Pacific Conservation Biology Pacific Conservation Biology Society
A journal dedicated to conservation and wildlife management in the Pacific region.

Pacific Conservation Biology

Pacific Conservation Biology

Pacific Conservation Biology provides a forum for discussion about regional conservation problems; debate about priorities and mechanisms for conservation oriented biological research; and dissemination of the results of relevant research. Read more about the journalMore

Editor-in-Chief: Mike Calver


Current Issue

Pacific Conservation Biology

Volume 23 Number 4 2017

This is a review of ‘The Australian Bird Guide’ by Menkorst et al. (2017). It is also an essay that considers the impact of nomenclatural changes of Australian bird names on the communication of ornithological research and the conservation of birds.

Sharks and rays are facing increasing anthropogenic pressure globally; however, data on their status and biodiversity are lacking for many Pacific Large Ocean Island States. This study aimed to construct a species checklist for the sharks and rays occurring in the Solomon Islands, review the human interactions with these species, and present a synthesis of their conservation status.

Aversive conditioning offers a potential avenue to circumventing the lethal control of dingoes on K’gari (Fraser Island) otherwise deemed to represent an unacceptable risk to human safety. We reviewed the literature on aversive conditioning of predators and determined that certain measures relating to dingo exclusion, personal protection and remedial aversive conditioning could help to bolster the management of negative human-dingo interactions.

PC16028Changes in woodland bird communities as replanted woodland matures

S. J. S. Debus, W. K. Martin and J. M. Lemon
pp. 359-371

It is important to understand the value of revegetation on farms for native bird species. The aim was to determine any changes in bird diversity and abundance in habitat plantings; over 10 years, bird communities in younger plantings converged with those in older plantings and remnant woodland. The results reaffirm that replanting native trees and shrubs on open farmland benefits woodland birds, and that many of the species benefitting are those of conservation concern in the temperate grassy woodlands.

PC17024Variation in bird assemblages and their invertebrate prey in eucalypt formations across a rainfall gradient in south-west Australia

Jonathan D. Majer, Harry F. Recher, Christopher Norwood and Brian E. Heterick
pp. 372-386

Following a 25-year collaboration between entomologists and vertebrate ecologists, results have been brought together which indicate that avifauna abundance/diversity is influenced by invertebrate food resources at the landscape scale. Contrary to expectations, both invertebrate and bird abundance/diversity are higher in the lower rainfall Western Australian woodlands than in the moister jarrah forest. This may be associated with physiological adaptations of eucalypts to lower rainfall, which result in higher nitrogen levels per unit area of foliage, in turn favouring the build-up of an abundant arboreal invertebrate fauna.

PC17011Factors affecting frog species richness in the Solomon Islands

Patrick Pikacha, Clare Morrison, Chris Filardi and Luke Leung
pp. 387-398

Studies across large oceanic archipelagos provide an opportunity for testing different processes driving patterns of species richness. This study used modelling to determine important ecological and biogeographic factors affecting the species richness of frogs at multiple locations on major islands across the Solomon Islands archipelago.

PC17016Implications of floristic patterns, and changes in stand structure following a large-scale, intense fire across forested ecosystems in south-western Australia

Grant Wardell-Johnson, Sarah Luxton, Kaylene Craig, Vanessa Brown, Natalee Evans and Serene Kennedy
pp. 399-412

Four community groups differed in composition, species density, fire trait syndrome and structural responses 18 months after high-intensity fire near Northcliffe, south-western Australia. Height and biomass recovery takes longer than intense fire-return times requiring tall forest protection, and mosaic regimes to minimise impacts under warming and drying in the region.

Online Early

The peer-reviewed and edited version of record published online before inclusion in an issue

Published online 09 January 2018

PC17046Conservation value of koa (Acacia koa) reforestation areas on Hawaii Island

Laurie Strommer and Sheila Conant

Koa (Acacia koa) reforestation areas (KRAs) on Hawaii Island are structurally similar to nearby intact forests in some cases, though species composition differs. Koa reforestation areas may provide a conservation benefit by re-establishing forest structure on degraded pasture. Some KRAs harbour understorey species as well.

Published online 08 January 2018

PC17042Diets of native and introduced apex predators in Hawai'i

Carolyn S. Mostello and Sheila Conant

This paper describes diets and dietary overlap in four apex predators in Hawai‘i: pueo, barn owl, cat and mongoose, based on analysis of the contents of owl pellets and cat and mongoose scats, which were collected from eight different areas on five of the Main Hawaiian Islands.

Published online 04 January 2018

PC17038Are there conservation implications for kangaroos feeding on sea birds?

Michael Hughes and Valériane Bérengier

This research note documents an observation of a wild western grey kangaroo (Macropus fuliginosus) feeding on a dead silver gull (Chroicocephalus novaehollandiae). We consider why the kangaroo may be feeding on the dead gull and possible implications for conservation programs relying on poison meat baits to control introduced species.

Published online 21 December 2017

PC17027Predicting the occurrence of an endangered reptile based on habitat attributes

Sarsha Gorissen, Ian R. C. Baird, Matthew Greenlees, Ahamad N. Sherieff and Richard Shine

The endangered Blue Mountains water skink is restricted to highland peat swamps in eastern Australia. We show that Eulamprus leuraensis were found at sites with higher soil moisture, more burrows and live vegetation and a denser understorey. We developed a quick field detection method to assess the likely presence of the species, and mapped its known and predicted habitat using GIS.

Published online 19 December 2017

PC17025Values, credibility, and ethics: public advocacy and conservation science

Harry F. Recher

Conservation scientists need to be public advocates for creating economies that are ecologically sustainable. In addition, they must assume a role of leadership in the development of global environmental policies and the creation of a world where all species share the Earth’s resources. At present that world does not exist.

Published online 18 December 2017

PC17033An advocate for taxonomic research in Australia

Pat Hutchings

This opinion piece explains the importance of taxonomy and why it is critical to actually identify species. However, the ability to be able to do this is declining here in Australia and we desperately need to rectify this situation. We taxonomists need to become better advocates for our discipline and better explain to our colleagues and the general public why taxonomy is useful. We need to develop illustrated guides and develop online guides, with websites that are widely marketed and can be useful for other scientists as well as the general public.

Many terrestrial orchid populations in southern Australia are threatened by the noxious environmental weed Asparagus asparagoides. This paper describes a safe method of applying herbicides to control this weed in populations of the threatened terrestrial orchid Pterostylis arenicola. The technique of weed wiping is particularly suitable for use in areas of high conservation concern.

Published online 19 September 2017

PC17015Preparing for advocacy, resisting attack

Brian Martin

Some scientists who engage in public advocacy come under attack. It is worthwhile preparing by learning about the risks, increasing financial security and building networks for personal support. When under attack, it is important to document actions, seek advice and mobilise support. Supporting outspoken scientists protects scientific freedom for all.

Published online 12 September 2017

PC17014The reverse precautionary principle: science, the environment and the salmon aquaculture industry in Macquarie Harbour, Tasmania, Australia

Jamie B. Kirkpatrick, Lorne K. Kriwoken and Jennifer Styger

Benthic waters of Macquarie Harbour, Tasmania de-oxygenated as fish production grew. The reverse precautionary response was to undertake further research because the causes of the changes were not fully understood. To help avoid such a response, research on the environmental impacts of an industry needs to be undertaken by scientists in secure positions funded independently of industry and government.

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Ivor Beatty Award

Kirby Smith, Carol Scarpaci, Brett Louden and Nicholas Otway have been awarded the Ivor Beatty Award for 2016.