Pacific Conservation Biology
Volume 23 Number 3 2017
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.
PC16041Current knowledge of the behavioural ecology of Lumholtz’s tree-kangaroo (Dendrolagus lumholtzi)
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
‘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.
Accurate information on the distributions of invasive species is important for biosecurity risk analysis. We report on distribution information for 18 key threat invasive ant species to the Pacific. Our goal is to assist Small Island Developing States with risk analysis.
PC16040Can ecological thinning deliver conservation outcomes in high-density river red gum forests? Establishing an adaptive management experiment
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?
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.
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.
Camera traps detected foxes attempting to prey upon adult western grey kangaroos, despite no confirmed success of these predation events, this photographic evidence highlights the brazen behaviour of foxes, providing new insight into their hunting behaviour.
The peer-reviewed and edited version of record published online before inclusion in an issue
PC17017Utilising aversive conditioning to manage the behaviour of K’gari (Fraser Island) dingoes (Canis dingo)
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.
PC17010Herbicidal control of bridal creeper (Asparagus asparagoides) in an ecologically sensitive environment
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.
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
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.
PC17024Variation in bird assemblages and their invertebrate prey in eucalypt formations across a rainfall gradient in south-west Australia
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.
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.
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.
PC17012The sharks and rays of the Solomon Islands: a synthesis of their biological diversity, values and conservation status
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.
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.
PC17014The reverse precautionary principle: science, the environment and the salmon aquaculture industry in Macquarie Harbour, Tasmania, Australia
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.
These articles have been peer reviewed and accepted for publication. They are still in production and have not been edited, so may differ from the final published form.
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The sharks and rays of the Solomon Islands: a synthesis of their biological diversity, values and conservation statusPacific Conservation Biology (Online Early)S. Hylton, W. T. White, A. Chin
Pacific Conservation Biology 23 (3)April E. Reside, Jutta Beher, Anita J. Cosgrove, Megan C. Evans, Leonie Seabrook, Jennifer L. Silcock, Amelia S. Wenger, Martine Maron
Reduced efficacy of baiting programs for invasive species: some mechanisms and management implicationsPacific Conservation Biology 23 (3)Sinéad E. Allsop, Shannon J. Dundas, Peter J. Adams, Tracey L. Kreplins, Philip W. Bateman, Patricia A. Fleming
Pacific Conservation Biology 23 (1)K. Heidy Kikillus, Geoff K. Chambers, Mark J. Farnworth, Kelly M. Hare
Pacific Conservation Biology 23 (1)Adam J. O'Neill, Kylie M. Cairns, Gisela Kaplan, Ernest Healy
Pacific Conservation Biology (Online Early)S. J. S. Debus, W. K. Martin, J. M. Lemon
Pacific Conservation Biology 23 (2)Carlo Pacioni, Matthew R. Williams, Robert C. Lacy, Peter B. S. Spencer, Adrian F. Wayne
Histological analysis of hatchlings of the Australian lungfish, Neoceratodus forsteri, from water impoundments reveals fundamental flaws in developmentPacific Conservation Biology 23 (2)Anne Kemp
Pacific Conservation Biology 23 (3)Paul D. Meek, Jason Wishart
Pacific Conservation Biology 23 (2)Brian L. Cypher, Erica C. Kelly, Francesca J. Ferrara, Charles A. Drost, Tory L. Westall, Brian R. Hudgens
Can ecological thinning deliver conservation outcomes in high-density river red gum forests? Establishing an adaptive management experimentPacific Conservation Biology 23 (3)E. J. Gorrod, P. Childs, D. A. Keith, S. Bowen, M. Pennay, T. O'Kelly, R. Woodward, A. Haywood, J. P. Pigott, C. McCormack
Pacific Conservation Biology 23 (2)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
The reverse precautionary principle: science, the environment and the salmon aquaculture industry in Macquarie Harbour, Tasmania, AustraliaPacific Conservation Biology (Online Early)Jamie B. Kirkpatrick, Lorne K. Kriwoken, Jennifer Styger
Ecologists, economics and politics: problems and contradictions in applying neoliberal ideology to nature conservation in AustraliaPacific Conservation Biology 23 (2)Paul I. Boon, Vishnu Prahalad
The remaining koalas (Phascolarctos cinereus) of the Pilliga forests, north-west New South Wales: refugial persistence or a population on the road to extinction?Pacific Conservation Biology 23 (3)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, David Milledge
Pacific Conservation Biology 23 (3)Sigrid Heise-Pavlov
Pacific Conservation Biology 23 (3)Rob Appleby, Bradley Smith, Jess Mackie, Lilia Bernede, Darryl Jones
Pacific Conservation Biology (Online Early)Harry F. Recher
Pacific Conservation Biology 23 (2)Stacy Jupiter
Pacific Conservation Biology 23 (3)Monica A. M. Gruber, Meghan Cooling, Allan R. Burne