Management strategies for threatened species to maintain biodiversity
With climate change the frequency and duration of droughts are predicted to increase in southern Australia (IPCC 2013). In this context the impacts of climate change are likely to prove dire for many arid land species as they reduce or suppress breeding activity in poor/below average rainfall years. Devising management strategies that address this and related conservation issues is a key research interest of our group. We have in particular focused on a suite of birds that occupy arid and semi-arid environments. Recent research outputs include contributions to our understanding of the ecology and conservation biology of the Princess Parrot, Mallee Emu-wren and Black-eared Miner to name a few.
Historical landscape-scale degradation of woodland habitat in southern Australia has resulted in substantial population declines in many woodland bird species. We work closely with recovery teams, threatened species decision analysts and state parks & wildlife staff, to guide management priorities and achieve better population recovery for threatened woodland birds. We are involved in the research and monitoring of iconic threatened species including bird communities of the Box Ironbark woodlands and River Red Gum woodlands of the Murray Darling Basin, along with threatened species programs focussed on the Grey-crowned Babbler, Regent Honeyeater and Regent Parrot.
Island systems are amongst the most threatened globally. We work on several offshore islands with a focus on threat identification and mitigation for avian species and other vertebrate inhabitants. Ongoing work includes a long-term monitoring program for both shorebirds and breeding seabirds at Ashmore Reef and Adele Island. Our work implementing a series of trial control measures for the invasive tropical fire ant at Ashmore Reef led to an ongoing control program and the development of a fully costed eradication plan by the team. We were also involved in a large-scale attempt to eradicate Polynesian Rats from Adele Island. There are clear synergies with our work on marine vertebrate biodiversity, a summary of which can be seen here.