Australasian Science: Australia's authority on science since 1938

Articles related to biodiversity

Cover Story: Gene Drives: A Way to Genetically Engineer Populations
Gene drives occur when a bias in the mechanism of inheritance spreads particular genetic variants through a population. Developments in gene-editing technology now make it possible to construct gene drives that address problems in health, agriculture and conservation.
Browse: The fine line between playing God and saving species
Feature: Driving Mosquitoes out of Town
Existing techniques to control mosquito-borne diseases are coming up short. Can gene drives offer hope to the millions affected?
Feature: Gene Drives for Conservation
Gene drives may provide a novel tool to counteract seemingly unstoppable threats to global biodiversity.
Feature: The Future of Pest Control Lies Within (the Pest)
Gene drives could improve global food security by turning pest biology against itself.
Feature: Gene Drives: A Fork in the Road for the GMO Debate
What are the moral and ethical concerns about gene drives, and how should the technology be regulated?
Browse: Elusive Gecko Is a Top 10
Feature: Rewilding Australia
Sometimes the best way to conserve biodiversity is to stand back and let wild animals do the hard work of ecological management.
Feature: Hacking the Illegal Trade in Wildlife
Hackers should be deployed to disrupt a $23 billion online market in wildlife and wildlife parts.
Feature: Is Australia Undergoing an Insect Armageddon?
Long-term studies all over the world show a dramatic decline in insect diversity and numbers, but we know little about the health of Australian insect populations.
Browse: Dingo Baiting Doesn’t Harm Wildlife Browse: New Lizard Species Discovered
Australia’s place as a centre for reptile biodiversity has been confirmed with the identification of two new species.
Feature: Climate Extremes Matter Most for Biodiversity
The world is expected to warm by up to 4°C by 2070, but it is the extreme weather events associated with climate change that threaten biodiversity the most.
Credit: Michael Johnson, US Fish and Wildlife Service
Feature: A Pri¢e for Wildlife
Can market-based incentives and private ownership of wildlife remedy shortfalls in government funding for conservation?
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: Extinct Burrowing Bats Betray Biodiversity Loss
The fossilised remains of burrowing bats that lived millions of years ago shed light on this remarkable group of mammals while signalling loss of biodiversity in New Zealand.
Browse: Plantation Diversity Boosts Carbon Storage
Plantations that use multiple species store more carbon than monocultures, according to a metastudy of forestry trials.
Browse: Devils Needed on the Mainland
conSCIENCE: Bee Teams in the Food Bowl
Apiarists and conservationists are at loggerheads, with implications for food security and the fate of indigenous species.
Credit: Google Earth
conSCIENCE: Roads to Ruin
Can we build roads that benefit people while not destroying nature?
Eco Logic: Efficiency vs Sufficiency in Conservation
Comparing how much money is needed to ensure a conservation outcome with how to deliver the biggest outcome for a fixed investment are two sides of the same coin.
Eco Logic: To Monitor or Not to Monitor
At its heart, good environmental monitoring needs a clear justification for acquiring information in the first place. What we strive to know should be driven by what we need to know.
Eco Logic: The Reality of Biodiversity Offsets
Many of the expectations for biodiversity offsetting remain unsupported by evidence.
Eco Logic: The Value of an Old Tree in the City
Large old trees provide a significant biodiversity benefit that should be factored in by governments when managing biodiversity.
Eco Logic: Tall or Sprawl?
How should we grow Australia’s cities to minimise their biodiversity impacts?
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: Where’s the Evidence for Adaptive Management?
Everyone talks about how important adaptive management is but few are actually doing it.
Eco Logic: Fossil Fuel Footprint Stepping on Biodiversity
The footprint of fossil fuels is encroaching on biodiversity hotspots that are currently undeveloped.
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: 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: Casting a Critical Eye over Biodiversity Offsets
Biodiversity offset policies may result in perverse incentives that lock in biodiversity loss.
Eco Logic: Beyond Threat Maps
Targeting threats alone won’t save our wildlife.
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: Injecting Biodiversity into City Spaces
Cities planning to adapt to climate change should take biodiversity along for the ride.
Eco Logic: Crowdfunding Biodiversity Conservation
Crowdfunding is a new addition to the portfolio of conservation finance mechanisms with real potential to create valuable additional resources.
Expert Opinion: The Call for Nuclear Energy to Stop Biodiversity Loss
Adelaide ecologists Prof Barry Brook and Prof Corey Bradshaw have called for the promotion of nuclear power to mitigate climate change and protect biodiversity in an open letter published in Conservation Biology.
Expert Opinion: The Biodiversity Benefits of Limiting Warming to 1.5°C
Global temperatures are on track to rise by 3.2°C by 2100. A new study estimates that if this occurs, 26% of vertebrates, 49% of insects and 44% of plants would be unable to survive in about half of the areas they currently inhabit, compared with just 4% of vertebrates, 6% of insects and 8% of plants if warming is limited to 1.5°C.
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.
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.
Online Feature: Rio+20: Who Owns The Green Economy?
The Rio+20 summit has raised a number of difficult questions about law and technology.
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: Found: 'lost' forests covering an area two-thirds the size of Australia
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?