Tag: research

The emu-wren diaries
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The emu-wren diaries

There is a bold plan underway to bring Mallee Emu-wrens back to South Australia, where wildfires have wiped them out. Simon Verdon details the decline of this mysterious and beautiful mallee bird and the efforts underway to save the species. 2014 Monday, January 13th The heathlands stretch out in every direction, as far as the...

Australian magpies: the playful protectors
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Australian magpies: the playful protectors

Beautiful, vicious, cheeky, scary, intelligent, psychopathic. These are some of the words people have used to describe the Australian Magpie since it was voted the 2017 Australian Bird Of The Year. Like its close contender, the White Ibis (or ‘bin chicken’), the magpie can elicit mixed emotions among its human neighbours. There are stories of...

Sugarbag Bees lend a hand in Australian fruit crop pollination
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Sugarbag Bees lend a hand in Australian fruit crop pollination

Bee stings are worse than wedgies. Still, I’m squirming and dreading bending over while wearing this bright white bee jumpsuit. My supervisor informs me – while smirking – that the tag of the suit reads ‘Extra Large’, making it clear that my 170-centimetre stature must be considered gargantuan in the beekeeping world. There is only...

It takes a village: saving the South-eastern Red-tailed Black-cockatoo is a community ambition
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It takes a village: saving the South-eastern Red-tailed Black-cockatoo is a community ambition

In Victoria’s far south-west, the Red-tailed Black-cockatoo survives in a fragmented landscape of stringybark forests within a matrix of agricultural lands. The birds here are a distinct subspecies of Red-tailed Black-cockatoo, Calyptorhynchus banksii graptogyne or the South-eastern Red-tailed Black-cockatoo, isolated from others of their kind by thousands of kilometres. Their life history is inextricably tied to...

Battling inertia: the role of social science in sustainability
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Battling inertia: the role of social science in sustainability

It’s a question many of us have asked ourselves: why, in the face of prolific and proliferating environmental issues, do our societies continue to do so little to avoid these impending catastrophes? Or, as the editors of the recently published Social Science and Sustainability would put it: ‘What are the reasons for inertia?’ It’s a fair...

A little life lesson and a plea for perspective
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A little life lesson and a plea for perspective

When I walk through the forest, along a beach, or even if I simply sit on the grass in the backyard, there’s something I frequently consider that I’m guessing many of you rarely do: how many animals have I accidentally killed in the process? The reality is that our individual actions, especially if they are...

Seeing the wood for the trees: the value of interdisciplinary work for conservation
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Seeing the wood for the trees: the value of interdisciplinary work for conservation

Many of us working in environmental conservation have come from the natural sciences, whether it be from ecology, botany or another related discipline. And as natural scientists, we love asking focused questions and utilising our familiar, usually quantitative, methods to find answers. We love the process, the fieldwork, the analysis and we sometimes get lost...

Life on the line
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Life on the line

Think of 450 million years as a 24-hour clock. Before you finish this article, 166 seconds, or just under 3 minutes,  of those 24 hours has passed. That’s how long – actually, how fast – it’s taken for an estimated one quarter of all elasmobranch (sharks and rays) species to be threatened with extinction. Since...