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 3 2017

PC17001Ecological consequences of land clearing and policy reform in Queensland

April E. Reside, Jutta Beher, Anita J. Cosgrove, Megan C. Evans, Leonie Seabrook, Jennifer L. Silcock, Amelia S. Wenger and Martine Maron
pp. 219-230

Land clearing has increased in Queensland since a shift in policy in 2013, threatening biodiversity, impairing the functioning of terrestrial, freshwater, and marine ecosystems (particularly the Great Barrier Reef), and contributing to climate change. We review these impacts, provide an overview of the policy background, and suggest options for policy reform.

Behavioural ecology increasingly contributes to effective species conservation. This review presents our current knowledge of behavioural aspects of the Lumholtz’s tree-kangaroo (Dendrolagus lumholtzi) in relation to various conservation issues. Conclusions are drawn in regards to habitat conservation, management of fragmented landscapes, responses of the species to introduced predators, and the rehabilitation of orphaned juvenile tree-kangaroos.

PC17006Reduced efficacy of baiting programs for invasive species: some mechanisms and management implications

Sinéad E. Allsop, Shannon J. Dundas, Peter J. Adams, Tracey L. Kreplins, Philip W. Bateman and Patricia A. Fleming
pp. 240-257

‘Bait-resistance’ – progressive decrease in bait efficacy over time – can develop due to changes in behaviour of the target pest species (innate and learned bait-avoidance behaviour) and increased physiological toxin-tolerance. Both are more likely to develop when animals are exposed to sublethal baits. We explore the possibility of bait resistance in the red fox (Vulpes vulpes), an introduced predator in Australia.

PC16040Can ecological thinning deliver conservation outcomes in high-density river red gum forests? Establishing an adaptive management experiment

E. J. Gorrod, P. Childs, D. A. Keith, S. Bowen, M. Pennay, T. O'Kelly, R. Woodward, A. Haywood, J. P. Pigott and C. McCormack
pp. 262-276

Evaluating ecological thinning for conservation objectives in a floodplain forest. Establishing a large-scale adaptive management manipulative experiment. Experiment structured around primary driving ecological process.

PC17008The remaining koalas (Phascolarctos cinereus) of the Pilliga forests, north-west New South Wales: refugial persistence or a population on the road to extinction?

Daniel Lunney, Martin Predavec, Indrie Sonawane, Rodney Kavanagh, George Barrott-Brown, Stephen Phillips, John Callaghan, Dave Mitchell, Harry Parnaby, David C. Paull, Ian Shannon, Murray Ellis, Owen Price and David Milledge
pp. 277-294

We investigated the decline of koalas in the Pilliga forests using repeat surveys undertaken between 1990 and 2014. Koalas had declined and were found in only 21% of sites in which they were initially observed. Declines occurred evenly across the Pilliga, with persistence at a site seemingly related to a high initial density of koalas rather than to a slower rate of decline.

PC17005Preliminary observations of dingo responses to assumed aversive stimuli

Rob Appleby, Bradley Smith, Jess Mackie, Lilia Bernede and Darryl Jones
pp. 295-301

A pilot assessment of the responses of a social group of dingoes on Fraser Island to hand-held stimuli presumed to be aversive was conducted. Results suggest that the efficacy of a water pistol stimulus as a repellent, possibly enhanced with a mild irritant, warrants further investigation.

Online Early

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

Published online 23 November 2017

PC17017Utilising aversive conditioning to manage the behaviour of K’gari (Fraser Island) dingoes (Canis dingo)

Rob Appleby, Bradley Smith, Lilia Bernede and Darryl Jones

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.

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 13 November 2017

PC17011Factors affecting frog species richness in the Solomon Islands

Patrick Pikacha, Clare Morrison, Chris Filardi and Luke Leung

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.

Published online 13 November 2017

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

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.

Published online 09 November 2017

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

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.

Published online 26 October 2017

PC17019Field guides, bird names, and conservation

Harry F. Recher

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.

Published online 23 October 2017

PC16028Changes in woodland bird communities as replanted woodland matures

S. J. S. Debus, W. K. Martin and J. M. Lemon

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.

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.

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.

Just Accepted

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  1. Distribution and diversity of Phytophthora across Australia

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    Treena I. Burgess, Diane White, Keith M. McDougall, Jeff Garnas, William A. Dunstan, Santiago Català, Angus J. Carnegie, Stuart Worboys, David Cahill, Anna-Maria Vettraino, Michael J. C. Stukely, Edward C. Y. Liew, Trudy Paap, Tanay Bose, Duccio Migliorini, Briony Williams, Frances Brigg, Colin Crane, Timothy Rudman, Giles E. St. J. Hardy

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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.