have revealed how snakes evolved their huge gape independently across different lineages.
Feature: Nature Calls
In a small Australian desert bird, parents talk to their eggs to warn them it’s hot outside. The unborn chicks that listened became more successful parents.
Feature: Changes in Our Global Footprint
Our impacts on the Earth are slowing down relative to population and economic growth.
Credit: Aidenvironment/CC BY-SA 2.0
Feature: It Pays to Grow Trees
When economic forces threaten irreplaceable ecosystems in developing countries it makes sense to employ economic incentives that place a value on forests.
Feature: The Future of Frogs in the Face of Fire
The increasing risk of bushfires due to climate change is escalating the risk of extinction for frogs in Australia’s south-east.
Feature: The Secret Life of Dolphins
New underwater camera technology has captured the social lives of wild dolphins for the first time, revealing how deep and for how long they dive, how they nurture their young and even how they play with objects in the ocean.
Feature: To Feed or Not To Feed? The Impacts of Backyard Bird Feeders
Bird feeding is a popular way for people to interact with urban wildlife, but what are the consequences for birds, bird populations and native biodiversity as a whole?
Feature: A Nose for Conservation
Conservationists are recruiting dogs (and their owners) to detect rare species like tiger quolls as well as invasive pests and weeds, but how reliable are they?
Feature: The Guts of the Captive Breeding Problem
The discovery that captivity affects the internal organs of animals has significant implications for their successful reintroduction to the wild.
Feature: The Tree That Waters Itself
Island gigantism might have driven the evolution of one of the most bizarre adaptations in the plant kingdom.
Feature: Evolution on an Ecological Scale
Darwin’s theory of natural selection may be simple and intuitive, but some of its key assumptions are now being called into question.
Feature: How Oil Palm Can Become More Ecologically Friendly
Oil palm is not a suitable habitat for most terrestrial mammals, but there are ways to improve it and promote the conservation value of these landscapes.
Feature: Swimming in a River of Drugs
A study finds that more than 65 pharmaceuticals accumulate in aquatic invertebrates and riparian spiders, and can then spread through the food chain to birds and other terrestrial animals.
Browse: Antibiotic Resistance in Wallabies
Brushtail rock wallabies bred in captivity carry antibiotic-resistant bacteria in their guts while their wild counterparts do not, a study in PLOS One has revealed.
Browse: Cat-astrophic Fungus
Australian cats are falling ill from a newly identified fungus that features a very low survival rate.
Browse: A False Eye on Threats
Juvenile damselfish respond to the presence of predators by changing their body shape and expanding the size of their eye spots, but the mechanism for this development is still unknown.
Browse: Over-Harvesting Recorded in Turtle DNA
The effects of over-harvesting are visible in the DNA of turtles decades after the exploitation stopped.
Browse: Plantation Diversity Boosts Carbon Storage
Plantations that use multiple species store more carbon than monocultures, according to a metastudy of forestry trials.
Browse: Marine Microbes Munch on Plastic Waste
Browse: Penguins on a Slippery Slope Browse: Little Penguins Make Deadly Hunting Teams
Browse: Endangered Quoll Spotted Browse: Kangaroos Eating Reptiles out of House and Home
Browse: Climate Changes Timing of Leaf Growth Browse: Penguins Survived in Three Refugia during Ice Age
Browse: Portable Solar Desal for Remote Communities Browse: Barnacles Trace Turtle Migration
Browse: Mountain Plants Can’t Climb Higher Browse: Fish Dive Deep to Beat the Heat
Browse: Cause of Native Mammal Declines in Northern Australia Revealed Browse: How Birds Learn Foreign Languages
Browse: 53 Genes Help Reef Fish Respond to Warmer Oceans Browse: Devils Needed on the Mainland
Browse: A Flood of New Toxins Browse: Invasive Ants Carry Novel Virus and Bee Pathogens
Browse: Male Seahorse and Human Pregnancies Are Alike Browse: Crazy Ants Beating Butterflies
Browse: Blood Reveals Great Barrier Reef Sharks Are Homebodies Browse: Cockies Win, Swallows Lose when Roos Come to Town
Browse: World Temperature Could Rise 1.5°C by 2020 Browse: Anthropogenic Warming Goes Back to the 1930s
Browse: Melting Antarctic Ice Sheet Is a “Sleeping Giant” Browse: The Silence of the Shrimp
Browse: Dingo Skull Resists Cross-Breeding Browse: Blue Whales Split into Three Breeding Groups
Browse: New Gecko Species Browse: Where Have the Largest Whale Sharks Gone?
Browse: Mangrove Dieback “Unprecedented” Browse: Natural Antibodies Could Combat Tasmanian Devil Cancer
Browse: Crocodile Eyes Are Designed for Ambush Attacks Browse: Sea Snakes Have Extra Sense
Browse: Plants Respond to Touch Browse: Can Trees Cope with the Third Degree?
Browse: Devil’s Bigger Extinct Cousin Discovered Browse: Coral Bleaching Caught on Camera
Browse: Flat Out Like a Thorny Devil Drinking Browse: Study Provides Carbon Footprint Table for Food
Browse: Monotreme Venom’s Potential as a Diabetes Drug Browse: Life and Death after Reef Bleaching
Browse: Scorpions Adjust Venom to Predators and Prey Browse: Ocean Waves Triggering Antarctic Ice Shelf Collapse
Browse: Three Trillion Tonnes of Ice Lost from Antarctica Since 1992 Browse: Isotopes reveal that whale sharks stay close to home
Browse: Business as usual for Antarctic krill despite increasing ocean acidification Browse: The Curious Case of the Cassowary Casque
Browse: Cane Toads Develop Shady Habits Browse: Trees Remember Heatwaves
Browse: Human Footprint on Antarctica Measured for First Time Browse: Balloons the Number 1 Marine Debris Risk of Seabird Mortality
conSCIENCE: Burying CO2 Is Cool
Carbon capture and storage is a necessary component of any realistic effort to control global warming.
conSCIENCE: Economics on an Even Keel
Can economics balance its books with the limits of ecology?
conSCIENCE: Mega-Banks Unleash an Infrastructure Tsunami
The rise of investment bank lending for infrastructure projects in developing countries is driving a “feeding frenzy” of developments with lower environmental controls.
conSCIENCE: Australia’s Iconic Top Predator Must Be Protected
Lethal control programs treat dingoes like pests, yet the evidence is mounting that this damages ecosystems by enabling foxes and feral cats to thrive.
conSCIENCE: Science Needs a Central Place in the New Urban Agenda
More of the global population is becoming concentrated in cities yet science has been largely excluded from global urbanisation planning.
Credit: Google Earth
conSCIENCE: Roads to Ruin
Can we build roads that benefit people while not destroying nature?
Sean Connell taking notes at a vent that is emitting CO2 bubbles.  Note the pres
conSCIENCE: The Good News You Missed About Ocean Acidification
Carbon may be acidifying the oceans, but the species it’s supposed to harm are fighting back.
conSCIENCE: Your Nitrogen Footprint Has Far-Reaching Consequences
Australia’s reliance on coal and taste for beef is contributing to nitrogen pollution as far away from our population centres as the Great Barrier Reef.
conSCIENCE: Whales and Sharks Must Be Protected from Global Shipping
Road ecology is being applied to shipping routes to stop marine giants from becoming “roadkill”.
Cool Careers: Chronology from the Depths
Aimee Komugabe has abandoned a career in finance to examine deep water corals for evidence of climate change 4000 years ago.
Cool Careers: Underwater Acid Lab
The discovery of carbon dioxide seeps surrounded by coral reefs has given Dr Katharina Fabricius a chance to investigate our oceanic future. The news is not good.
Directions: Our Wastewater Is a Valuable, Recoverable Resource
Australia can quickly turn our wastewater from a burden to a benefit.
Directions: Setting the Record Straight on Coral Bleaching
The mass bleaching on the Great Barrier Reef this summer is the most damaging recorded.
Directions: Can Australia Meet the Paris Climate Challenge?
We need to accelerate our efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
Eco Logic: Grieving for the Past, Hoping for the Future
Many conservation scientists may be suffering from grief over the loss of species and habitats. If this is true, can an understanding of the grieving process be useful?
Eco Logic: A New List to Frame Biodiversity Conservation
A new IUCN Red List promises to enlarge the debate on declining biodiversity to include ecosystems.
Eco Logic: All for One and One for All
Human behaviour plays an enormous role in the spread or control of invasive weeds.
Eco Logic: Where’s the Evidence for Adaptive Management?
Everyone talks about how important adaptive management is but few are actually doing it.
Eco Logic: The Gap Between Conservation Scientists and Managers
Collaboration is the key to getting managers and decision-makers to better engage with conservation science. What are the problems and some possible solutions to make it happen?
Eco Logic: History of an “Outcome”
Assigning an outcome to any single grant, paper or person makes a mockery of the scientific process.
Eco Logic: Fossil Fuel Footprint Stepping on Biodiversity
The footprint of fossil fuels is encroaching on biodiversity hotspots that are currently undeveloped.
Eco Logic: Being SMART with NRM Performance Goals
Natural resource management targets in Victoria and NSW are not specific, measurable or time-bound – and that’s not very smart.
Eco Logic: Conservation in a Wicked World
Conventional approaches to conservation can learn from complex military decisions in Afghanistan.
Eco Logic: A Clear Case for Regrowth
Despite evidence that regrowth vegetation has equivalent habitat value to intact vegetation, Queensland has amended legislation protecting high-value bioregions from clearing.
Eco Logic: Priorities for Koala Recovery
There is no “silver bullet” solution to declining koala numbers. Successful koala recovery is likely to require very different recovery strategies in different places.
Eco Logic: A Call to Better Protect Antarctic Biodiversity
As “the last wilderness on Earth” Antarctica requires a better system of protected areas.
Eco Logic: Tidal Flats Are Disappearing
The world is losing its tidal flats at an alarming rate, putting enormous pressure on threatened migratory birds.
Eco Logic: Balancing Species Numbers and Phylogenetic Diversity
The current extinction crisis can be thought of as a fire in the genetic library of life. In the scramble to save as much as we can, we want to save as many books (i.e. species) as possible but we also want to save as much total information (i.e. unique genes) as possible.
Eco Logic: Sustainable Fish and Chips
One of the simplest things anyone can do to promote marine conservation is to stop eating unsustainable seafood.
Eco Logic: Looking after Our Nomadic Species
The range of many Australian nomadic birds can contract to a very small area, making them much more vulnerable to extinction.
Eco Logic: Casting a Critical Eye over Biodiversity Offsets
Biodiversity offset policies may result in perverse incentives that lock in biodiversity loss.
Eco Logic: Chytrid and Frogs in Australia’s High Country
Science is helping conservation managers deal with the curse of chytrid fungus. While the threat has devastated many frog species, there is reason to be hopeful.
Eco Logic: Conserving Freshwater Crayfish in Australia
Australia has a rich diversity of freshwater crayfish, but many of our species are at risk.
Eco Logic: Bias in Natural Resource Management
Natural resource managers must acknowledge the presence of bias and make a conscious effort to minimise its influence in their decisions.
Eco Logic: Beyond Threat Maps
Targeting threats alone won’t save our wildlife.
Eco Logic: Restoring Marine Coastal Ecosystems: What’s the Cost?
A review of the costs and feasibility of marine restoration projects reveals that they are often very expensive and risky.
Eco Logic: “Robots” vs Environmental Managers
Can automated algorithms do better than humans in conservation games?
Eco Logic: Making More of Mangrove Ecosystem Services
Different mangrove areas in the same region provide different ecosystem services. Mapping these is important when deciding where conservation investment should go.
Eco Logic: Restoring Urban Drains to Living Streams
A creek restoration in a Perth suburb has increased the median home price within 200 metres of the project by around 5%.
Eco Logic: An Agreement Forever?
There’s a growing trend in many parts of the world for land owners to enter into conservation covenants and easements. These formal agreements are an increasingly popular strategy for conserving biodiversity on private land but how effective are they? Our analysis of covenants in Australia has revealed there’s much to commend in these agreements but there’s also work needed to ensure their ongoing effectiveness.
Eco Logic: Conservation Research Isn’t Happening in the Right Places
Conservation research is not being done in the countries where it’s most needed, and this will undermine efforts to preserve global biodiversity.
Eco Logic: Reviewing Climate Change Impacts on Ecosystem Services
What is the state of our understanding of the connection between climate change and ecosystem-service assessment?
Eco Logic: Dogs on Leashes, Birds on Beaches
A bit of maths can help managers minimise the impact of dogs on migratory shorebirds.
Eco Logic: Grow Your Own
Collaborative wildlife gardening programs engage residents to manage their land and achieve landscape-focused conservation goals.
Eco Logic: Revolving Private Land to Conserve Nature
Buying, protecting and reselling private land can be an effective way to conserve nature, but relies upon selecting the right properties.
Eco Logic: Injecting Biodiversity into City Spaces
Cities planning to adapt to climate change should take biodiversity along for the ride.
Eco Logic: Saving Nature with Revolving Real Estate
Revolving funds buy land with high nature value, protect these values through conservation agreements and then resell them. The funds from sales then purchase more land.
Eco Logic: Reviewing Our National Environmental Law As If It Mattered
Australia’s overarching national environmental law is due for review. To make the most of this opportunity, the reviewers need to address five critical questions.
Eureka!: Cockroaches Quit Sugar
Cockroaches have learnt to avoid sugar, rendering many baits ineffective.
Eureka!: Dung Beetles Navigate Using the Milky Way
Dung deetles navigate using the Milky Way, and scientists analyse a dead whale’s ear wax to reveal its exposure to hazardous chemicals.
Eureka!: Suicidal Sex Explained
Sex is suicidal for some marsupials, and termites communicate by headbaging.
Expert Opinion: Experts respond to the IPCC's 5th report on climate change
Experts from Australia, New Zealand and the UK respond to the IPCC's report “Climate Change 2013: The Physical Science Basis”.
Expert Opinion: Climate Change Authority Report “Untrue and Dangerous”
The Climate Change Authority has called for the introduction of an emissions trading scheme, but two members of its board, David Karoly and Clive Hamilton, have since issued a dissenting minority report calling for stronger measures to reduce emissions.
Expert Opinion: Mozzies Knocked out with Gene Drive
Researchers say they've successfully used a CRISPR-based gene drive to cause the collapse of a population of caged malaria-carrying mosquitoes by targeting a gene that determines whether an individual mosquito develops as a male or a female.
Expert Opinion: The Persistent Killer of Killer Whales
Killer whales are at risk due to PCB contamination despite a near-global ban more than 30 years ago. The threat affects more than half of the world’s orcas, and whale populations near industrialised regions and at the top of the food-chain are at a high risk of population collapse over the next 100 years.
Fossil File: Australian World Heritage Fossil Sites Celebrate 20 Years
The renowned fossil sites at Riversleigh and Naracoorte celebrate a milestone this month.
Lowe Tech: Planes, Trains and Automobiles
While road funding regulations remain messy, the Abbott government has supported a second Sydney airport over a high speed rail line linking the east coast cities.
Lowe Tech: Hands Up If You Want to Store Our Nuclear Waste
The federal Government has called for volunteers to site a nuclear waste repository.
Lowe Tech: Sea Change Threatened by Coastal Development
Coastal communities are battling to retain their natural assets in the face of increasing tourism and residential developments.
Lowe Tech: Drink Deposits Recycled
Deposits on recyclable containers are returning despite the packaging industry’s protests.
Lowe Tech: Nuclear Waste Returns, But Where Will It Be Stored?
Australia’s nuclear waste is being returned from France, and New Zealand is finally reporting on the state of its environment.
Lowe Tech: Double-speak on Coal
The Turnbull government’s support for the coal industry relies on twisted logic.
Lowe Tech: A Second Warning to Humanity
Fifteen thousand scientists have issued a warning to humanity that “many current life forms could be annihilated or committed to extinction by the end of this century”.
Lowe Tech: The War on Plastic
Our present epoch has been called the Anthropocene because of the dominance of human activity, but perhaps it should be called the Plasticine.
Lowe Tech: Australia’s Environmental Ranking Trumped
Australia has been ranked third-worst in the developed world for environmental protection, and medical professionals are increasingly concerned about the health impacts of climate change.
Simon Says: GM Approvals Score a Century
Almost 40 years after the genetic engineering revolution hit Australia, it is beginning to look like the establishment.
Up Close: Komodo to our place: In the field with the giant monitor lizard
Integrative ecologist Dr Tim Jessop talks about the fascinating biology and the ecology of the Komodo dragon -- the largest lizard in the world.
Up Close: Natural value: Pricing ecosystems, and its implications for conservation policy
Conservation ecologist Assoc. Prof. Brendan Wintle considers the difficult questions and dilemmas that arise in decisions around species and ecosystem conservation, and whether a monetary value can or should be applied to nature.
Up Close: Whatever happened to the ozone hole? Lessons in timely action to avert global disaster
Atmospheric scientists Prof David Karoly and Dr Robyn Schofield discuss the hole in the ozone layer over the Antarctic, and what effect timely global action taken in 1987 seems to have had in reversing ozone degradation.
Up Close: Weeds girdle the globe: The marauding march of invasive plant species
Plant population specialist Prof Roger Cousens talks about how the spread of undesirable plants, or “weeds”, has dramatically redefined the world’s natural landscapes and coastlines, and what this means for us economically, aesthetically and environmentally.
Up Close: The end of sustainability: Realism and resilience in managing our natural resources
Environmental legal scholar Prof. Robin Craig argues that the doctrine of sustainability in managing our natural resources fails to take into account an emerging age of ecological uncertainty. Instead, notions of sustainability and sustainable development need to make way for approaches based on resilience thinking, which attempts to factor in and adapt to coming large-scale social and ecological shifts brought about by climate change.
Odd Spot: Collision-causing millipedes will eventually abate
A recent low-speed train collision in Perth attributed to Portuguese millipedes (Ommatoiulis moreleti) on the tracks is a symptom of growing millipede numbers in Western Australia.
Issues: Fox Baiting in Tasmania: What’s at Risk?
With careful attention to the science and planning, targeting foxes in a wildlife-rich environment can be a success.
Online Feature: Gender-bending fish share their secrets
Local scuba divers are teaming with scientists to survey populations of sea dragons, which are classified as “near threatened” on the Red List of threatened species.
Online Feature: Small Dams Create Bigger Problems
A global push for small hydropower projects to reduce greenhouse gas emissions may cause significant losses of biodiversity.
Online Feature: A new branch of life found in a pond in Melbourne
Pandoravirus promises future surprises
Online Feature: IPCC Fifth Assessment Report: more certainty, not much news
What new does the IPCC's fifth report have to say about our climate problem?
Online Feature: It’s not a jungle out there: rocking the ecological boat
If you were a pharmaceutical company searching for a natural plant compound to use as the basis for a new line of drugs, where would you begin?
Online Feature: Rewilding the Devil
What evidence is there that reintroducing Tasmanian devils to mainland Australia will affect the number of feral cats, rabbits and foxes?
Online Feature: How to prevent shark attacks
Are shark attacks on the rise, and what can you do to minimise your risk this summer?
Online Feature: The state of Australia: our environment
The state of Australia’s environment is a real worry – and we have the report cards to prove it.
Online Feature: Top ten species reveal process of discovery and further mysteries about life on earth
The top ten species of 2014 have been released by the International Institute for Species Exploration.
Online Feature: Climate policy needs a new lens: health and well-being Online Feature: Year-on-year bleaching threatens Great Barrier Reef's World Heritage status
Online Feature: The 2017 budget has axed research to help Australia adapt to climate change Feature: Native Aussie rat survives sticky situation
Their wooden homes are stuck together with pee and have stood longer than the pyramids.
A queue of logging trucks in Southeast Asia. Credit: Jeff Vincent
Feature: China’s growing footprint on the globe threatens to trample the natural world
China’s unprecedented development schemes are transforming the entire world, yet its leaders assure us these activities will be environmentally and socially sustainable. Should we trust the promises?
Credit: Andrew Fox / Rodney Fox Shark Expeditions
Feature: Personal Deterrents Can Reduce the Risk of Shark Bites
A study tests how effectively commercial shark deterrents reduce the risk of shark bites.
Photo: Carl Charter
Feature: ‘Rock stars of the sea’ put on amazing underwater show in South Australia
Flowing arms, skins that change colour in an instant, dance battles and petite males disguised as females to trick their rivals – the courting behaviour of the alien-like Giant Australian Cuttlefish would look more at home in a Star Wars night club.
Browse: Loch Ness Waters Sampled for Monster's DNA